College of Medicine narrows field to six in search for dean


Published: Thursday, January 18, 2007 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, January 17, 2007 at 11:51 p.m.

Six candidates for the position of dean of the College of Medicine each will be invited to spend two days on the University of Florida campus for a round of detailed interviews with faculty, administrators and staff, it was decided Wednesday.

Facts

FYI: What comes next?

  • Six candidates will be invited for two-day campus visits.
  • They'll meet with faculty, administrators and staff here at UF and on the Jacksonville campus.
  • Search committee will meet to draw up a "short list" Feb. 12.
  • Three unranked candidates will be recommended to Vice President Douglas Barrett.

The members of the search committee seeking a replacement for outgoing Dean C. Craig Tisher said they had an abundance of good candidates. The group spent 2 hours discussing the merits of 10 candidates who had 90-minute interviews over the past few days.

Two internal candidates were among the six selected for a closer look. The six candidates and an alternate are:

  • Dr. Terence Flotte is chairman of the department of pediatrics. Working with the administration of Shands HealthCare, he recently oversaw the move of Shands Children's Hospital into part of Shands at AGH.

  • Dr. James Crawford came to UF in 1999 and is chair of the department of pathology. In his interview with the 20 members of the search committee, Crawford said he sees the dean's position as one for representation, not self-glorification.

    "We can be at the forefront in setting a national agenda, the first among equals," Crawford said.

  • Dr. Richard Olds had the clear support of the committee in the first straw vote and will be invited back for a campus visit. Olds is chairman of the department of medicine at the Medical College of Wisconsin.

    He asked the committee members whether they were "interested in a change agent, or just in making incremental changes" in seeking a new dean. To become a top 10 medical school among public universities, he warned, "You must be ready for change."

  • Also returning is Dr. Marschall Runge, vice dean of clinical affairs and chairman of the department of medicine at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine, Chapel Hill.

    Runge was described by committee member William Cance, chairman of the department of surgery, as "a wonderful candidate who has guided UNC during a difficult transition."

  • Dr. Bruce Kone heads the department of internal medicine at the University of Texas Medical School at Houston. Dr. Richard Johnson said Kone is "a great basic researcher, teacher and clinician who is probably being groomed for bigger things at UT."

  • Dr. Dennis Choi just recently accepted a position as professor of pharmacology and experimental therapeutics at Boston University, but he is still in the field of dean candidates.

    For 10 years, he headed the neurology department at Washington University Medical School, where he was active in research. In 2001, he joined Merck Research Labs as vice president for neuroscience.

    Dr. Edward Block, who chairs UF's department of medicine, said that in looking at what Choi had accomplished in the previous 25 years, "it is clear that all his tickets are punched."

  • Dr. Joanna Cain, director of the Center for Women's Health at Oregon Health & Science University, has been named as an active alternate candidate, according to committee chairwoman Kathleen Long, dean of UF's College of Nursing.

    If one of the other candidates declines the committee's invitation, Cain will be asked to make a second campus visit.

    "We're very interested in her qualifications and hope she will still be interested in us," Long said.

    Those campus visits are scheduled to begin Monday and Tuesday. Each candidate will be presented at an open forum for faculty and staff at the Health Science Center on the first day of their visit. They will make a visit to UF's health science campus in Jacksonville on the second day.

    The search committee will meet Feb. 12 to select a "short list" of three unranked candidates. Those names will go to Dr. Douglas Barrett, vice president for health affairs, for his final consideration.

    The new dean for the College of Medicine, once chosen, is expected to assume office this summer.

    Diane Chun can be reached at 374-5041 or chund@gvillesun.com

  • Reader comments posted to this article may be published in our print edition. All rights reserved. This copyrighted material may not be re-published without permission. Links are encouraged.

    Comments are currently unavailable on this article

    ▲ Return to Top