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SU names Laura Schweitzer vice provost for academic affairs and health liaison
SU names Laura Schweitzer vice provost for academic affairs and health liaisonOctober 12, 2005Patrick Farrellpmfarrel@syr.edu
Syracuse University has named Laura Schweitzer to the new position of vice provost for academic affairs and health liaison, effective Oct. 1. At the same time, Schweitzer has assumed the role of vice dean of the College of Medicine, vice president for academic affairs and provost-designate at SUNY Upstate Medical University.
As a top administrator at Upstate, Schweitzer will be well positioned to coordinate health-related programs between the two institutions. At Upstate, Schweitzer will have broad responsibility in the areas of faculty affairs and faculty development, including recruitment and retention of faculty, mentoring and career development, career enhancement for women and minority faculty and recruitment and evaluation of department chairs.
Before coming to Syracuse, Schweitzer was interim dean of the School of Medicine and associate vice president for health affairs at the University of Louisville. When she was named interim dean in 2003, she became the first female Ph.D. in the United States to hold such a position. At Upstate, she will hold the highest rank of any woman in the history of the medical school that graduated Elizabeth Blackwell, the first woman to receive an M.D. degree in the United States, in 1848.
A national leader in the field of faculty development, Schweitzer serves as program director and head of the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) Group on Faculty Affairs and teaches in the AAMC program on Executive Leadership in Academic Medicine and in the organization’s forums on Women in Medicine and Minority Faculty Development. She is a regular member and site visitor for the Liaison Committee on Medical Education, and isa sought-after speaker and consultant on faculty governance issues.
“Dr. Schweitzer is a leading authority in healthcare faculty development,” says Vice Chancellor and Provost Deborah A. Freund. “As vice provost for academic affairs and health liaison, she will help SU and SUNY Upstate better coordinate and leverage their relative strengths in healthcare education, enhancing programs at both institutions.”
Schweitzer has had many accomplishments in her roles at the University of Louisville. Her leadership was cited as an institutional strength in the school’s recent successful Liaison Committee on Medical Education accreditation. As dean, she created a new urology department and named four chairs of key departments. Before becoming dean, she participated in efforts that resulted in the Cardiovascular Innovation Institute, a partnership between medicine, engineering and Jewish Hospital Healthcare Services with the support of the Kentucky Office of the New Economy. Schweitzer has served as associate dean for student affairs and freshman curriculum coordinator, as well as dean of the School of Allied Health Sciences at the University of Louisville.
A long-time advocate for diversity, Schweitzer was instrumental in renaming the School of Medicine’s Office of Special Programs and focusing its mission as the Office of Minority and Rural Affairs. An African-American associate dean has been named to head the office. She has promoted women and minorities to leadership positions throughout her career, including successful recruitment of several African-Americans to fill endowed chair positions. During her tenure, the number of minority faculty increased by 40 percent.
“My work at the University of Louisville has been very rewarding and I look forward to new challenges at SUNY Upstate, including the creation of partnerships with Syracuse University,” Schweitzer says.
Schweitzer earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of Miami and a doctorate in psychology from Washington University in St. Louis. She completed a post-doctoral fellowship in neuroscience and served on the research faculty at Duke University before moving to Louisville. As a faculty member she directed an NIH-funded research program in neuroanatomy, publishing numerous peer-reviewed articles and invited submissions.