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Office of Academic Affiliations


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Charter: VA National Academic Affiliations Council

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  1. OFFICIAL DESIGNATION: VA National Academic Affiliations Council.
  2. AUTHORITY: The Council is established by direction of the Secretary and operates under the provisions of the Federal Advisory Committee Act, as amended, 5 U.S.C. App.
  3. OBJECTIVES AND SCOPE OF ACTIVITY: The Council will advise the Secretary of Veterans Affairs on matters affecting partnerships between VA and its academic affiliates.
  4. DESCRIPTION OF DUTIES: VA and the academic community share the same foundational values: a commitment to providing high quality care; recognition of the inter-dependence of patient care, education and research; and a strong public service ethic. The Council is charged with developing and recommending ways to enhance this historic partnership.

The Council's activities include the following:

  • Developing and recommending a statement of values and principles to guide VA's relationships with the academic community.
  • Developing and recommending strategies for effective communication about academic affiliations between VA and relevant stakeholder organizations;
  • Developing and recommending mechanisms to expand mutually advantageous affiliations between VA and the academic community;
  • Developing and recommending guidelines for joint strategic, tactical and operational planning by VA and its academic affiliates in areas relevant to the partnership;
  • Identifying and recommending opportunities to better align the missions and operations of VA and its academic affiliates, including mechanisms to facilitate strategic alliances and/or joint ventures between VA and Academic Medical Centers;
  • Identifying and recommending educational initiatives and funding opportunities to promote clinical workforce diversity and access to care, especially in rural and other medically underserved communities;
  • Identifying and recommending educational initiatives and funding opportunities to enhance the recruitment and retention of VA clinicians, especially in rural and other medically underserved communities;
  • Identifying policy, regulatory and administrative impediments to effective affiliation management;
  • Developing and recommending performance standards and measures for VA and its affiliates to optimize academic productivity and affiliation management; and
  • Recommending administrative and support services needed from VA and its affiliates to advance VA's academic mission.
  1. OFFICIAL TO WHOM THE COUNCIL REPORTS: The Council will report to the Secretary through the Under Secretary for Health.
  2. OFFICE RESPONSIBLE FOR PROVIDING THE NECESSARY SUPPORT TO THE COUNCIL: The Office of Academic Affiliations, Veterans Health Administration, Department of Veterans Affairs, will be responsible for providing support to the Council.
  3. ESTIMATED ANNUAL OPERATING COSTS IN DOLLARS AND STAFF-YEARS: Estimated annual operating costs for the Council are $200,000, which includes 0.5 FTEE staff years. Members will receive travel expenses and a per diem allowance in accordance with Federal Travel Regulations for any travel made in connection with their duties as members of the Council.
  4. DESIGNATED FEDERAL OFFICER: The Designated Federal Officer (DFO), a full time VA employee, will approve the schedule of Council meetings. The DFO or a designee will be present at all meetings, and each meeting will be conducted in accordance with an agenda approved by the DFO. The DFO is authorized to adjourn any meeting when he or she determines it is in the public interest to do so.
  5. ESTIMATED NUMBER AND FREQUENCY OF MEETINGS: The Council is expected to meet up to four times annually.
  6. DURATION: There is a continuing need for the Council to provide advice to the Secretary on the partnership between VA and its academic affiliates.
  8. MEMBERSHIP AND DESIGNATION: Members will be selected from among knowledgeable experts with special competence to evaluate and improve the partnership between VA and its academic affiliates. The Chief Academic Affiliations Officer and a Veterans Integrated Service Network Director will be ex-officio voting members of the Council. Other Council members shall be appointed by the Secretary and shall serve as objective advisors, and not as representatives of any organizations for whom they may otherwise be serving. A term of service for any member shall not exceed three years; however, the Secretary may reappoint any member for additional terms of service. The Council will be composed of approximately twelve (12) members. Several members may be Regular Government Employees (RGE), but the majority of the Council's membership will be Special Government Employees (SGE).
  9. SUBCOMMITTEES: With the approval of the Designated Federal Officer (DFO), the Council is authorized to establish subcommittees to perform specific projects or assignments as necessary and consistent with its mission. The Council chair shall notify the Secretary, through the DFO, of the establishment of any subcommittee, including its function, membership, and estimated duration. Subcommittees will report back to the Council.
  10. RECORDKEEPING: Records of the Council shall be handled in accordance with General Records Schedule 26 or other approved agency records disposition schedules. Those records shall be available for public inspection and copying, subject to the Freedom of Information Act, 5 U.S.C. § 552.

Eric K. Shinseki
Secretary of Veterans Affairs

October 5, 2011