Kim fulfills Board's ‘leadership' goals
The statement, which was written by the search committee approved by the Board of Trustees in September 2008 as part of the presidential search process, called for a College president that would foster "cross collaboration across [graduate] schools and with the Arts and Sciences faculty."
"Some of the most successful initiatives have come from broadly integrated programs that are framed around a problem area and draw on several disciplines," the leadership statement said. "The next President will have the opportunity to lead an impressive integration across boundaries that already has considerable momentum."
The Center which Kim announced in May will create a bridge between undergraduate students, the Tuck School of Business, the Thayer School of Engineering and Dartmouth Medical School, Kim said in a recent interview with The Dartmouth Editorial Board. Made possible by an anonymous $35 million donation, the Center will offer health care-related classes to undergraduates and a Master's degree program through a partnership between Tuck and The Dartmouth Institute.
Even simple language use can affect collaboration between graduate programs, Kim said. He used the example of the word "margin," which carries different meanings for Tuck professors who would use it to describe profit margins and doctors, who deal with surgical margins.
"It took them a while to develop a vocabulary that they shared, and now they are going to take that to the rest of the community," he said. "I think it's going to lead to really wonderful educational experiences for undergraduates."
Another specification in the leadership statement was a preference for a president who would strengthen collaboration between the College and Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center.
"The Board [of Trustees] expects that the next President will attend carefully to the relationships between the School and its clinical partners and will provide personal leadership in these critical discussions," the statement said.
Collaboration with the hospital will be a key focus of the Center, as the techniques developed there will first be implemented at DHMC, according to Kim.
"Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center is going to be the living laboratory where we can demonstrate to the rest of the world that the ideas and research that we're turning into practice actually lead to greater access, lower costs and higher quality," Kim said in an interview on the Center's website.
The Center will place Dartmouth at the forefront of the emerging health care field, according to Kim, a statement that echoes the leadership statement's criterion that the new president "articulate Dartmouth's already emerging future to its community and its national audience."
Dartmouth's focus on health care delivery has contributed to increased interest surrounding the issue on a national level and has "started a new field," Kim told the Editorial Board.
"We really want to bring health care delivery to the undergraduates not because health care is so important, but because health care is a great way to think about how complicated social problems are," Kim said. "I think it's a basic literacy issue that everyone should know about, but it's also great to stimulate interdisciplinary thinking."
The creation of the Center preceded the established of similar health care delivery institutes at Cornell University, McGill University and the Mayo Clinic, according to Kim.
"I think that one of the things that has happened around the health care delivery science work is that attention to the problem and interest in it around the country has just exploded," he said. "I think we've helped to shape a vision for how to tackle it in a way that didn't exist before."