Leadership

The medical school administration includes the dean, senior associate deans, associate deans, assistant deans, department chairs, and program chiefs.

Dean

Robert Sawyer, MD
Robert G. Sawyer, MD
Interim Dean
Dean Responsibilities

The dean is president and chief executive officer of the medical school. He has direct charge of the business of the medical school subject to the general control and direction of the board of directors. The dean reports to the chair of the medical school board of directors. He is responsible for all aspects of the medical school and has ultimate responsibility and oversight of educational, clinical, research, administrative, financial, and operational components of the institution. The dean is responsible for fostering excellence and collaboration in education, healthcare delivery, research, and community service, and ensuring implementation of curricula and programs that meet or exceed all accreditation standards and regulatory requirements.

Dean Direct Reports

The dean appoints and is supported by senior associate deans, associate deans, assistant deans, department chairs, and program chiefs. The Chief of Staff, senior associate deans, select associate deans, and all department chairs report directly to the dean.

Chief of Staff

Nicole Albee, PhD
Nicole M. Allbee, PhD
Chief of Staff
Chief of Staff Responsibilities

The chief of staff serves as the liaison and administrative support to the Board of Directors, responsible for effective governance process; advises the dean on internal and external matters important to the organization; and ensures effective management of the day-to-day affairs of the Office of the Dean.

Chief of Staff Direct Reports

The chief of staff is assisted by:

  • Executive Assistants in the Office of the Dean

Chief Development Officer

DeWayne Cook
DeWayne Cook
Chief Development Officer
Chief Development Officer Responsibilities

The chief development officer is responsible for planning, organizing, and implementing all of the medical school's fundraising programs.

Senior Associate Deans

Mike Busha, MD, MBA
Michael Busha, MD, MBA
Senior Associate Dean,
Academic Affairs and Chief
Academic Officer
Senior Associate Dean, Academic Affairs and Chief Academic Officer Responsibilities

The senior associate dean for Academic Affairs serves as the Chief Academic Officer with oversight and responsibility for all educational and degree programs including graduate medical education, undergraduate medical education, continuing medical education, and the associated support services for all learners.

Senior Associate Dean, Academic Affairs and Chief Academic Officer Direct Reports

The senior associate dean for Academic Affairs and Chief Academic Officer is assisted by:

  • Associate Dean for Graduate Medical Education
  • Associate Dean for Undergraduate Medical Education
  • Associate Dean for Student Affairs
  • Director for Educational Affairs
  • Assistant Dean for Global and Continuing Education
  • Assistant Dean for Simulation
  • Co-Directors for the Biomedical Sciences Graduate Program
  • Program Chief for Medical Engineering
Michele Serbenski, MA
Michele Serbenski, MA
Senior Associate Dean,
Institutional Advancement and
Chief Strategy Officer
Senior Associate Dean, Institutional Advancement and Chief Strategy Officer Responsibilities

The senior associate dean for Institutional Advancement and Chief Strategy Officer is responsible for accreditation, strategic planning, fund development, community relations, business development, continuous improvement, institutional effectiveness, and communications.

Senior Associate Dean, Institutional Advancement and Chief Strategy Officer Direct Reports

The senior associate dean for Institutional Advancement and Chief Strategy Officer is assisted by:

  • Chief Development Officer
  • Director of Communications
 
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Vacant
Senior Associate Dean,
Research
Senior Associate Dean, Research Responsibilities

The senior associate dean for Research is responsible for planning and overseeing the research mission of the medical school. This includes facilitating, fostering, coordinating, and developing research activities that enhance and grow laboratory, translational, clinical, and community-based research within the medical school and with affiliates based on the skills and interests of the faculty, local and national opportunities, and community needs.

He collaborates with the associate dean for Faculty Affairs to identify research and program needs and to develop solutions that support researchers by providing technical support, training, and faculty development for scholarship. The office of Research acts as a resource for identifying funding opportunities and advocacy of faculty and proposals, providing necessary expertise and funding of pilot projects to encourage innovation and creativity, and provides grants and contracts administration in collaboration with accounting and finance.

Senior Associate Dean, Research Direct Report

The senior associate dean for Research is assisted by:

  • Associate Dean for Health Services Research
  • Associate Dean for Foundational Research
  • Assistant Dean for Research Compliance
 

Associate Deans

Cheryl Dickson
Cheryl Dickson, MD, MPH
Associate Dean, Health Equity
and Chief Diversity Officer
Associate Dean, Health Equity and Chief Diversity Officer Responsibilities

The associate dean for Health Equity and Chief Diversity Officer facilitates community engagement with the medical school, and is responsible for developing and supporting community-based partnerships, coalitions, and outreach programs. This includes pipeline programs for grade school, middle school, and high school students to expand recruitment of underrepresented minorities and disadvantaged students into the health professions. The position is responsible for leadership of the institution's diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts.

Associate Dean, Health Equity and Chief Diversity Officer Direct Reports

The associate dean for Health Equity and Chief Diversity Officer is assisted by:

  • Manager, Health Equity and Pathway Programs
  • Manager, DEI and Culture
  • Program Specialist
Karen Horneffer-Ginter, PhD
Karen Horneffer-Ginter, PhD
Associate Dean, Culture
and Chief Wellness Officer
Associate Dean, Culture and Chief Wellness Officer Responsibilities

The associate dean for Culture and Chief Wellness Officer oversees the development and implementation of programs that improve culture and wellness while championing a healthy environment for all members of the medical school community.

Associate Dean, Culture and Chief Wellness Officer Direct Reports

Associate Dean, Culture and Chief Wellness Officer is assisted by:

  • Program Specialist, Culture and Belonging
 
Philip J. Kroth, MD
Philip J. Kroth, MD
Associate Dean,
Health Services Research
Associate Dean, Health Services Research Responsibilities

The associate dean for Health Services Research is responsible for clinical research, community-based participatory research, research partnerships, and data science services.

Associate Dean, Health Services Research Direct Reports

The associate dean for Health Services Research is assisted by:

  • Assistant Dean for Clinical Research
David Overton
David T. Overton, MD, MBA
Associate Dean,
Graduate Medical Education
Associate Dean, Graduate Medical Education Responsibilities

The associate dean for Graduate Medical Education serves as the Designated Institutional Official for graduate medical education, and is responsible in collaboration with the Graduate Medical Education Committee for oversight of all graduate medical education programs at the medical school ensuring compliance with ACGME Institutional Requirements, Common Program Requirements, and specialty/subspecialty specific program requirements. He collaborates with all program directors and department chairs.

He collaborates with the senior associate dean for Academic Affairs to support medical student education and integration with other educational programs of the medical school.

He collaborates with members of the department of Medical Education and associate dean for Faculty Affairs to identify curriculum and program needs and to develop solutions that support instructors by providing technical support, training for all aspects of medical education as well as medical education scholarship. He is an advocate for education and education research within the medical school and with our affiliates.

Associate Dean, Graduate Medical Education Direct Reports

The associate dean for Graduate Medical Education is assisted by:

  • Director of Resident Affairs
 
Gustavo Patino
Gustavo Patino, MD, PhD
Associate Dean,
Undergraduate Medical Education
Associate Dean, Undergraduate Medical Education Responsibilities

The associate dean for Undergraduate Medical Education is responsible for the development, implementation and ongoing renewal of our MD degree program including program operations, student performance, program evaluation, faculty recruitment, clinical site recruitment, LCME accreditation, and collaboration with faculty across the curriculum.

Associate Dean, Undergraduate Medical Education Direct Reports

The associate dean for Undergraduate Medical Education is assisted by:

  • Assistant Dean for Foundations
  • Assistant Dean for Clinical Applications
  • Assistant Dean for Clinical Competency and Interprofessional Education
Lauren Piper
Lauren Piper, DO
Associate Dean, Clinical Affairs
Associate Dean for Clinical Affairs Responsibilities

The associate dean for Clinical Affairs is responsible for the operational and financial performance of the medical school's clinical inpatient and ambulatory services.

Associate Dean for Clinical Affairs Direct Reports

Associate Dean for Clinical Affairs is assisted by:

  • Interim Director, Clinical Services
  • Interim Lab Manager
  • HIM Manager
  • Quality Improvement and Allied Health Manager/Interim Manager, Infection Control
 
Paul J. Schenarts, MD, FACS, MAMSE
Paul J. Schenarts, MD, FACS
Associate Dean,
Faculty Affairs
Associate Dean, Faculty Affairs Responsibilities

The associate dean for Faculty Affairs is responsible for developing and implementing faculty development programs, faculty recognition and awards, and all personnel actions related to faculty including implementing the process for faculty appointments and promotions. She collaborates with members of the department of Medical Education, senior associate dean for Academic Affairs, and associate dean for Graduate Medical Education to identify curriculum and program needs and to develop solutions that support instructors by providing technical support, training, and faculty development for medical education scholarship. She collaborates with the associate dean for Research to identify research and program needs and to develop solutions that support researchers by providing technical support, training, and faculty development for scholarship.

Associate Dean, Faculty Affairs Direct Reports

Associate Dean, Faculty Affairs is assisted by:

  • Coordinator for Faculty Affairs
Maria L Sheakley
Maria L. Sheakley, PhD
Associate Dean, Student Affairs
Associate Dean, Student Affairs Responsibilities

The associate dean for Student Affairs is responsible for overseeing all non curriculum processes for medical student and graduate student success including financial aid, scholarships, career development, career advising, academic advising, assisting students with improving their learning skills and finding tutoring, health services, behavioral health services, student recognition, student awards, welcoming and graduation events, and student interest groups.

For medical students, the associate dean is also responsible for the White Coat Ceremony, Medical Student Council, student organizations including Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Society and Gold Humanism Honor Society, supporting the medical student learning communities in their mentoring responsibilities, identifying and supporting individual mentors for medical students, and supporting medical students in residency application (ERAS) and the NRMP Match.

Associate Dean, Student Affairs Direct Reports

The associate dean for Student Affairs is assisted by:

  • Assistant Dean for Admissions
  • Assistant Dean for Career Development
  • Director for Student Life and Wellbeing
  • Director of Financial Aid
  • Director for Academic Advising
  • Alumni Relations Officer
 
Lori Straube
Lori A. Straube, MBA
Associate Dean,
Administration and Finance
and Chief Operating Officer
Associate Dean, Administration and Finance and Chief Operating Officer Responsibilities

The associate dean for Administration and Finance and Chief Operating Officer is responsible for many of the administrative support and financial operations of the medical school, and is authorized as the institutional signatory official. She serves as the Chief Compliance Officer for the institution. The associate dean and chief operating officer works in collaboration with medical school committees that oversee specific functions including Information Technology, the Library, and Facilities.

Associate Dean, Administration and Finance and Chief Operating Officer Direct Reports

The Associate Dean for Administration and Finance is assisted by:

  • Senior Director for Accounting and Controller
  • Senior Director for Facilities
  • Senior Director for Human Resources
  • Senior Director for Information Technology
  • Contract and Risk Manager
  • Administration Specialist
Greg Vanden Heuvel
Gregory Vanden Heuvel, PhD
Associate Dean, Foundational Research
Associate Dean, Foundational Research Responsibilities

The associate dean for Foundational Research is responsible for laboratory research, laboratory animal services, the Innovation Center, technology transfer, and research-related graduate programs.

Associate Dean, Foundational Research Direct Reports

The associate dean for Research is assisted by:

  • Assistant Dean for the Innovation Center
  • Assistant Dean for Laboratory Animal Resources
 

Assistant Deans

Tim Bauler, PhD
Timothy J. Bauler, PhD
Assistant Dean, Admissions
Assistant Dean, Admissions Responsibilities

The assistant dean for Admissions is responsible for admissions policies and procedures, development of partnerships with undergraduate institutions, and serving as a thought leader for holistic admissions processes to increase diversity, among other responsibilities.

Nancy Bjorklund, EdD, MPA
Nancy Bjorklund, EdD, MPA
Assistant Dean,
Global and Continuing Education
Assistant Dean for Global and Continuing Education Responsibilities

The assistant dean for Global and Continuing Education is responsible for the medical school's global education and the Office of Continuing Education.

Assistant Dean for Global and Continuing Education Direct Reports

The assistant dean for Global and Continuing Education is assisted by:

  • Program Specialist
  • Data and Development Specialist
  • Program Coordinator
  • Conference and Events Planning Coordinator
 
Sandra A. Cochrane, MBA
Sandra A. Cochrane, MBA
Assistant Dean, Innovation Center
Assistant Dean, Innovation Center Responsibilities

The assistant dean for the Innovation Center is responsible for facilitating entrepreneurial research and commercialization at the Innovation Center, and supporting involvement of residents, fellows, and students.

Assistant Dean, Innovation Center Direct Reports

The assistant dean for the Innovation Center is assisted by:

  • Manager, Business Services
Kris Gibson
Kristine Gibson, MD
Assistant Dean, Clinical Competency
and Interprofessional Education
Assistant Dean, Clinical Competency and Interprofessional Education Responsibilities

The assistant dean for Clinical Competency and Interprofessional Education is responsible for oversight of student clinical competency development across the MD curriculum as well as the longitudinal implementation of interprofessional education events.

 
John Hoyle
John D. Hoyle, Jr, MD
Assistant Dean, Simulation
Assistant Dean, Simulation Responsibilities

The assistant dean for Simulation is responsible for directing the Simulation Center as a resource for the medical school and a regional resource for southwest Michigan. The assistant dean collaborates with course/clerkship directors, program directors, department chairs, and faculty to develop and implement simulation technologies into the undergraduate and graduate medical education curricula.

Christopher Keator
Christopher Keator, PhD
Assistant Dean,
Laboratory Animal Resources
Assistant Dean for Laboratory Animal Resources

The assistant dean for Laboratory Animal Resources is responsible for ensuring that the medical school's Animal Care and Use program is in compliance with local, state, and federal regulations and develops plans for future growth of the program.

Assistant Dean for Laboratory Animal Resources Direct Reports

The assistant dean for Laboratory Animal Resources is assisted by:

  • Animal Resources Manager
 
Kathryn Redinger, MD
Kathryn E. Redinger, MD
Assistant Dean, Clinical Applications
Assistant Dean, Clinical Applications Responsibilities

The assistant dean for Clinical Applications is responsible for oversight of the clerkships and electives during the clinical applications phase of the MD curriculum.

David Riddle, PhD
David Riddle, PhD
Assistant Dean,
Foundations of Medicine
Assistant Dean, Foundations of Medicine

The assistant dean for Foundations of Medicine is responsible for the development and implementation of the Foundations of Medicine medical student curriculum.

 
Biren Shah
Biren Shah, MD
Assistant Dean, Career Development
Assistant Dean, Career Development Responsibilities

The assistant dean for Career Development serves medical students and provides guidance and direction for residency and career planning, oversee programs to improve interviewing skills, and monitors trends for significant changes that may affect career planning for students.

Amy Shipley, PhD
Amy Shipley, PhD
Assistant Dean, Research Compliance
Assistant Dean, Research Compliance Responsibilities

The assistant dean for Research Compliance is responsible for establishing and maintaining systems and processes for responsible conduct of research including laboratory and biological safety, Human Research Protection Program, Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee, and Sponsored Programs Administration.

Assistant Dean, Research Compliance Direct Reports

The assistant dean for Research Compliance is assisted by:

  • Director, Human Research Protection Program
  • Director, Sponsored Programs Administration
 
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Vacant
Assistant Dean, Clinical Research
Assistant Dean for Clinical Research Responsibilities

The assistant dean for Clinical Research is responsible for facilitating clinical research led by faculty, and supporting involvement of residents, fellows, and students.

Assistant Dean for Clinical Research Direct Reports

The assistant dean for Clinical Research is assisted by:

  • Director, Clinical Research Operations