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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


UA’s medical school up north gets a new interim dean

The UA College of Medicine–Phoenix announced earlier this month that Dr. Kenneth Ramos will head up the school while the search for a permanent dean gets underway.

Ramos takes the reins of UA’s northernmost medical outpost as interim dean on Monday after last month’s departure of former dean Dr. Stuart Flynn.

Ramos is no stranger to working with the Phoenix medical school. He is the currently associate vice president for Precision Health Sciences, a position he will continue to hold as the interim dean. He is also a professor of medicine and director for the Center for Applied Genetics and Genomic Medicine.

Two of those positions are with UA Health Sciences, under which both the Tucson and Phoenix colleges of medicine fall, so Ramos has collaborated and partnered with faculty on the Phoenix campus for multiple activities, according to Ramos.

Some of these activities included working with researchers on precision medicine projects on the Phoenix campus, according to Judy Bernas, associate vice president of university relations from the College of Medicine – Phoenix.

While Ramos plans to keep his current positions with the college in addition to his new post, he understands that there could be some adjusting.

“During the time of transition, I think we will try to leverage all of those activities,” Ramos said. “Hopefully without interruption and without compromise, and then we’ll reassess as we move forward.”

Ramos lectures at intersession courses for starting third-year students and has lectured for graduate medical program residents. Ramos anticipates he will have to travel back to Tucson for his job sometimes, but said it will likely not be a “major shift in operations.”

Ramos’ experience in UA leadership is why he was chosen to be interim dean, according to Dr. Joe “Skip” Garcia, senior vice president of UA Health Sciences.

In addition to his other positions, Ramos is director of the College of Medicine–Tucson doctor of medicine and doctor of philosophy programs, the co-chair of the College of Medicine – Phoenix Department of Internal Medicine Chair Search Committee and the co-chair of the College of Pharmacy Dean Search Committee.

Garcia appointed Ramos as the interim dean after consulting with the leadership team of the College of Medicine – Phoenix, according to Michael Jonen, senior associate vice president for UA Health Sciences.

The department is in the process of putting together a search committee to head a national search to find a permanent dean for the College of Medicine – Phoenix, which will be launched sometime this month, Jonen wrote in an email.

The search for a dean, which includes bringing candidates in for interviews, could take at least six to nine months, according to Bernas.

Ramos will serve as the interim dean in the meantime, but he doesn’t expect to make any changes during his time holding the position.

“The intent is to support the faculty, the staff and the students of the College of Medicine in Phoenix to enable the system to achieve its goals and aspirations,” Ramos said. “My job as a dean is to be a facilitator and an enabler. Hopefully that’s what I will do.”

This role as a facilitator may include being a stabilizing factor for the college during its period of change, according to Bernas.

The Phoenix medical campus is still in the final stages of becoming a fully accredited medical school. The college was granted preliminary accreditation, a mid-tier level of accreditation, in February and is hoping to achieve full accreditation by mid-year next year.

“Everyone on the Phoenix campus is really excited for him to be up here and work with all of us, and for him to lead the college,” Bernas said.

Ramos said he is most looking forward to meeting the Phoenix campus medical students because students are an inspiration for those in academia.

“[I am] elated to have a chance to bring closeness between both Tucson and Phoenix since I will know both campuses well,” Ramos said. “That understanding will hopefully serve me well. I’m excited and energized by the opportunity.”

Follow Ava Garcia on Twitter.

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