Luanne Thorndyke, MD began as Executive Vice Dean of the Keck School of Medicine in July 2020, recruited to a newly established position to be the principal advisor to the Dean and to serve as a liaison, working collaboratively with chairs, senior leaders and administrators on behalf of the Dean to foster a collaborative culture among all academic entities to achieve mission-specific goals and objectives. The Executive Vice Dean was envisioned to play an important leadership and management role in all aspects of the medical school and in all areas of operation–clinical enterprise, leadership/development of staff and faculty, community engagement, and, importantly, the climate and culture of the school.

Prior to this, Thorndyke served for a decade as Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs at the 3-school health sciences campus of the University of Massachusetts Medical School. She led the Office of Faculty Affairs, and was integrally involved in all matters related to faculty, including academic affairs (recruitment, onboarding, appointment, promotion & tenure processes); campus governance and faculty committees; department and faculty reviews; faculty and leadership development; professionalism and misconduct issues; and diversity, gender and equity, including salary equity. She transformed the office such that it became the chief resource for faculty, chairs, and leaders on campus, nationally recognized among AAMC affiliated schools for innovative and impactful programs, policies and personnel—and a valuable resource for consultation and mentoring.

Thorndyke has created programs to foster faculty development, academic advancement, and leadership development, with a focus on advancement of women and faculty underrepresented in medicine. Thorndyke’s efforts enabled UMass to be one of only five medical schools nationally to receive a $250,000 grant for innovative work in career flexibility for academic faculty from the American Council on Education and the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. UMMS and partnering institutions convened a national conference led by Dr. Thorndyke to accelerate the dissemination of successful strategies for faculty career flexibility. In academic affairs, Thorndyke led the revision of all major campus policy and governance documents, helped establish a regional campus at UMMS-Baystate with over 700 new faculty, and revised the Academic Personnel Policy to provide pathways for promotion and tenure that would recognize faculty contributing in all the mission areas.

Dr. Thorndyke has extensive experience in educational planning, program implementation, and accreditation standards. Early in her academic career, she was appointed Assistant Dean of Continuing Medical Education at the Penn State College of Medicine, responsible for post­ graduate educational programming for physicians, nurses, and allied health personnel. Under her leadership, the department provided over 220 physician education programs annually for over 22,000 registrants. She established the Consortium of Academic Continuing Medical Education (CACME), a multi school CME collaboration, which was the only collaboration of its kind in the United States. CACME was awarded a prestigious six-year accreditation with commendation from the ACCME. Thorndyke was promoted to Associate Dean for Professional Development, with expanded responsibilities for faculty professional development to recruit, sustain and retain faculty talent. In this role, she created the Penn State Jr. Faculty Development Program, which became a nationally recognized model for faculty development and mentoring, implemented in five academic medical schools across the country.

Thorndyke was elected Chair of the AAMC Group on Faculty Affairs (2012-13) and has received multiple awards. Scholarly interests include faculty and leadership development, mentoring, faculty engagement, resilience and vitality. She has published and presented nationally and internationally on these topics and is a highly sought-after speaker.


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