The University is losing another top executive with an announcement today that Gil Omenn, the highest-paid employee on campus and first person to serve as vice president for medical affairs, is stepping down next summer to become a faculty member.

Omenn, whose salary of $556,000 in 2000 was the most of any public-sector employee in the state, will take a years leave “to delve more deeply into life sciences development and science and health policy issues,” he said, in a written statement released by the University Health System.

His departure follows that of President Lee Bollinger, who will end his four-year tenure later this month to become chief executive at Columbia University, and Provost Nancy Cantor, who is now chancellor of the University of Illinois campus in Urbana-Champaign.

Search committees are currently seeking permanent replacements for Bollinger and Cantor, and the University must now form another panel to search for Omenn’s successor.

“Gil has brought great leadership and direction to so many areas of medical education and research – most notably his commitment to the Life Sciences and creation of the Biological Sciences Scholars Program,” Medical School Dean Allen Lichter said in today’s statement.

“His strong support of philanthropy has helped us realize our goals in educational innovations recruit the best faculty, students and researchers and build new facilities.”

Omenn became the University’s first vice president for medical affairs, overseeing University Hospitals and the School of Medicine, as part of Bollinger’s new administration in 1997.

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