U Medical School committee narrows search for new dean

K.C. Howard

After spending five months and thousands of dollars to find the perfect Medical School dean, the University has set its sights on five candidates.

A 13-member committee reviewed the resumes of more than 45 people vying to replace the current dean, Dr. Alfred Michael, who resigned last fall. The committee will recommend three of the five candidates to Frank Cerra, the Academic Health Center’s senior vice president.

“My personal sense is that we have some superb candidates,” said Roby Thompson, co-chairman of the dean search committee and Medical School administration vice provost. “Most of the candidates have risen to very prestigious positions throughout the United States, and they wouldn’t have gotten there without having pretty good credentials to begin with.”

Dr. Eli Adashi, the first of the five potential candidates to accept a two-day invitation to the University, will explain his vision for the University’s Medical School on Monday. Adashi currently serves as obstetrics and gynecology chairman at the University of Utah Health Sciences Center in Salt Lake City.

The public can attend a meeting with Adashi from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m. in 2-650 Moos Tower on Monday.

Other potential candidates will be announced after they accept the University’s invitation.

Thompson said the committee is still reviewing incoming resumes but hopes to have selected the three recommendations by mid-May.

“We’re hoping the new dean will be at least named, if not in the office sitting in the chair, by the first of July,” Thompson said.

All five potential candidates are from out of state, Thompson said.

International recruiting agency Korn/Ferry conducted the nationwide search to replace Michael.

Terry Bock, AHC chief of staff, said recruiting agencies typically receive one-third of the position’s first-year salary, which is approximately $100,000 in the dean’s case.

Committee members said they think the firm found impressive applicants.

“We felt the University was at a point in time where we could go out and we could be a good suitor to one of the best leaders in the world,” said Stephen Ekker, a committee member and professor in the genetics, cell biology and development department.