LITTLE ROCK (Aug. 9, 2017) – Two finalists to become the next chancellor at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) have both withdrawn from consideration, and the search is moving forward to identify candidates to lead the state’s only academic health sciences center, said University of Arkansas System President Donald R. Bobbitt.
“From the outset of our search, I said we will work as long as it takes to find the best person to provide outstanding leadership and vision for UAMS,” Bobbitt said. “After a deliberative process, we identified two leading candidates, both native Arkansans, that we believed had the potential to fill that role. I spoke with both candidates following their recent visits to Arkansas and their return to their respective universities. After careful reflection, both have chosen to withdraw their names from consideration.”
Both candidates made recent visits to Arkansas, meeting with various state, community and UAMS campus leaders. The search is to replace former chancellor Dan W. Rahn, M.D., who led UAMS since 2009 and retired July 31. Bobbitt named Stephanie F. Gardner, Pharm.D., Ed.D., interim chancellor last month.
“As with any senior leadership search, our task comes down to finding an individual whose experience, vision and passion align with the needs of the institution and state,” Bobbitt said. “While I’m disappointed in the short term that we have not yet found the right person to lead UAMS, I’m not discouraged. I have no doubt that staying the course with a deliberative, participatory process will lead us to the right person to serve as our next chancellor. Our challenges at UAMS are no different than other academic health sciences centers across the country, and our advantages of statewide mission and impact set us apart in the minds of candidates who relish such an opportunity.”
Bobbitt said the campus search committee, along with the help of Isaacson Miller, a contracted national search firm, are in a good position to continue finding interested candidates from across the country and have already begun the process. Chaired by Jeannette Shorey, M.D., associate provost for faculty and professor of Internal Medicine, the campus search committee includes representatives from campus faculty, administration and staff, supporters from across the state and a Trustee of the Board of Trustees of the University of Arkansas.
“I’m very pleased with the work of our committee and search consultants and the overall work that’s been done to this point to find the next chancellor at UAMS,” Shorey said. “We already have a solid pool of applicants identified and the recruitment processes are constantly in motion to identify others who may have more recently become interested in the position. Ultimately, the committee is committed to taking as much time as necessary to help President Bobbitt find the best person to serve as the next leader of UAMS.”
A website created by UAMS to keep faculty, staff, students and the public informed about the search can be found here.