The University is losing another top executive with an announcement today

Paul Wong
Tanya (Mary Ellen Mahoney) sizes up the flirtatious Pepper.<br><br>Courtesy of Joan Marcus

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 year”s 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. He previously served as the

University of Washington”s dean of public health and as associate director

of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy and the Office

of Management and Budget during the Carter administration. From 1994-97,

he chaired the Presidential/Congressional Commission on Risk Assessment

and Risk Management.

“I am proud to have been President Bollinger”s first recruit,” Omenn said

in the statement. “It has been a pleasure to be working so closely with so

many able colleagues on the faculty and staff of the Health System,

throughout the University and in the larger community. I have learned a

lot and given maximal effort. … I am delighted to continue working to

achieve the major objectives we share during the transitional leadership

under Joe White as interim president. Then I will welcome the opportunity

to really delve into scientific and policy problems of great interest to

me.”

Omenn is also a professor of internal medicine, human genetics and public

health.

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