Dean Goldman's Legacy and Timeline of Accomplishments

When Dr. Goldman joined the faculty, Columbia welcomed an already deeply admired figure in academic medicine. Before joining CUIMC, he chaired the Department of Medicine at the University of California San Francisco following positions at Harvard University and Brigham and Women’s Hospital.

It is no surprise that his 14-year tenure at CUIMC proved to be equally storied. Dr. Goldman's leadership resulted in myriad accomplishments that strengthened the medical center—including strong growth in NIH-funded research, historic expansion of our clinical enterprise, the elimination of need-based loans for medical students, and a campus transformed by new buildings and public space.

Dr. Goldman’s time at the helm of Columbia University Irving Medical Center will long be remembered, for it has coincided not only with major strides in the institution’s development, but also with lasting advances in the patient care, teaching, and scientific research for which CUIMC is renowned.

President Lee Bollinger

Growth and Expansion 

The Goldman Era saw tremendous institutional growth for CUIMC, including the creation of four new academic departments in neuroscience, systems biology, emergency medicine, and medical humanities & ethics. He also oversaw the introduction of a modern Faculty Practice Organization, as well as significant expansion into Westchester and other parts of Manhattan. In 14 years, Dr. Goldman catalyzed the construction or renovation of more than 1.8 million square feet of space for students, clinicians, researchers, and staff.

Diversity and Inclusion

Under Dean Goldman's leadership, VP&S committed $55 million to the hiring of women and underrepresented minorities. He also supported the establishment of the Virginia Kneeland Frantz Society, which serves as an important resource for women faculty, and the Kenneth A. Forde Diversity Alliance, which serves an analogous role for our diverse faculty and trainees. 

Today, 50% of VP&S students are women, and the percentage of underrepresented minority students is consistently at the top among Columbia’s peer medical schools. VP&S also exceeds national medical schools in percentages of women and diverse faculty. Among VP&S faculty, 47% are women, compared with the national average of 41%. Twenty-one percent of the faculty at VP&S identify as racial or ethnic minorities, with 10% (compared with 8% nationally) from races or ethnic backgrounds which are traditionally underrepresented in academia. 

The Dean’s Office continues to strive for more inclusivity at the medical center. When the Dean's Advisory Groups for Women and for Diverse Faculty put forward recommendations for ways to promote opportunities for career success at VP&S for all faculty, Dean Goldman accepted all recommendations and pledged to fund their implementation.

Research and Philanthropy

Research funding grew to spectacular heights under his leadership. From 2009 through 2018, the Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons was the only leading medical school whose change in research funding outpaced the NIH budget every year. For the past decade, VP&S has had the third largest absolute increase in NIH grants dollars and the largest percentage increase in the top 10 medical schools. The college’s absolute growth currently sits at first in the nation based on updated 2019 awards, and 2019’s $57 million increase in NIH research grants was the single largest one-year increase for any medical school ever.

Dr. Goldman also enjoyed an enduring partnership with numerous generous donors—stewarding more than $2.5 billion in donations during his tenure. The extraordinary generosity of Roy and Diana Vagelos made VP&S the first among its peer medical schools to eliminate need-based loans, meet students’ calculated financial needs entirely with scholarships, and thereby make it easier for them to pursue careers of their choice, unencumbered by medical school debt. An equally historic bequest from Herbert and Florence Irving to both Columbia and NewYork-Presbyterian (NYP) enabled CUIMC to make major investments in cancer research and clinical care, including a future new clinical building for the Herbert Irving Comprehensive Cancer Center.

A Flourishing Community

The success of the Goldman Era wasn’t limited to VP&S, but shared between a flourishing, integrated health sciences campus. The successes of the Mailman School of Public Health, the College of Dental Medicine, and the School of Nursing paralleled the success at VP&S with curricular innovations and growing academic programs.

In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, Dr. Goldman’s leadership has been invaluable. In his final chapter, he has ensured that CUIMC not only meets the greatest needs of the day, but that our intuition remains poised for an even brighter future. “I make this move with confidence that the Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons and the Columbia University Irving Medical Center—both of which were newly named based on truly transformative philanthropy during the past two years—are thriving and ready for their next acts,” he said.

Timeline of Accomplishments Under Dean Goldman

Dean Goldman's timeline of accomplishments