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Peter F. Buckley Recommended to be Next UTHSC Chancellor

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KNOXVILLE — Peter F. Buckley, dean of the School of Medicine at Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) and executive vice president of medical affairs for the VCU Health System, will be recommended by University of Tennessee System President Randy Boyd to the UT Board of Trustees as the next chancellor of the UT Health Science Center (UTHSC).

The UT Board of Trustees will consider the recommendation at a special meeting on Dec. 6 at 5 p.m. EST.

Peter Buckley
Peter Buckley

“One of the most important responsibilities the UT president has is to hire great leaders,” Boyd said. “I have tremendous confidence that Dr. Buckley will build on our successes, while also providing innovative ideas to move UTHSC into the future.”

Pending an affirmative vote of the board, Buckley’s effective start date will be Feb. 7, 2022. He will replace Steve Schwab, who announced his retirement in June. Schwab agreed to serve as chancellor until a successor was named and on board. With the support of an executive search firm, a 14-member committee began its search process in late July. The committee narrowed the field to two candidates who came to the UTHSC campus in Memphis for open forums earlier in November.

Most recently, Buckley has been the dean of the VCU School of Medicine since 2017 and also previously served for seven years as School of Medicine dean at the Medical College of Georgia in Augusta. A psychiatrist and international expert in schizophrenia, Buckley is also a professor of psychiatry. From January through September 2020, he was also appointed as interim CEO, VCU Health System and interim senior vice president, VCU Health Sciences and led the health system-health sciences response to the COVID-19 pandemic. In service to academic medicine, Buckley chairs the Administrative Board of the Council of Deans of the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) and is also on the AAMC’s Board of Directors.

Buckley is also a Distinguished Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association (APA), served on the association’s workgroup on the Role of Psychiatry in Healthcare Reform and as an expert on the APA’s workgroup on Treatment Guidelines for Schizophrenia, published in 2020. Additionally, he is a Fellow of the Royal College of Psychiatrists and a member of the Data Safety & Monitoring Board of the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH).

To access Buckley’s full curriculum vitae and to download a photo, please visit

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Category: Headlines