After seven and a half years as dean of the University’s Medical School and 22 years as a faculty member, Allen Lichter announced his resignation Thursday morning.
Lichter will leave the University to take the position of executive vice president and chief executive officer of the American Society of Clinical Oncologists, a professional organization for oncologists based in Alexandria, Virginia.
Lichter plans to begin in late October. Lichter’s tenure as dean will end July 31, although he will remain a member of the school’s oncology faculty until Sept. 30.
Executive Associate Dean of the Medical School James Woolliscroft has been appointed interim dean pending approval by the University’s Board of Regents.
University Provost Teresa Sullivan and Executive Vice President for Medical Affairs Robert Kelch expect to assemble a search committee to find Lichter’s replacement by the beginning of the academic year.
Lichter is not a new face in the ASCO. He briefly served as president and also chaired the organization’s Foundation Board from 1999 to 2002.
Lichter, who garnered international acclaim for his research and preserving treatment techniques for breast cancer, said the position allows him to work with his original research interests.
“It takes me back to my roots in oncology, while offering the prospect of fresh opportunities and issues to tackle,” Lichter said in a press release.
As dean, Lichter earned $402,022, making him the third highest-paid University employee as of this past January.
As interim dean, Woolliscroft said he will continue to build on the programs started during Lichter’s tenure, including expanding the “lean thinking” programs aimed at improving efficiency in clinical practice.
“He is a visionary, consensus-building leader who has really done a superb job.” Woolliscroft said.
Woolliscroft, who has a background in medical education, said he will also enhance the new curriculum format introduced during Lichter’s time as dean.
The curriculum is focused towards more small group work clinical experiences that show the impact of a health problem on a family over time.
The new program was developed by thinking about clinical skills graduates will need in the long-term scope.
“We compiled what a physician will need to practice in 2030, and reverse engineered from there,” Woolliscroft said.
In the short-term, the school faces funding and revenue restraints caused by the flattening of the National Institutes of Health budget, he said.