Friedman, Academic Health Center vice president, to step down

Dr. Aaron Friedman was only set to occupy the position for two to three years.

Cody Nelson


Aaron Friedman will step down as vice president for health sciences and dean of the University of Minnesota’s Medical School at the end of 2013, University President Eric Kaler announced in an email to faculty and staff Friday afternoon.

Friedman has served  these roles since January 2011.

When Friedman was appointed by former University President Bob Bruininks, it was supposed to be a temporary job set to last for two or three years.

“[Friedman] has been a strong leader through a time of transition and a strong voice for the health sciences,” Kaler said in the email.

The University will begin a national search for Friedman’s replacement in the next two weeks, Kaler said.

Friedman is out of the country for the next week, according to Academic Health Center office communications and was unavailable for comment.

The AHC houses the University’s six health science colleges: the schools of dentistry, nursing, medicine, pharmacy, public health and veterinary medicine.

A 2011 internal review of the AHC found the position of vice president for health sciences and dean of the Medical School should be split. But in Friday’s email, Kaler said he would keep the two positions combined based on a separate external 2012 review.

Because of Friedman’s dual roles, he reports to himself and has direct access to the president, which the 2011 review found to be a possible conflict of interest.

The committee said Friedman’s role as AHC vice president gave him unequal access to the president compared to other deans.

The search committee will be co-chaired by Bobbi Daniels, CEO of University of Minnesota Physicians, and Leon Assael, dean of the School of Dentistry.

The Medical School will postpone its search for a new head of medicine because of Friedman’s stepping down, Kaler said.

Wes Miller will continue as the interim head of medicine through 2014.