Monday, April 9, 2012

Barbara Atkinson stepping down as executive vice chancellor of KU Medical Center and executive dean of School of Medicine

By ANDY HYLAND, The Lawrence Journal-World

Barbara Atkinson will step down as executive vice chancellor of Kansas University Medical Center and as executive dean of the School of Medicine on June 30, earlier than her previously outlined timetable.

“There is no question that the KU Medical Center has benefited tremendously under Dr. Barbara Atkinson’s leadership,” said KU Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little in a written statement.

Gray-Little named Steven Stites, Peter T. Bohan Professor and chairman of internal medicine, to serve as acting executive vice chancellor and executive dean, effective immediately.

Atkinson served as the chair of pathology at the KU School of Medicine, and in 2002 assumed duties as the executive dean of the medical school. Since 2004, she has served as both executive dean and as executive vice chancellor of KUMC.

In November, Atkinson announced her plans to retire, but said she would stay on as dean of the medical school until a new dean was identified, and as executive vice chancellor until December 2013.

“I believe that with the conclusion of our application for (National Cancer Institute) designation, this is a very good time to pass the torch to new leadership,” Atkinson said in a prepared statement. “I am confident that our application to the NCI will be favorably received, and with it will come exciting new opportunities for our KU Medical Center to provide ever better and more effective care to the citizens of our state and region.”

Gray-Little has indicated her desire to separate Atkinson’s two roles, and a search to identify the next dean of the medical school has already begun.