Vice President for Health Sciences records
- 1947 - 2010
Language of Materials
Collection is in English
The Academic Health Center was formed in 1970 as a response to a changing healthcare system with an emphasis on research and the development of innovative systems for delivering comprehensive healthcare to the state of Minnesota. The restructuring of health sciences at the University of Minnesota dissolved the College of Medical Sciences. The Medical School, School of Nursing, School of Public Health, and the University Hospitals joined the previously autonomous College of Pharmacy and School of Dentistry to create a centrally organized and administered Academic Health Center (AHC). The College of Veterinary Medicine, although closely aligned with the AHC, was not formally incorporated until 1985.
The Vice President for Health Sciences (VPHS) currently serves as Dean of the Medical School and leads the Academic Health Center. The Dean and Vice President also serves as a community leader, spokesperson for the health sciences, and primary leader of relationship with Fairview. The VPHS reports directly to the University President and Deans within the Academic Health Center. Hospital Directors report to the Vice President for Health Sciences for academic and budgetary issues. Dr. Lyle French, head of the Department of Neurosurgery, was first to hold the position. He was appointed acting Vice President for Health Sciences by the Regents in 1970 and Vice President for Health Sciences in 1971.
List of persons appointed to the role of Vice President for Health Sciences
Lyle French was born in Worthing, South Dakota, and the family moved to Mankato, Minnesota, where he attended high school. He went on to receive his undergraduate degree from Macalester College in Saint Paul and later attended the University of Minnesota for medical school and residency. World War II interrupted his training, and French was called into the armed services, joining the University of Minnesota’s Twenty-Sixth General Hospital unit when it was called in Fort Sill, Oklahoma. He spent the next three years overseas as a neurosurgeon in England, North Africa, Sicily, and Italy. When the war ended, French returned to the University to finish residency and joined the staff of the University Hospital in 1947. He also went on to receive a master’s degree and Ph.D. in neurology and pathology. He became the head of the division of neurosurgery in 1960 and guided the division to departmental status. In 1970 he was appointed to the new administrative position of Vice President of Health Sciences when the health sciences were restructured to form the Academic Health Center. French guided the University through substantial additions to its Health Sciences facilities and expanded the residency and fellowship training programs. French helped build the new curriculum with a focus on interaction between the health sciences and coordinated care. He contributed to the development of programs in family practice and nurse clinicians as well as ambulatory care units.
Dr. French served as President of the American Association of Neurological Surgeons and the American Academy of Neurological Surgery. He was the Honored Guest of the Congress of Neurological Surgeons. He received the Neurosurgeon Award of the Academy and the Distinguished Service Award of the Society of Neurological Surgeons
Neal Vanselow was born March 18, 1932 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He earned his bachelor’s degree in political science in 1954 and his medical degree from the University of Michigan in 1958. Vanselow completed his internship at Minneapolis General Hospital (now Hennepin County Medical Center) and returned to the University of Michigan to complete his residency and a fellowship in immunology and allergy. He completed a master’s degree in Internal Medicine in 1963 and then joined the Department of Internal Medicine at the University of Michigan Medical School as a faculty member and later chairman of Post Graduate Medicine. From 1974 to 1977, Dr. Vanselow served as dean of the College of Medicine at the University of Arizona in Tucson. He left the position to become Chancellor of the University of Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha. In 1982, Vanselow joined the University of Minnesota to serve as Vice President of Health Sciences at the Academic Health Center. He left the University in 1989 to become chancellor of Tulane University Medical Center in New Orleans. He went on to serve in leadership positions at the Association of Academic Health Centers, the Council of Graduate Medical Education, and the Association of Graduate Medical Colleges.
Cherie R. Perlmutter
Cherie Perlmutter received a bachelor’s degree from Pennsylvania State University and went on to graduate from the Harvard Institute for Educational Management. She served three years as an assistant to the director of administration at Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Bronx, New York before joining the University of Minnesota in 1973. During her career at the University of Minnesota, Perlmutter served for seven years as Assistant Vice President before being appointed Associate Vice President by the Board of Regents in 1984. Upon Neal Vanselow’s resignation, Perlmutter was appointed Interim Vice President for Health Sciences in 1989. She remained in the position until Dr. Robert Anderson’s appointment in 1992.
Perlmutter went on to receive the Lawrence C. and Delores M. Weaver Medal for Distinguished Contributions for Pharmacy Education, Research, or Outreach in 1999
Robert E. Anderson
Dr. Robert E. "Andy" Anderson was born in Los Angeles, California in 1931. He attended the College of Wooster in Ohio and received his medical degree at Case-Western Reserve School of Medicine. Anderson completed residency training in Pathology at the University of California at Los Angeles Medical center and went on to join faculty in 1962. In 1964, Anderson left for the University of New Mexico, where he became a founding faculty member of the UNM School of Medicine. He served as the Chair of the Department of Pathology from 1968-1991. In 1992, he joined the University of Minnesota, where he was appointed Vice President of the Health Sciences Center and also served as a professor in the Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology.
Richard Elzay graduated from the Indiana University School of Dentistry in 1960, where he also received a Master’s degree in Oral Pathology in 1962. He joined the faculty at the University of Virginia in 1962, becoming professor and chair of oral pathology in 1969. Elzay moved to the University of Minnesota in 1986 as Dean of the School of Dentistry. After the resignation of Robert Anderson as Vice President for Health Sciences in 1993, Elzay was named interim vice president for the Health Sciences until the appointment of Dr. William Brody in 1994. Elzay remains in the position of Dean of the School of Dentistry until his retirement in 1996.
William R. Brody
William R. Brody was born in Stockton, California. He completed a bachelor’s degree and master’s degree at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). He then attended Stanford University, earning a medical degree with a Ph.D in Electrical Engineering. After completing post-graduate training radiology and cardiovascular surgery at Stanford, the National Institutes of Health, and the University of California, San Francisco, Brody returned to Stanford as professor of radiology and electrical engineering in 1977. Between 1984 and 1987, Brody served as chief executive officer of Resonex Inc. He then joined the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, where he became Provost, Director of Radiology, and Professor of Biomedical Engineering and Electrical and Computer engineering.
Dr. Brody joined the University of Minnesota in 1994, where he was named provost for the Health Sciences. The position of senior vice president of the Health Sciences was retitled in an experiment with a three-provost system: one provost for agriculture, one provost for the health sciences, and one provost for the rest of the University. Brody left the University of Minnesota in 1996 to become President of Johns Hopkins University. Brody initiated many significant changes at the Academic Health Center, and many were underway at the time of his departure. This includes the proposed merger between the University Hospital and Fairview Health System plans to fundamentally change the health center’s management, organization and curriculum.
Frank B. Cerra
Frank Cerra was born in Oneota, New York in 1943 and grew up in Worcester, New York. He completed his bachelor’s degree in 1965 at the Binghamton University – State University of New York (SUNY). He graduated from Northwestern University Medical School in 1969 and completed his residency at SUNY Buffalo in 1975. He joined faculty at SUNY Buffalo in 1975 as a professor of surgery and then professor of biophysics in 1980. He also held attending staff and leadership positions at Buffalo General Hospital, Buffalo Veterans Administrations Hospital, and Erie County Medical Center. Cerra was recruited to the University of Minnesota in 1981 to initiate the surgical Intensive Care Unit service and Surgical Nutrition Service. He also served as chair of the Department of Surgery from 1993 to 1995 and Dean of the Medical School in 1995. An accomplished researcher as well as administrator and clinician, he developed a bioartificial liver device with Dr. Wei-Shou Hu.
Cerra became Provost (the position was later renamed Senior Vice President) of Health Sciences in 1996 and again became Dean of the Medical School when the positions of Senior Vice President and Dean were merged in 2008 upon the resignation of Dean Deborah Powell. During Cerra’s leadership in the Academic Health Center, the Biomedical Discovery District was created, grouping together research facilities on cancer, imaging, Alzheimer’s and stem cell technology. The University of Minnesota Physicians, Center for Biomedical Genomics, and the Stem Cell Institutes were also established during Cerra’s term as VPHS.
In 2005, Cerra was named chairman of the board of directors for the Association of Academic Health Centers, an organization with more than 100 academic health centers across the country as member. He retired from the University in 2011.
Aaron Friedman completed his undergraduate education at Cornell University and medical school at the State University of New York in Syracuse. He completed residency training and fellowship at the University of Wisconsin and later joined faculty becoming department head in pediatrics. Friedman later spent four years as the head of the pediatrics department at Brown University and also served as medical director of the Hasbro Children’s Hospital. He was recruited by the University of Minnesota in 2008 as head of the Department of Pediatrics and Pediatrician-in-Chief at Amplatz Children’s hospital.
After Frank Cerra’s retirement in 2011, University of Minnesota president Robert Bruininks appointed Friedman to lead the Academic Health Center and the Medical School. The move designed to secure strong, stable leadership through a review of the Academic Health Center’s organizational structure. Friedman concluded his three-year appointment in 2013.
Dr. Friedman was awarded the Henry L. Barnett Award from the American Academy of Pediatrics in 2010 for his contributions to children with kidney disease and to the pediatric nephrology community.
Brooks Jackson received his bachelor’s degree at Kenyon College. He later attended Dartmouth College, earning an MBA and MD. Jackson completed residency and fellowship training in pathology at the University of Minnesota. In 2001, Jackson joined the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine as faculty, leading the department of pathology. In 2014, Jackson joined the University of Minnesota as Vice President for Health Science. He resigned from his position in 2017 to become University of Iowa Vice President for Medical Affairs and Dean of the Roy J. and Lucille A. Carver College of Medicine.
Jakub Tolar is originally from the Czech Republic and received his medical education at the Charles University Medical School in Prague. In 1992, he came to the University of Minnesota, where he completed a PhD in Molecular, Cellular & Developmental Biology and Genetics. Upon the departure of Brooks Jackson in 2017, Tolar was appointed Medical School Dean and Interim Vice President for Health Sciences, signaling a restructure of the Academic Health Center.
Dr. Tolar is a Distinguished McKnight Professor in the Department of Pediatrics, Blood and Marrow Transplantation; Director of the Stem Cell Institute; and the Edmund Wallace Tulloch and Anna Marie Tulloch Chair in Stem Cell Biology, Genetics & Genomics. He is a member of the graduate faculty of the Microbiology, Immunology and Cancer Biology (MICaB) Program, the Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology and Genetics (MCDBG) Program, and the Stem Cell Biology (SCB) Program.
- 1931 The College of Medical Sciences (CMS) is established, bringing together the Schools of Medicine and Nursing and the University Hospitals (at the time, Public Health was a division within the Medical School. In 1944 it became the School of Public Health and was formally included in the CMS). Richard E. Scammon served as the first dean of CMS.
- 1953 Dr. Scammon resigns as dean of the College of Medical Sciences. Harold S. Diehl, who had been director of the students’ health service, is appointed dean. In 1936, Dean Diehl also takes on the deanship of the Medical School.
- 1959 Surgeon General’s Consultant Group on Medical Education draws attention to a growing shortage of physicians in the U.S. The consultant group also recommends that the federal government provide emergency matching funds for the construction of new medical buildings, and especially for buildings to be used for teaching.
- 1963 Congress passes the Health Professions Education Assistance Act, providing matching federal funds for the building of new, and the expansion of existing, medical schools.
- 1964 The Hill Family Foundation of St. Paul sponsors a regional study of the projected need for dentists and physicians in the upper Midwest: Health Manpower Study Commission, directed by Dr. Osler W. Peterson, Harvard Professor of Public Health and assisted by Dr. Ivan Fahs, sociologist at Bethel College, St. Paul. In response to the need for more health practitioners in the community, President Meredith O. Wilson creates the Committee for the Study of the Physical Facilities for the Health Sciences, appointing Elmer Learn as its chair. The Committee is charged with studying the space needs of all the units of the health sciences in order to help facilitate growth and expanded student enrollments.
- 1967 The Committee for the Study of the Physical Facilities for the Health Sciences makes a proposal to the state legislature requesting $54 million dollars to build three new buildings, which would double the existing amount of space currently available to the health sciences.
- 1968 The Health Sciences Design Coordinating Committee publishes the Health Sciences Planning Report that contains the plans for Units A-K, new buildings on the East Bank to house the health science programs and encourage growth.
- 1970 An external review board recommends restructuring the administration of the health sciences at the University. The College of Medical Sciences is dissolved and the University’s previously autonomous College of Pharmacy and School of Dentistry are reorganized, together with the Schools of Nursing, Medicine, and Public Health, and the University Hospitals, into a centrally organized and administered academic health center (AHC) referred to as the Health Sciences. The university’s College of Veterinary Medicine was also closely aligned with the AHC at this time, although it wasn’t formally incorporated into the AHC until 1985.
- 1971 Dr. Lyle French, head of the Department of Neurosurgery, is appointed acting Vice President for Health Sciences by the Regents in 1970 and becomes Vice President in 1971. Dr. French is the first to hold this new administrative position, which reports directly to the university president.
- 1977 Cherie R. Perlmutter is named assistant vice president for Health Sciences.
- 1982 Lyle French resigns as vice president of Health Sciences to return to teaching and research. Dr. Neal Vanselow from the University of Nebraska Medical Center is appointed vice president.
- 1984 Cherie R. Perlmutter is named associate vice president for Health Sciences.
- 1985 The College of Veterinary Medicine is officially incorporated into the Academic Health Center. The Center for Bioethics is founded.
- 1989 Dr. Vanselow resigns to become chancellor of the Tulane Health Sciences Center. Cherie R. Perlmutter is appointed acting vice president for the Health Sciences until Dr. Anderson’s appointment in 1992.
- 1991 The University of Minnesota Cancer Center is founded. In 1998, it is officially designated a National Cancer Institute Comprehensive Cancer Center, receiving $5.8 million grant over five years. In 2008, it receives a $65 million gift from the Minnesota Masonic Charities, the largest gift received by the University to date.
- 1992 Dr. Robert E. Anderson from the University of New Mexico is appointed vice president of the Health Sciences.
- 1993 Dr. Robert Anderson resigns during the investigation of Dr. John Najarian, then head of the Department of Surgery, over the production and sale of antilymphocyte globulin. Dr. Richard Elzay, dean of the Dental School, is named interim vice president for the Health Sciences. Dr. Shelley Chou, former head of the Department of Neurosurgery, is named deputy vice president of Medical Affairs while also serving as interim dean of the Medical School. Winston “Win” Wallin, former CEO of Medtronic, is brought to the University as a special advisor to President Nils Hasselmo to oversee the Academic Health Center.
- 1994 Dr. William Brody is named provost for the Health Sciences. The position of senior vice president of the Health Sciences is retitled in an experiment with a three-provost system: one provost for agriculture, one provost for the health sciences, and one provost for the rest of the University.
- 1996 Dr. William Brody resigns from his position, and Dr. Frank Cerra is appointed provost.[In 1997, his title was changed to vice president after it was determined that the University should only have one provost.] Cerra was previously the dean of the Medical School (since 1995) and a professor of surgery. Cerra came to University as faculty member in 1981.
- 2009 Because of the reorganization of the health sciences, the deanship of the medical school is absorbed into the senior vice presidency of the Academic Health Center. Dean Deborah Powell resigns, and Frank Cerra assumes both roles.
- 2011 Dr. Aaron Friedman is named dean of the Medical School and vice president for the Health Sciences after Frank Cerra retires. Dr. Friedman arrived at the University of Minnesota in 2008 after being Chair of the Department of Pediatrics the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
- 2014 Dr. Jay Brooks Jackson is named Medical School Dean and Vice President for Health Sciences after Aaron Friedman steps down. Jackson previously served as Director of Pathology at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.
- 2017 Jakub Tolar, Director of the Stem Cell Institute, is named Medical School Dean and Interim Vice President for Health Sciences and after Brooks Jackson accepts a position at the University of Iowa.
101 Linear Feet
Records in this collection document the administrative role and activities of the Vice President for Health Sciences and the Academic Health Center at the University of Minnesota. Materials include correspondence, memos, reports, awards, meeting minutes and background materials, budgets and legislative requests, and publications.
This collection is organized into the following series:
- Administrative Files
- Boards, Committees, Councils, and Taskforces
- Budgets and Legislative Requests
- Correspondence and Subject Files
- Facilities and Planning
- Personnel Files
- Publications and Communications
- Reports and Reviews
- Schools, Colleges, and Programs
- College administrators. Subject Source: Unspecified ingested source
- Education, higher Subject Source: Library of Congress Subject Headings
- Vice President for Health Sciences records
- Elizabeth Kammerer
- February 2018
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- Describing Archives: A Content Standard
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