William & Mary and Eastern Virginia Medical School (EVMS) discussed ways in which the two institutions can work more closely together. Discussions formally got under way on July 25, 2012 when former William & Mary President Taylor Reveley, established a Due Diligence Committee, chaired by Provost Michael R. Halleran, to investigate the possibility of EVMS becoming a part of William & Mary. The panel examined the merger issue, guided by a report from Jordan Cohen, former president and CEO of the Association of American Medical Colleges.
The university announced in early 2013 that it would ease into a new relationship with EVMS, entering into a pilot partnership emphasizing research collaborations. Jennifer Mellor, professor of economics and director of the Schroeder Center for Health Policy at William & Mary, and C. Donald Combs, vice president and dean of the EVMS School of Health Professions, were selected as “point persons” from their respective schools to coordinate the initiative. The two schools began a series of workshops at which faculty discussed areas that might be ripe for collaboration.
The pilot relationship was launched in August by the awarding of ten W&M/EVMS collaborative grants involving one or more researchers from each school. The program entered its second round, seeking to continue the development of new research and educational opportunities through collaboration.