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College of Medicine Dean Search

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Annenberg Dean and Senior Vice President, Medical Affairs
Drexel University, College of Medicine
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

The Search

Drexel University invites nominations and applications for the position of Annenberg Dean and Senior Vice President, Medical Affairs (Dean/SVP) of the Drexel University College of Medicine (DUCOM).

This is an exciting opportunity to make a transformative impact at an institution that excels and innovates in education, research, and the delivery of compassionate care in a culture that champions diversity, spirited inquiry, collaboration, and opportunity.
DUCOM boasts a thriving educational enterprise, high research activity, and a deep commitment to caring for Philadelphia’s most vulnerable patients. With more than 1,000 medical students, the College ranks 6th nationally in medical school enrollment and educates 1 in every 73 medical students in the nation. The College reported $40.0M in research expenditures last fiscal year and ranks in the top 100 medical schools in the nation for NIH funding. Two of DUCOM’s main clinical partners, Hahnemann University Hospital and St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children, lead the City of Philadelphia in providing affordable care in a complex, competitive health care landscape.

The College is at a pivotal moment: DUCOM’s agreement with the owners of Hahnemann University Hospital and St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children, American Academic Health System (AAHS)/Paladin Healthcare, is due to be renegotiated by 2022. At the same time, a DUCOM branch campus is currently under development as part of an exciting new affiliation with Tower Health. In the coming years, the College will face critical decisions regarding clinical partnerships, sources of revenue, plans for growth and expansion, and the development of strategic initiatives to uphold and enhance the excellence of its educational and research missions. The new Dean/SVP will work closely with the President and Provost of Drexel University to seize opportunities and to write the next chapter in the history of the College of Medicine.

DUCOM seeks an inspirational leader who will honor the institution’s legacy and craft a compelling vision for its future. The successful candidate will have an MD, MD/PhD, or equivalent degree along with significant management experience and a deep understanding of clinical delivery systems, research and scholarship, education, and community engagement. The Dean/SVP will be a champion for DUCOM, promoting the College’s mission and vision to patients, students, faculty, staff, intercollegiate collaborators, health system partners, and the greater Philadelphia community. The ideal candidate will demonstrate a keen understanding of the changing health care environment, including the complex pressures facing academic medical centers; the significance of clinical and community affiliations; the intricacies of operating a major educational, clinical, and research enterprise; and the centrality of interprofessional education, research, and patient care. The Dean/SVP will bring a successful track record of working in complex environments and a steadfast commitment to the institution’s culture of diversity and inclusion.

Drexel University has retained Isaacson, Miller, a national executive search firm, to assist in the recruitment of the Dean/SVP. All inquiries, nominations, and applications should be directed in confidence as noted at the end of this document.


In 1891, financier and philanthropist Anthony J. Drexel established Drexel Institute of Art, Science, and Industry as an institution of higher learning uniquely suited to the needs of a rapidly growing industrial society and of the young men and women seeking their place in it. In 1914, Drexel’s 18 departments were organized into four schools, and the University began conferring the bachelor of science degree. The university uniquely focuses on responding to the needs of students as demonstrated through its world-class cooperative education program. Students can choose from more than 1,600 employers in 32 states and 51 countries that participate consistently in the Drexel co-op program or conduct an independent search to secure up to three unique six-month co-ops during their undergraduate experience at Drexel. Students obtain positions with major corporations such as Amazon, Google, NBC Universal, Lockheed Martin, JP Morgan Chase, Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, Comcast Corporation, and Johnson & Johnson, to name a few.

Over the last decade, Drexel, once thought of as a regional university, has emerged as a player on the national scale with demonstrable expertise in engineering, business, and health sciences. With the addition of schools of medicine, nursing, public health, and other health professions (physician assistant, physical therapy, nutrition, behavioral health and health administration and sciences) in 2002, Drexel University entered the ranks of the top 100 research universities in the country. Student enrollment is up from 16,345 in 2002 to 24,190 in the fall of 2017. Drexel has invested in the campus infrastructure and in the process, revamped its University City neighborhood. It is a university on the rise and the medical school is an essential element to the overall success. For more background on the University, please see the Appendix.



Drexel University College of Medicine (DUCOM) represents the consolidation of two venerable medical schools with rich and intertwined histories: Hahnemann Medical College and Woman's Medical College of Pennsylvania. Established in 1848 and 1850, respectively, they were two of the earliest medical colleges in the United States. Hahnemann became a nationally known academic medical center and a leading provider of subspecialty care, particularly for cardiovascular disease. While, Woman's was the first medical school for women in the world; the school became co-educational in 1970 under the name Medical College of Pennsylvania, or MCP. As their proud successor, DUCOM upholds enduring values: commitment to educational opportunity, excellence in basic and clinical science and clinical preparation, dedicated mentorship, and the innovative spirit of revolutionary institutions.

DUCOM’s legacy schools were brought together by Allegheny Health, Education and Research Foundation, which acquired MCP and Hahnemann University, as well as their hospitals. When Tenet Healthcare Corporation acquired the hospitals in 1998, a nonprofit – MCP Hahnemann University – was created to take over the merged medical schools. In 2002, Drexel University, a historic institution in its own right, assumed management of this new academic entity, and the medical school was renamed the Drexel University College of Medicine.


Today, DUCOM is one of the largest medical schools in the country, with approximately 1,080 students enrolled. The College is incredibly visible and attracts a large number of applications each year—in 2017, 27% of all applicants to medical school applied to DUCOM. The match rate for DUCOM graduates in 2017 was 96%; 40% matched to primary care. The MD degree program is fully accredited by LCME and will start its next accreditation cycle in the 2020/21 academic year. The College is also the academic partner in the education of nearly 600 medical residents and fellows. Students in the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences and Professional Studies within DUCOM number more than 700, including PhD, MD/PhD, MD/MBA, MS, and certificate students. There is a deep commitment to student, resident, and fellow diversity and inclusion that builds on the proud traditions of our predecessor institutions, Women’s and Hahnemann.

The College has more than 700 clinical and basic science faculty members and more than 1,700 affiliate and volunteer faculty members. The Drexel University Physicians (DUP) practice plan includes 277 clinical faculty and 631 clinical and support staff at 28 sites across the Greater Philadelphia region.

During FY18, the College of Medicine had a total of $40.0M in expenditures for research and other sponsored projects.

DUCOM is proud to highlight the following:

  • The Partnership Comprehensive Care Practice, one of the largest primary and specialty care HIV/AIDS practices in the region, with extensive NIH-funded research
  • The Drexel Neurosciences Institute, specializing in innovative neuroscience-related clinical care, education and interdisciplinary research
  • One of just 21 National Centers of Excellence in Women's Health designated by the Department of Health & Human Services
  • Efforts to reduce health disparities through programs like
  • One of the largest centers for malaria research in the country
  • The Spinal Cord Research Center, one of the most prominent programs of its kind in the country
  • A new medical education curriculum, designed to train physicians who possess both the enduring
    qualities essential to clinical excellence and the skills needed to practice in the 21st century
  • ELAM®, the highly regarded Executive Leadership in Academic Medicine Program for Women
  • Mini-Med Summer CampTM, a premedical experience for high school students
  • The Drexel Pathway to Medical School program, a MS program designed for
  • The launching of Black Men in Medicine program, to increase the number of Black Men practicing medicine


The Dean/SVP reports jointly to the President and Provost and has academic responsibility for the College of Medicine as well as oversight of Drexel University Physicians (DUP). The successful candidate will be a proven leader who can quickly gain an understanding of the strengths of the institution and help chart its course for future success and growth.

Reporting to the Dean are the chairs of 21 basic science and clinical departments. The nine administrative leaders currently reporting to the Dean include: the Chief Executive Officer of DUP Administration; the Senior Vice Dean for Academic and Educational Affairs; the Vice Dean for Research; the Senior Associate Dean for Administration and Chief of Staff; the Associate Dean for Clinical Operations; the Associate Dean for Financial Affairs; the Associate Dean for Faculty Affairs; the Associate Dean of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion; and the Director of the Institute for Women’s Health and Leadership.

Affiliations and Partnerships

DUCOM physicians, residents, fellows, and medical students can be found at hospitals and clinics throughout Philadelphia and beyond, with the highest concentrations at Hahnemann University Hospital and St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children, owned by American Academic Health System (AAHS)/Paladin Healthcare. Located in Center City Philadelphia, Hahnemann University Hospital is a 496-bed academic medical center. Total admissions in calendar year 2017 were 17,179; Drexel University Physicians accounted for 71.4% of all admissions. St. Christopher’s is a 189-bed, non-sectarian hospital with satellite offices throughout greater Philadelphia and southern New Jersey. One of the nation’s oldest pediatric hospitals, it offers the highest level of pediatric trauma care and neonatal care, the only dedicated pediatric burn center in the region, and one of the busiest emergency departments for children in the country, with more than 70,000 annual visits. In addition, DUCOM students rotate through five Regional Medical Campuses (Abington Hospital – Jefferson Health, Allegheny General Hospital, Crozer-Chester Medical Center, Kaiser Permanente Sacramento, and WellSpan York Hospital) and several additional academic hospitals and ambulatory sites.

In the spring of 2018, DUCOM and Tower Health announced an affiliation to develop a branch medical school campus in Reading, PA close to Reading Hospital. This relationship leverages the outstanding academic reputation of DUCOM and Tower Health's proven quality of care as a provider and payer. The new campus offers the potential for valuable new training sites and also addresses the challenge of an increased demand for highly trained physicians outside of major urban centers and will provide a positive economic impact to the Berks County region. It is expected that upon approval of the regional accreditor, the campus will begin accepting students in 2020.


In FY 2017, DUCOM had operating revenues of $235.6M and operating expenses of $225.2M, resulting in an operating margin of $10.3M. Total unrestricted revenue was $191.8M and unrestricted expenses were $177.5M. DUCOM’s clinical departments had operating revenue of $128.3M and operating expenses of $142.9M, for an operating loss of $14.6M. DUCOM has negotiated an annual funds flow from its clinical partner of $17.9M annually. These funds include payments for Administrative, Supervisory, and Teaching services (AS&T) support of interns and residents. These funds are also used by the Dean/SVP to fortify existing programs and departments and to build new initiatives. In addition, DUCOM collects $71.3M in tuition revenue annually.


To succeed in this role, the Dean/SVP will address several key opportunities and challenges, including, but not limited to:

Craft a compelling vision for the future of DUCOM

The Dean/SVP will lead a dynamic institution in a time of significant change. DUCOM is defining its new partnerships with American Academic Health System (AAHS)/Paladin Healthcare and Tower Health, transitioning to a Responsibility Center Management (RCM) budget model, and developing a physician.

compensation plan. Going forward, the Dean/SVP will work closely with the President and Provost to set the strategic vision that will elevate DUCOM’s position both nationally and within the competitive Philadelphia healthcare environment. The Dean/SVP must be an enthusiastic, creative, facilitative leader and thought-partner in these discussions, always driving toward the best possible outcome for students, providers, and patients.

Secure the long-term growth of the College through effective acquisition and stewardship of resources

As an academic medical center that does not own its hospitals, DUCOM seeks a Dean/SVP with the fiscal and managerial savvy to secure sufficient resources to support the academic operation. Most critically, the Dean/SVP will work with the President and other Drexel leaders to evaluate the relationship with AAHS in preparation for a renegotiation of their current agreement, due to take place in 2022. As DUCOM continues to operate under the current agreement, the Dean/SVP will work with other leaders within Drexel Medicine and AAHS to ensure that the physician practice plan serves the needs of both organizations. Currently, some departments within DUCOM include physicians employed by AAHS as well as those employed by Drexel. A new compensation plan, currently under development, will provide opportunities to develop incentives for clinical productivity in balance with the critical academic missions of research and education. Other partnerships, such as the ongoing collaboration with Tower Health to build a new branch campus, will also play a critical role in DUCOM’s future.

While managing ongoing relationships with clinical partners, the Dean/SVP will have the opportunity to develop creative new strategies for growing revenues to support the DUCOM mission. Serving a Medicaid- heavy payer mix in a competitive urban healthcare environment, DUCOM leads Philadelphia in providing affordable care and is well-positioned for the transition to new models of clinical reimbursement. The diverse patient population makes the College of Medicine an appealing site for clinical research; Drexel recently became a founding member of the Partners in Innovation, Education, and Research (PIER) Consortium for clinical trials. Drawing upon these strengths, the Dean/SVP will grow the clinical footprint, engage with a variety of partners in mutually beneficial agreements, support the growth of basic and clinical research programs that align with areas of strength, and maintain DUCOM’s status as an impactful, resource-smart organization.

Finally, the Dean/SVP will play a pivotal role in fundraising to support DUCOM and its ambitions. While stewarding existing donors, including Hahnemann and MCP alumni, the Dean/SVP will work with Institutional Advancement and other leaders to develop creative strategies for fundraising given the relative youth of the DUCOM alumni and the patient population in its safety net hospitals. The Dean/SVP role offers the potential to secure a transformational naming gift for the College as well as endowed chairs, professorships, scholarship funds, and support for DUCOM’s innovative research and educational programs.

Recruit, hire, develop, and retain a diverse faculty committed to DUCOM values

DUCOM’s success depends upon its ability to continue to recruit and retain highly accomplished faculty members who can inspire students, connect with the community, and forge new frontiers in basic science, clinical, translational, and interdisciplinary research. The College has a strong track record of recruiting talented junior faculty members; during a time of institutional change, DUCOM leadership must also prioritize retention. Clinical faculty members, particularly those employed by AAHS, look to DUCOM leadership to ensure the proper balance between research, education, and service with their clinical responsibilities.

With notable programs ranging from the Executive Leadership in Academic Medicine Program for Women (ELAM) to the Drexel Pathway to Medical School (DPMS) program, DUCOM takes great pride in a culture that centers diversity and inclusion. The Dean/SVP will draw upon these and other strengths to champion institutional values and build a greater sense of community among all who wear the Drexel Dragon.

Continue to elevate DUCOM’s thriving educational enterprise

Education is central to the College’s mission and reputation. DUCOM delivers an outstanding education at a nearly unparalleled scale. The College’s size presents challenges: both undergraduate and graduate clinical education rely upon adequate placements for students, residents, and fellows within partner hospitals and clinics. Additionally, while tuition dollars account for a significant portion of DUCOM’s budget, the College is sensitive to the rising costs of a medical education and seeks to grow scholarship funds. To preserve and elevate DUCOM’s standing, the Dean/SVP will collaborate with the College’s dedicated and talented educators to ensure that sufficient resources are allocated to the educational enterprise.

Foster new collaborations across Drexel University

Since merging with Drexel University in 2002, DUCOM and other health sciences colleges now constitute more than half of Drexel’s sponsored research dollars as well as the majority of the University’s graduates. As a result, considerable opportunities for interdisciplinary research, interprofessional education, and other innovative programs exist throughout the University. The Dean/SVP will build bridges to other units in the health sciences as well as other areas of strength for Drexel, including engineering, business, and design where synergies with DUCOM’s mission and strengths may be found.


The SVP/Dean will be a visionary leader with demonstrated executive management experience and the interpersonal ability to lead and inspire diverse constituents throughout the College of Medicine and the University. An MD, MD/PhD, or equivalent degree is required. Desired qualifications and experience include:

  • A distinguished record of leadership and success in a complex, clinically competitive, diverse, academic health center;
  • A history of successful, collaborative, unpretentious, and transparent leadership;
  • Demonstrable success in promoting equity, inclusion, and diversity;
  • Effective management of an organization’s capital, human, fiscal, and other critical resources with a track record of success in growing revenues and managing costs in a large academic health science institution;
  • Strong emotional intelligence and a proven capacity for working effectively with health system and hospital partners;
  • Demonstrated ability to recruit and retain faculty and a track record of leveraging investments in faculty and/or programs to desired outcomes;
  • An uncompromising commitment to excellence in assessing and adequately supporting medical school programs, and in supporting exceptional individual educators;
  • Distinguished academic and clinical career, ideally including experience caring for patients from socio- economically disadvantaged backgrounds;
  • Demonstrable commitment to the opportunity presented by innovative models of care and interprofessional education;
  • The capacity to represent the College of Medicine compellingly to donors and a proven track record of successful fundraising;
  • Ambitious vision coupled with a knack for creative solutions and comfort with the ambiguity inherent to a dynamic healthcare environment;
  • A genuine understanding and respect for the tradition and culture of success at DUCOM.


Drexel University has retained Isaacson, Miller, a national executive search firm, to assist in the recruitment of the Annenberg Dean and Senior Vice President. Nominations and applications, including – as individual attachments – a cover letter, a CV, and a list of references, should be submitted online:


Ariannah Mirick, Partner
John Muckle, Partner
Laura Mariani, Senior Associate
263 Summer Street, 7th Floor
Boston, MA 02210

Drexel University is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action employer, welcomes individuals from diverse backgrounds and perspectives, and believes that an inclusive and respectful environment enriches the University community and the educational and employment experience of its members. The University prohibits discrimination against individuals on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, sexual orientation, disability, age, status as a veteran or special disabled veteran, gender identity or expression, genetic information, pregnancy, childbirth or related medical conditions and any other prohibited characteristic. Please visit to view all University Policies and Workplace Postings.


In 1891, financier and philanthropist Anthony J. Drexel established Drexel Institute of Art, Science and Industry as an institution of higher learning uniquely suited to the needs of a rapidly growing industrial society and of the young men and women seeking their place in it. In 1914, Drexel’s 18 departments were organized into four schools, and the University began conferring the bachelor of science degree.

Drexel’s foundation as an innovating institution has established the University as a national leader in higher education. In 1983, Drexel became the nation's first university to require all undergraduates to have personal access to a microcomputer for use in all of their coursework. The University continued its commitment to integrating technology into learning when it launched its online degree program in 1996 and became the first university to operate a fully wireless campus in 2000.

Drexel is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education and offers over 70 undergraduate majors and more than a dozen accelerated degree programs across 13 different colleges and schools. Drexel offers more than 75 master's programs, over 30 doctoral programs, a doctor of medicine, a juris doctor, and over 45 graduate-level certificate programs. Drexel operates on a quarter system rather than the more typical semester system; this encourages high participation and engagement in classes throughout the University. Most students are expected to complete three 10-week quarters in an academic year. DUCOM and the Kline School of Law operate on a semester system.

Drexel’s approximately 200 undergraduate and 120 graduate degree programs are organized into 15 units employing more than 1,500 full-time faculty members:

  • College of Arts and Sciences
  • School of Biomedical Engineering, Science and Health Systems (BioMed)
  • LeBow College of Business
  • College of Computing and Informatics
  • School of Education
  • College of Engineering
  • Close School of Entrepreneurship
  • Pennoni Honors College
  • Center for Hospitality and Sport Management
  • School of Law
  • Westphal College of Media Arts & Design
  • Drexel University College of Medicine
  • College of Nursing and Health Professions
  • Goodwin College of Professional Studies (including the School of Technology and Professional
  • Dornsife School of Public Health.

In addition to its commitment to student success, technology, and research, Drexel is known for its world- class cooperative education program, which was founded in 1919 as one of the first of its kind. Students can choose from more than 1,600 employers in 32 states and 51 countries that participate consistently in the Drexel co-op program or conduct an independent search to secure up to three unique six-month co-ops during their undergraduate experience at Drexel. Students obtain positions with major corporations such as Amazon, Google, NBC Universal, Lockheed Martin, JP Morgan Chase, Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, Comcast Corporation, and Johnson & Johnson, to name a few.

Total university enrollment for the fall of 2017 was 24,190, which includes 15,498 undergraduate students and 8,692 students in a rich array of graduate and professional programs. The University employs 2,640 faculty members (1,537 full-time, 1,103 part-time). Eighty-three percent of full-time faculty hold a PhD or other terminal degree, 48 percent are women, and more than 16 percent are minority. As members of a comprehensive research University, Drexel faculty are held to high research expectations, a commitment to excellence in teaching, and dedication to service on school, college, and university committees.


Drexel University had operating expenditures of $1.02 billion for FY2017 and operating revenues of $996 million. The endowment at the end of FY2017 was $700 million. The University recently transitioned to a Responsibility Center Management (RCM) budget model. Accordingly, each dean has profit and loss responsibility for his or her unit.

Drexel and Philadelphia

Drexel's 74-acre main campus is located blocks from the central business district in Philadelphia’s University City neighborhood, which it shares with the University of Pennsylvania and the University of the Sciences to create, in total, a university community of more than 50,000 students. University City is among the most vibrant and dynamic university neighborhoods in the United States, surrounding Drexel with rich intellectual, cultural, and ethnic diversity in a lively, fast-changing urban ecosystem. The University benefits from a variety of collaborations across Philadelphia, participating in numerous civic engagement initiatives that connect students to community and cultural institutions.

In addition to Drexel’s main University City Campus, students are educated at its Center City Campus, Queen Lane Medical Campus, and through Drexel University Online. Center City is located along the bustling cultural corridor that is Philadelphia’s Ben Franklin Parkway. It is home to the Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University, the College of Nursing and Health Professions, and a variety of educational spaces including the Center for Interdisciplinary Clinical Simulation and Practice. Queen Lane houses first and second-year medical students as well as biomedical graduate students and is located in a suburban-like setting in the East Falls neighborhood of Philadelphia.

Building on a century-old tradition, Drexel continues to demonstrate leadership in Philadelphia while supporting the advancement of the city. The University recently partnered with Brandywine Realty Trust to play a leading role in the development of the Schuylkill Yards Innovation Community adjacent to the University City campus and to Amtrak’s 30th St. Station. The first phase of development began in November 2017 and over the next two decades will lead to the construction of ~5M ft2 of entrepreneurial space, educational facilities, research laboratories, corporate offices, residential and retail spaces, hospitality venues, and open public spaces. This effort is emblematic of Drexel’s leadership and deep connection to Philadelphia and its business and civic life.

University Leadership


John Fry, appointed Drexel University’s 14th president in 2010, has been a leader in higher education for his entire professional life. Fry came to Drexel from Franklin & Marshall College, where he served as president from 2002 and was instrumental in the College’s academic growth, campus and neighborhood development, and improved finances. From 1995 to 2002, Fry served as executive vice president of the University of Pennsylvania. Before joining Penn, Fry was a management consultant for the higher education and nonprofit sectors. A native of Brooklyn, NY, Fry graduated from Lafayette College and earned a master’s degree in business administration from the New York University Stern School of Business.


M. Brian Blake, PhD, joined Drexel as provost and executive vice president for academic affairs in August of 2015. Prior to joining Drexel, Blake served as vice provost for academic affairs and dean of the Graduate School at the University of Miami. As vice provost, he was the primary advocate for research on the Coral Gables campus. Blake earned his bachelor's degree in electrical engineering from Georgia Institute of Technology, his master's degree in electrical engineering from Mercer University, and his PhD in information and software engineering from George Mason University.