Message from Dr. Roper: Succession plans for Runge's positions

Faculty members are encouraged to submit feedback and suggestions throughout the search process.

Message from Dr. Roper: Succession plans for Runge's positions click to enlarge William L. Roper, MD, MPH, Dean of the UNC School of Medicine, CEO of the UNC Health Care System

As we announced recently, Marschall Runge, MD, PhD, will be leaving UNC to become Executive Vice President for Medical Affairs of the University of Michigan, with responsibility for the School of Medicine and Health System at Michigan, effective March 1, 2015.

Marschall has been at UNC since 2000, as chair of the Department of Medicine and he has been a leader in several other important roles.  I know we will greatly miss him and his leadership, but we wish him extraordinary success at the U of M.

We will shortly be announcing a search process and search committee for our next chair of Medicine. 

For the past four-plus years, Dr. Runge has ably served as Executive Dean of the UNC School of Medicine.  In this role he has been “the provost of the medical school,” with principal focus on our academic missions of research and teaching.

In the short time since Marschall’s announcement, I have considered the question of whether to continue this position, and I have discussed that matter with a number of our colleagues.  Based on that reflection and those conversations, I strongly believe we should continue to have an Executive Dean.

Accordingly, I am now consulting widely with faculty, chairs, center directors, leaders and others to identify the right person to be Marschall’s successor in this role.

I anticipate that this consultative process will continue at least into January.

I welcome your thoughtful suggestions on this important topic.  The best way to reach me is via email at

I am also consulting widely on how best to identify successors for Dr. Runge as PI of our CTSA grant, and as head of our Heart and Vascular service line.

Again, I welcome your input into those matters. 

One point is worth stressing – It is highly unlikely that any one individual can take on all the roles that Dr. Runge has had.

Thank you very much for your helpful advice.


William L. Roper, MD, MPH
Dean, UNC School of Medicine,
CEO, UNC Health Care 

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