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R. Sanders Williams, MD, Appointed To New Role As Duke Medicine Senior Vice Chancellor For Academic Affairs; Search To Commence For New Dean For Duke University School Of Medicine


Duke Health News 919-660-1306

DURHAM, N.C. -- In a move to position Duke Medicine for
continued growth and academic success, R. Sanders Williams, MD,
the current dean for the
Duke University School of Medicine
, has
been appointed to the newly created position of senior vice
chancellor for academic affairs.

Williams will continue to serve as dean of the Duke
University School of Medicine until a new dean has been
identified through a search process that is now underway.
Williams will also retain his title as dean of the
Duke/National University of Singapore Graduate Medical School
(GMS) through the completion of the 2007-08 academic year. Both
the new dean of the Duke School of Medicine and the new dean of
GMS Singapore will report directly to Williams.

In his new role, Williams will have primary responsibility
for the academic success across the entities that comprise Duke
Medicine, enhancing collaboration between the Duke University
School of Medicine and GMS Singapore. He will also lead the
implementation of the strategic plans for the schools of
medicine, working closely with the medical school deans as a
team, and lead the Duke University School of Medicine's
philanthropic and fundraising efforts. Williams will report
directly to Victor Dzau, MD, chancellor for health affairs at
Duke and president and chief executive officer of the Duke
University Health System.

"The scale and complexity of the academic, research and
clinical care missions of the school have quickly grown to a
point that they now demand a greater breadth and intensity of
high level leadership," Dzau said. "This new leadership
framework will facilitate greater strategic effectiveness for
the School of Medicine and will distribute leadership
responsibilities, allowing a higher degree of focus by the
deans and the senior vice chancellor."

Duke Provost Peter Lange said Williams "has been a superb
strategic leader for the School of Medicine, building
interdisciplinary and international initiatives, making strong
faculty leadership hires and developing and strengthening
medicine's ties across the campus. His new role will let him
concentrate his efforts in ways that will make the most of
these skills. I look forward to continuing to work with him and
the new dean to knit relationships across the university."

Over the past six years under Williams' leadership, the Duke
School of Medicine has experienced significant growth,
including an annual budget that now exceeds $800 million, a
near doubling of research funding from the National Institutes
of Health to almost $350 million, the construction of five new
research buildings, the creation of the GMS Singapore, the
development of several new national and international research
institutes and an increase of several hundred new faculty.

Over the same period of time, the regulatory and compliance
requirements and responsibilities for schools of medicine in
the United States have become increasingly more complex and
time consuming, Dzau said.

"I am excited about the opportunities presented by this new
role and believe strongly that the addition of a new senior
leader in the role of dean of the Duke University School of
Medicine will greatly increase our strategic effectiveness,"
Williams said. "Our faculty and students are among the best in
the world, as their accomplishments over the past few years
demonstrate, but they face increasing challenges from the
external environment. A primary responsibility of senior
academic leaders is to ensure that the internal environment is
one in which achievement by our people reaches the potential of
the talent and energy of each individual. This new structure is
designed to bring us closer to that ideal."

The position of dean for the Duke School of Medicine was
first created in 1999 when the need was recognized to split off
this responsibility from the chancellor for health affairs. The
significant growth and expansion within the school from that
point, particularly since 2001 under Williams' leadership, led
to internal discussions regarding the possible need to expand
the senior leadership team for the school in order to maximize
emerging opportunities, Dzau said.

"This move reflects our commitment to dynamically
structuring our leadership model for even greater growth and
success moving forward," Dzau said. "I look forward to the
continued leadership that Dr. Williams will provide to the
school in this new role."

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