Transcript Slide 1
Collaborating Across the University
Judith Albino, PhD
AAL Senior Consultant
President Emerita and Associate Dean
Colorado School of Public Health
Goals for the Session:
• Analyze cases with collaboration as the goal.
• Identify obstacles to collaboration in various
areas of academic work.
• Use the four frames to develop strategies for
addressing obstacles to collaboration.
• Consider how you can develop new
collaborative efforts or improve current
collaborations at your school.
• Outline a plan for the collaboration you
want to accomplish.
Collaboration doesn’t just happen
• Understanding both positive energy and
resistance is essential.
• Consider structural, human,
political, & symbolic frames.
• Build a sense of urgency.
• Create a vision.
• Build a coalition.
• Plan, evaluate, revise….
• Institutionalize collaboration.
When You Meet Resistance:
1. What makes this difficult?
2. Who will have to change?
3. Who loses or gains power?
4. What would be better?
5. Who would benefit?
6. Who will get the credit?
Let’s try it out….
Working in groups, read and discuss your
case, then answer the questions on your
work sheet, and plan to report out.
Case 1. Team Science: The New Challenge
Great State University has just received a Clinical and Translational Science
Award (CTSA); as academic dean, you are the point person from the dental
school. Your school had very little input to the application, but the dean says it
now is time to make this “real” – especially in terms of research. You know that
you need to engage more dental faculty in research, and that you need to engage
them in collaborative research with faculty in the other schools at Great State –
Medicine, Pharmacy, Nursing, and Allied Health. The other schools have
associate deans for research, but each is larger than the dental school and all
generate more NIH funding. In the case of the medical school, the difference is
100 to 1; the dental school has about $2 million annually in funded research. You
met with the associate dean for research at the medical school, but he had little
advice for you about stimulating collaboration. “That is best worked out by
individual faculty members who discover shared interests,” he said. You don’t
know where to turn next. Most of the bench research is focused on materials,
and there is one faculty member in community dentistry who is engaged in a
project at one of the hospitals downtown. You know that many clinical faculty
believe that they don’t have time for research, even though some scholarly
activity is expected. As one outstanding clinical faculty member said, why would I
spend my time on research? I’m not good at that; I am good at teaching students
in the clinic. He’s got a point, but the CTSA is intended to stimulate
clinical research. What to do?
Case 2. Interprofessional Education
There is a lot of talk nationally about Interprofessional Education, but the
silence is deafening at Northern State University Dental School where you are
academic dean. Although the dental accreditation standards now require
competence in communicating and collaborating with other health disciplines,
it is not clear how that should happen. Moreover, as things began moving on
the IPE front at NSU, dentistry seems to be waiting for the next train. You
were invited to, and attended, some organizational meetings, but this morning
you heard that all medical, nursing, and pharmacy students will engage in a
semester-long interprofessional experience. A call to the program director
resulted in his response that the program is built around cases that don’t have
much to do with dentistry and that “we’ll just have to keep working on this.”
Your dean’s response is that interprofessional experiences occur naturally in
hospital rotations, but you think that response misses the mark. Training in
interdisciplinary team processes will be offered, and you believe that it should
be available to dental students, as well as those in other schools. One or two
clinical faculty members expressed some interest in IPE early on, but it’s
difficult to know how to engage them when it seems that dentistry isn’t part of
the university’s plan. You know that you need some allies, and you also need
a plan for bringing the breadth and depth of dental practice to the
attention of others at the university.
Case 3. Managing Up When You Are Down
As Director of Clinics at Silverton University School of Dentistry, you have
wanted to develop a model for clinical education that replicates a group practice
model. This requires several faculty members working in teams with smaller
groups of students at different levels of their professional program. A new dental
building has been fully funded by the gift of a major donor, and plans for clinics
in the new building are being finalized. You chaired a committee that worked
over the past year to review and evaluate clinical education at the school in
preparation for this move. The faculty are with you, and the plan that the
committee has come up with is innovative and detailed. In the dean’s words,
however, it is too “radical.” The alumni, he says, would never go for it. The dean
is a great fundraiser, an outgoing man, who has been in his role for 20 years
and often is viewed as a sort of “godfather” figure, but he has not kept up with
innovations in dental education. You respect the work he has done for the
School, but this time, you believe that he is wrong. Many alumni, and especially
a large number of those who graduated 10-20 years ago, are working in group
practices. You described the new clinical teaching model to some of them, and
they found it exciting and want to help. You had an opportunity to briefly
describe the plan to the VP for Health Programs who seemed interested –
primarily from the perspective of program innovation, but he just urged you to
work with the dean to get it implemented. You’re discouraged and
wonder how you can make this happen.
Case 4. Community Health Concerns
You are the Chair of Community Dentistry in a dental school that is perceived
as having pulled back from the community several years ago. That happened
because the opportunity for a new school building, with abundant clinic space,
meant that using hospital and community clinics was no longer necessary to
accommodate the expanding dental school class size. The result was that for
many years, patients often drove long distances to use your services, which are
designated and supported as a safety net clinic by the state. Times have
changed, and there is now genuine interest on the part of the School in getting
students back into the community – to experience oral health disparities up
close and also to broaden the training experience in terms of the opportunities
that may be available to graduates. As you began reaching out to the hospitals
and community health centers, however, you did not receive a warm welcome.
Even visiting with churches in the community, you found that people had a
negative image of the University of CityState – and especially the dental
school. Memories are long, it seems – and the School is described as having
abandoned the community. “How do we know you won’t do it again?” You
have a large commitment of funds to realize this new model, but you are
stumped as to how to make the friends you need. The best option for success
is to work with, and build on, the relationships and services of current
community institutions. But how can you do that now?
Case 5. Practice Makes Perfect
As an associate dean at MidSouth University, one of your responsibilities is
developing and sustaining relationships with organized dentistry and the
practice community. Recently released reports at both the national and state
level have highlighted oral health as a top priority for improving population
health. There is an opportunity here that could result in a win-win for dental
practice and dental education. A public communications plan is contemplated
that would highlight oral health problems, dental practice as a solution, and the
need to train more dentists. To date, however, the State Dental Association
has seemed to want to go its own way, simply underwriting a “1-800-dentist”
type of campaign. You have suggested instead a focus on the high level
training of dentists, the research occurring in dental schools and the pro bono
work of both schools and practitioners, along with the role of practicing dentists
in creating overall health in the community. This would highlight the major
public benefits of dental academic and professional services and activities, as
well as help people to understand their individual health issues. The State
Association is resistant, however, and even after a presentation at their
meeting, they seem more focused on messages that get people into their
offices. You feel as though you have hit a wall, but there must be a way to
What’s Your Plan for Collaboration?
During the last part of this session, you will work to
further develop your plan for collaborative activity
at your university.
Work in pairs to share your plans and seek advice,
focusing on what you perceive to be the greatest
challenge to implementation of your plan.
Decide which of the four frames will be most
helpful in addressing the obstacles your face.
Final Notes on Collaboration
• Collaborating is a journey.
• Collaboration always involves change, and
collaborations will change over time.
• Collaborations require mutual benefit.
• Collaborations are fragile.
• Collaborations are more than the sum of
Enjoy and celebrate your