Choosing a Chancellor

March 31, 2004

Duke's next chancellor for health affairs should be a physician with clinical experience, proven scholarly accomplishments, and national recognition in a medical sciences discipline. He or she should also have strategic vision, strong communications skills, and a demonstrated ability to lead a complex organization, according to new guidelines issued by the search committee.

President Nannerl O. Keohane appointed the fourteen-member committee to identify a short list of candidates for the position. The chancellor also serves as the president and chief executive officer of the Duke University Health System (DUHS).

The committee cites the need for "maturity, honesty, consistency, and integrity" and a "personality that fosters collegial, yet data-driven and business-like interactions." The next chancellor will need to provide "sufficient financial stability to the School of Medicine to assure success in seizing the remarkable opportunities within the life sciences while enhancing Duke's signature for leadership in health care and medical education," according to the committee.

Noting that "major strides" have been made in meeting the school's strategic goals, the committee cites several areas where important needs remain, including nanoscience, performance-based incentives within clinical services units, a medical-quality and safety program, integrated clinical information systems, and strengthened market presence.

The search committee is chaired by Roy. J. Bostock '62, a founding member of the DUHS board of directors, who retired from the university's board of trustees in July after serving for twelve years. He is chairman emeritus of BCom3 Group Inc., an advertising and marketing communications holding company. Charles B. Hammond M.D. '61, E.C. Hamblen Professor and former chairman of the department of obstetrics and gynecology, is vice chair of the committee, which also includes Duke trustees, faculty and staff members, a student representative, and a representative from the Durham community.

Ralph Snyderman, the current chancellor for health affairs, announced last year that he would step down in June 2004. Snyderman helped guide a number of important initiatives at Duke over the last fifteen years, including establishing DUHS, the Duke Clinical Research Institute, and the Institute for Genome Sciences and Policy.

The search committee was expected to complete its work by the end of February. The person selected will report to the university president and will be responsible for all operations and performance at Duke Medical Center, which includes the schools of medicine and nursing, and of DUHS. The chancellor will also oversee strategic planning, the allocation of resources, and the management of academic, research, and clinical programs.