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Communication 2.0

January 20, 2022

To the YSM Community:

February 1 marks my second anniversary at Yale. Two years ago, we published the first Beyond Sterling Hall, “Listening.” Since then, I have been buoyed by our listening sessions and continue to learn from you. I am humbled by your excellence and your commitment to your work. I am also continually reminded how difficult it is to communicate effectively. As I quoted George Bernard Shaw two years ago: “The biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.” For this reason, I thought I would feature some of the ways faculty, staff, and students can stay abreast of what is happening in the school.

Beyond Sterling Hall is published monthly and provides background on strategic conversations and initiatives in the school.

During the State of the School each June, I highlight past accomplishments and events and review the goals for our school for the coming year. I will continue to present the State of the School twice by Zoom each year to enable as many as possible to attend. If you cannot make one of those presentations, you can find the recorded talk online here.

Each year, we hold departmental town halls after the State of the School to provide you with the opportunity to probe topics and to raise new issues. At times, we have held a shared town hall for two departments. Beginning next year, we will meet separately with each department to facilitate open conversation.

There are several important resources that provide current information about plans for the school:

The minutes of the monthly Faculty Advisory Council (FAC) meeting with the dean are posted online. Your FAC representative likely shares this with you in departmental meetings, but you can delve more deeply by reading the minutes.

The minutes of the weekly meeting of the YSM Executive Group, comprised of the chairs and the deputy deans, also appear online. If you were to peruse the minutes of the last several meetings, you would find that the Executive Group approved the extension of paid time off for faculty child-rearing leave from eight to 12 weeks. You would also learn that YSM is contributing money to increase the number of three-year predoctoral slots available. You would read about Deputy Dean Illuzzi’s plans to provide specific effort support for key roles and high intensity teaching in the medical school. Your chairs communicate much of this information to you in their newsletters and faculty meetings, but reading the minutes of the Executive Group may add another layer of understanding.

We publish announcements of searches and requests for nominations. We request nominations for internal positions to ensure that we cast a wide net and do not miss any potential candidates. This also enables faculty to share with us their specific interests and capabilities.

Each week, we publish two digital newsletters: News and Recognition is a recap of the week’s top news stories and recognizes the accomplishments of faculty, students, and staff. YSM Events highlights the week’s activities and includes announcements of funding opportunities, training, and more. If you don’t already receive these publications, you can sign up here.

Our communications can always be improved, however. For instance, two websites that have been recently revised are the Office of Academic and Professional Development (OAPD) and the Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI). Overall, we recognize that our web pages are too numerous and hard to navigate, and we are in the planning stages of a major project to transform our web presence to be more audience-focused and user-friendly. You will be informed as we move forward with the work, as it will affect us all. Look for more communications about this project throughout 2022.


Nancy J. Brown, MD
Jean and David W. Wallace Dean of Medicine
C.N.H. Long Professor of Internal Medicine