Dear School of Medicine faculty, staff, administration and students,
Since my announcement last week, I have had many inquiries and expressions of concern by members of the Wayne State University School of Medicine community. Organizational change is normally accompanied by some level of uncertainty, but much of what I heard was beyond the norm, rooted in both concern and aspiration for the future of the medical school. After much thought and further investigation, I have decided to announce additional changes to clarify the organizational leadership and position us to achieve our ambitious goals. Specifically, the dual roles of dean of the School of Medicine and vice president for Health Affairs will be split, consistent with the structure in most universities with multiple health sciences schools.
Effective March 1, 2022, Wael Sakr, M.D., will become interim dean of the School of Medicine. Dr. Sakr has served our medical school community for 31 years and is a trusted leader and champion of the School of Medicine. He is a nationally recognized academic pathologist with a strong record of National Institutes of Health funding and seminal contributions in his field of study. Dr. Sakr has also served in other leadership roles in the community, including the National Arab American Medical Association and the Arab Community Center for Economic and Social Services.
Dr. Sakr’s initial responsibility will be to stabilize and focus the School of Medicine organization, and position it for success. In his capacity as interim dean, Dr. Sakr will chair the board of directors of Wayne Health. He will move into the dean’s office to be centrally located, and begin to address the full range of important tasks ahead. Dr. Sakr has my full support to lead the School of Medicine decisively, and I ask that you give him your support as well.
Also effective March 1, Mark Schweitzer, M.D., will focus his role to that of vice president of Health Affairs. Dr. Schweitzer has achieved a great deal in his tenure as dean, and we appreciate his many contributions. As the vice president of Health Affairs, Dr. Schweitzer will focus on clinical affiliations across health sciences, and the envisioning of a fully integrated approach to health care delivery, education and research that will establish Wayne State as a national leader. Additionally, as mentioned in my prior announcement, he will focus on fundraising for a new medical education building and on the establishment of a School of Public Health. His office will be located in the Maccabees Building at 5057 Woodward Avenue.
Thank you for your support and continued dedication to the Wayne State School of Medicine.
M. Roy Wilson