Bruininks names interim health sciences VP

Dr. Aaron Friedman, the chair of the University’s pediatrics department, will replace Frank Cerra in January.

by Tara Bannow

University of Minnesota President Bob Bruininks announced Friday that he selected Aaron Friedman, the current chair of the University’s pediatrics department, to serve as interim vice president of health sciences and dean of the Medical School while a replacement is chosen.

Frank Cerra, who currently holds the dual position, is retiring at the end of December. Friedman will effectively fill the position on Jan. 3, 2011.

Bruininks announced his selection of Friedman in a letter to faculty. He will present the idea to the Board of Regents for approval at its October meeting. Between Oct. 15 and the end of December, Friedman will spend half of his time working with Cerra and others in the AHC training for the transition.

Friedman, a Ruben-Bentson Chair and pediatrics professor, came to the University in 2008. He also serves on the board of directors for the University of Minnesota Physicians and as a chair of the Medical School’s Education Council. He has also worked at Brown Medical School and the University of Wisconsin, Madison. 

“I chose Dr. Friedman because he is an entrepreneurial and visionary change agent skilled at building effective working relationships and inspiring a unified vision to accomplish shared goals,” Brunininks wrote in the letter.