Earlier this week, Aaron Friedman, M.D., vice president for the health sciences and dean of the Medical School, announced he would step down at the end of the calendar year, concluding his current, three-year appointment.
Past University of Minnesota president Robert Bruininks, Ph.D., appointed Friedman to lead the Academic Health Center and the Medical School beginning in January 2011, in a move designed to secure strong, stable leadership through a review of the Academic Health Center’s organizational structure.
“After three years as vice president of health sciences and dean of the Medical School, I felt the time was right for me to step down,” Friedman said. “The numerous AHC reviews are behind us. The Medical School strategic planning process is underway. All of our schools are actively moving forward to position themselves well for the future. This is a great time to welcome a new leader aboard to take the AHC into this next phase.”
Prior to his appointment as vice president and dean, Friedman was head of the Department of Pediatrics and pediatrician-in-chief at University of Minnesota Amplatz Children’s Hospital. He is a pediatric nephrologist and has been awarded the Henry L. Barnett Award from the American Academy of Pediatrics for his contributions to children with kidney disease and to the pediatric nephrology community. His combination of academic leadership and clinical experience made him an ideal candidate to lead the AHC.
“Dr. Friedman has been a strong leader through a time of transition and a strong voice for the health sciences,” said University President Eric Kaler, Ph.D. “He has been a true partner to me in moving the health sciences forward. His integrity, ability to collaborate, and talent have been essential as we have pursued a new relationship with Fairview, worked to ensure our health professional graduates are successful in the changing healthcare landscape, and continued to grow our research portfolio in the biomedical and health sciences. I thank him for his service to this University.
According to President Kaler, Friedman will continue to lead the Medical School and health sciences for remainder of the calendar year. He will continue to serve as a member of the senior leadership team and an important leader in our efforts to move the University forward.
“I have been honored to be a part of an organization that is leading the way in groundbreaking research, and top quality clinical care,” said Friedman. “I am also proud of our role in educating the next generation of health professionals for Minnesota.”
The University will immediately launch a national search for a new vice president and dean. Consistent with a model advanced in the recent AHC external review, the University plans to keep these positions combined, with a direct report to President Kaler.