MEMPHIS — Hershel P. Wall, MD, chancellor of the University of Tennessee Health Science Center (UTHSC), announced plans today to step down from his position on September 30. Dr. Wall has been a member of the Health Science Center team since he began medical school on the Memphis campus more than 52 years ago.
Steve J. Schwab, MD, was named UTHSC interim chancellor by UT Interim President Jan Simek. Dr. Schwab’s appointment becomes effective on October 1. The search for the permanent Health Science Center chancellor will begin immediately.
“Pat Wall is an incredibly dedicated member of the university family,” said President Simek. “We are grateful for the many contributions he has made to the Memphis community and to our UT family in his roles as physician, teacher and administrator.”
During his long and distinguished tenure, Dr. Wall held a series of positions with increasing levels of responsibility in the UT College of Medicine, including serving as interim dean for the Memphis campus. He accepted the appointment as interim chancellor in April 2007, with the interim designation being removed in January 2008.
Dr. Wall will continue to teach in the College of Medicine and serve UTHSC as a Special Assistant to the President in support of Alumni Affairs and Development. His responsibilities will include fundraising, capital development and alumni relations.
Dr. Schwab joined UTHSC as the first-ever executive dean for the UT College of Medicine in July 2006 to lead the center’s largest college. In this role he has assumed all administrative responsibility for the Health Science Center’s College of Medicine campus locations in Memphis, Knoxville and Chattanooga. In 2007, he absorbed direct responsibility for the College of Medicine Memphis campus due to a vacancy in the Memphis dean’s office.
“I am honored to accept this appointment and I look forward to continued strong collaboration with the leadership, faculty and staff of this vital health care institution,” said Dr. Schwab.
“Dr. Schwab has exhibited a serious commitment to excellence, a sound ability to lead and an affinity for building symbiotic strategic partnerships. Those traits are pivotal to success in the chancellor’s office,” said President Simek. “His vision of moving the College of Medicine into the top quartile of academic medical institutions is being translated into reality by a team of excited and accomplished professionals.”
The search for a permanent UTHSC chancellor was suspended in January 2008 and the interim designation was removed from Chancellor Wall’s title. A new committee will undertake the national search and make recommendations to President Simek on possible candidates. The search committee will include leaders from partner organizations in the Memphis health care community; UTHSC faculty and student representatives from among its six colleges; non-exempt staff, and team members who represent the other two major UTHSC campuses in Knoxville and Chattanooga.
“A long-term permanent chancellor is critical to the future of the UT Health Science Center and the pursuit of our goal to increase its research capacity, outreach in the community and commitment to providing the best possible education for the future health care workers in our state,” President Simek said.
In addition to serving as interim chancellor, Dr. Schwab will continue in his role as chair of the UT Medical Group Board of Directors, a position he has held for three years. UT Medical Group (UTMG) is the private group practice affiliated with the UT Health Science Center College of Medicine faculty. A not-for-profit, non-tax-supported group practice, UTMG is dedicated to quality patient care, medical education, and medical research. With more than 350 clinicians, UTMG is the largest physician group in the region.
Prior to joining UTHSC, Dr. Schwab served as interim dean and chief clinical officer of the Medical College of Georgia where he was also a Regents Professor and chairman of the Department of Medicine. Before that, from 1985 to 2003, he was at Duke University where he rose to become professor and vice chairman of medicine. He has held board positions in both the private and public sectors. Dr. Schwab is internationally recognized in the field of renal disease with more than 150 refereed publications and five books to his credit.
As the flagship statewide academic health system, the mission of the University of Tennessee Health Science Center is to bring the benefits of the health sciences to the achievement and maintenance of human health, with a focus on the citizens of Tennessee and the region, by pursuing an integrated program of education, research, clinical care, and public service.
Offering a broad range of postgraduate training opportunities, the main campus is located in Memphis and includes six colleges: Allied Health Sciences, Dentistry, Graduate Health Sciences, Medicine, Nursing and Pharmacy. UTHSC has additional colleges of Medicine and Pharmacy plus an Allied Health Sciences unit in Knoxville, as well as a College of Medicine campus in Chattanooga.