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Regents launch search, name search advisory committee for next UT Medical Branch president

The members of a committee who will advise The University of Texas System Board of Regents in its search for the next president of UT Medical Branch were announced today by Chairman Kevin P. Eltife.

The UT Medical Branch Search Advisory Committee will offer recommendations on possible successors to David Callender, M.D., who stepped down in August to become president and CEO of the Memorial Hermann Health System. Ben Raimer, M.D., UTMB’s senior vice president for the Office of Health Policy and Legislative Affairs, has been serving as interim president since then.

Over the course of the next several months, the search advisory committee will consider potential candidates and make recommendations to the board, which will make the final decision. Committee members were selected in accordance with Board of Regents’ Rules and Regulations, which include a provision for representation by various constituencies internal and external to the institution.

“UTMB has been one of Texas’ most important health assets since its inception 128 years ago as the nation’s first public medical school and hospital under unified leadership, and over the years it has ascended to become a leading national academic health science center,” Eltife said. “We will select a president committed to building upon UTMB’s longstanding momentum in education, research and health care, and we are grateful to the members of the search advisory committee who will give of their time to help us do that.”

Representation on the Presidential Search Advisory Committee includes:

  • Committee Co-Chairs (John Zerwas, M.D., UT System executive vice chancellor for health affairs, and Kirk Calhoun, M.D., president of UT Health Science Center at Tyler)
  • Board of Regents (Vice Chairman Janiece Longoria, Regent Jodie Lee Jiles, and Regent Christina Melton Crain)
  • UTMB dean, faculty, and staff (Charles Mouton, M.D., executive vice president and provost and dean, School of Medicine; Blake Rasmussen, Ph.D., interim associate dean for research, School of Health Professions; Dana Wild, Ph.D., associate professor, Physical Therapy Department, School of Health Professions; George N. Carayannopoulos, M.D., assistant professor, director, Heart Rhythm Center; and Tilly Clark, assistant director, Special Use Facilities, Office of the President)
  • UTMB student and alumnus (Tyler Vaughn, student, School of Health Professions, and Amanda Hancock, R.N., president, School of Nursing Alumni Association)
  • External and community members (Edgar L. Cortes, M.D., UTMB alumnus, pediatrician, The Children’s Clinic, Corpus Christi; John W. Kelso, president, J.W. Kelso Company, Inc., president, The Sealy & Smith Foundation; Ross R. Moody, CEO and board chairman, National Western Life Group, Inc., board chairman, American National Insurance Company, trustee, Moody Foundation; and Janet D. Puckett, M.D., UTMB alumna, anesthesiologist, Tejas Anesthesia, San Antonio)

The UT System will announce a website soon to provide information regarding the search, including a regularly updated proposed timeline of search activities, and provide an opportunity for members of the public to privately submit candidate nominations. 

About The University of Texas System
For more than 130 years, The University of Texas System has been committed to improving the lives of Texans and people all over the world through education, research and health care. With 14 institutions, an enrollment of nearly 240,000 students and an operating budget of $21.1 billion (FY 2020), the UT System is one of the largest public university systems in the United States. UT institutions produce more than 60,000 graduates annually and award more than one-third of the state’s undergraduate degrees and more than half of its health professional degrees. Collectively, UT-owned and affiliated hospitals and clinics accounted for more than 8.2 million outpatient visits and 1.6 million hospital days last year. Across UT institutions, research and development expenditures total $2.9 billion – the highest in Texas and second highest in the nation among public higher education systems – and the UT System is regularly ranked among the top 10 most innovative universities in the world. The UT System also is one of the largest employers in Texas, with more than 21,000 faculty – including Nobel laureates and members of the National Academies – and more than 83,000 health care professionals, researchers and support staff.

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