Welcome everyone to the first eNews blog of the new term and my first as Dean. Reflecting on my first two weeks, it has been incredibly busy meeting people both here and at Highfield. I am working out how all the pieces fit together from a different and new perspective. It has been exciting, inspiring and surprisingly enjoyable. Amongst the many meetings I have had over these last few weeks, I particularly enjoyed meeting medical student reps David Hendry, Kunal Namjoshi and Will Connolly for a Q and A session. We didn’t have time to cover all the students’ questions so we have booked another session!

There were a few surprises in the first week, the biggest surprise of course was that our President and Vice Chancellor, Sir Christopher Snowden, has decided to retire in Spring 2019. He explained his very rational decision and I am reassured that he will very much continue to lead the University until his retirement.  The process of searching for his replacement has started and the University Executive Board are clear that we want to continue delivering the aims of the 10 year plan that Sir Christopher has developed since his arrival here.

Last weekend I was at the hospital open day on Saturday and the University open day on Sunday. The weather was great, both days were buzzing and lots of students came along to find out about studying medicine in Southampton. Our research opportunities are one of the reasons that students choose Southampton so the chance to come and see some of the hospital research and facilities was a real bonus for those that came to both the University and the hospital. The lecture theatre at Highfield was packed on Sunday when I went to listen and the campus looked stunning. I want to thank all the staff and student volunteers who gave up their time over a weekend and contributed so willingly to make the open days so successful. For those that missed the excitement, do think about offering to help with interviews. Our year 3 students have already launched into their research projects and I thank all of you who are supervising student research projects.  There are many new Personal Academic Tutors who have volunteered, thank you to all our PATs, novices and experienced. Please get to know your students, listen to them, help them, if you haven’t done it before, the PAT training is very useful to help you understand the BM programmes, when exams are,  and where to go for specific additional help etc.

My final reflection is that medicine is a great career, full of opportunities – it certainly doesn’t feel like 40 years since I was a new medical student! We have a reputation in Southampton for being friendly, let’s keep that collegiality as a core value and use it to really deliver the quality we are capable of. I wish all of you a successful and enjoyable year and look forward to working with each and every one of you over the coming years to make medicine in Southampton even better.

Welcome from the Faculty Dean

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