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Vice President of Health Affairs and Dean of the Tilman J. Fertitta Family College of Medicine

University of Houston/Tilman J. Fertitta Family College of Medicine
Houston, Texas
A comprehensive and competitive compensation package commensurate with experience will be offered.
Start date
Nov 29, 2023

View more

Position Type
Administrative, Academic Affairs, Academic Administration, Executive
Employment Level
Employment Type
Full Time


Established in 2020, the Tilman J. Fertitta Family College of Medicine is the city of Houston’s first new medical college in 50 years. Formed with a distinct mission to improve health in underserved communities and help reduce the physician shortage in Texas, the Fertitta Family College of Medicine has received a groundswell of support from elected officials throughout the state, as well as the greater Houston community, including donors, corporations, and industry stakeholders. Before the College officially opened, it received an anonymous $3 million gift to cover the tuition costs of the first class of students and a $3.5 million grant from The John M. O’Quinn Foundation to cover one-third of the second-year class, in addition to startup costs, faculty hires, labs and a household-centered health care program for underserved communities. Further support came from H-E-B, Humana, and Blue Cross Blue Shield, among others. Most significantly, in 2022, the Tilman J. Fertitta Family gifted the College with a transformational $50 million to establish endowed chairs, scholarships, fellowships, and research. In the same year, the College moved into a brand new, state-of-the-art 130,000-square-foot building located on 43 acres on the University of Houston campus.

The Fertitta Family College of Medicine is focused on changing the downward trend of poor health in our most vulnerable Texas communities – medically underserved rural and urban areas — by educating students to become primary care physicians who deliver compassionate, high-value care with a deep understanding of the social-cultural drivers of health. Ranking 47th out of 50 states in primary care physicians-to-population ratio, Texas is in critical need of primary care doctors. Moreover, it is a community-based medical school with a commitment to community engagement, community-based education, and improving health in its neighboring communities that experience poor health outcomes. The Fertitta Family College of Medicine aims to produce transformative research that impacts some of our most vulnerable communities and society at large. Its student body is an ethnically and academically diverse group of future physicians – currently including 480 students, 99% Texas residents, 57% from underrepresented groups, and 47% first generation – with a passion for serving underserved communities and will graduate its first class of 30 students in the Spring of 2024.

Vice President of Health Affairs and Dean of the Tilman J. Fertitta Family College of Medicine

With graduation of its first class and full LCME accreditation anticipated for June 2024, the Vice President of Health Affairs and Dean of the Tilman J. Fertitta Family College of Medicine (VP of Health Affairs and Dean, COM) represents a rare opportunity for a strategic builder and aspirational leader to differentiate the College’s long-term mission and position it as a leader in the broader field of community medicine. This leader will be recognized for excellent leadership and development of a robust clinical enterprise, in addition to noteworthy research and education programs, while building mutually rewarding partnerships with health systems, academic institutions, community physicians, and the community at large.

Reporting directly to the Chancellor/President, the VP of Health Affairs and Dean, COM is charged with leading a significant expansion of its patient care and research programs through the campus-based clinic and beyond, addressing the most urgent challenges of the community’s patients. This position will work with the Provost, the leadership team, deans, and other campus leaders to achieve strategic health initiatives. Located minutes from the Texas Medical Center (TMC), the largest medical complex in the world, this leader will continue to establish the highest quality training partnerships while maximizing the other boundless opportunities afforded by its proximity to the TMC and Houston.

In the role of Vice President of Health Affairs, this executive is responsible for the development and execution of the strategy to build the clinical and research enterprises across other health-related Colleges in collaboration with the respective College Deans. The Vice President will exemplify a culture that fosters interdisciplinary collaboration externally and throughout the University of Houston with its established and highly respected Colleges, including:

The VP of Health Affairs and Dean, COM will join an institution with a thriving ecosystem of research innovation at its core, with the opportunity to play a major role in the development of a new research building, which is currently in the design phase. Centered in the values of excellence, integrity, innovation, and responsiveness and based on the foundation of teaching, research, and service, the University of Houston is an engine for discovery with a bold vision for building a top 50 public university.

The VP of Health Affairs and Dean, COM will have the following specific responsibilities:

College of Medicine Development

  • Oversee the development of the Tilman Fertitta Family College of Medicine, the continuation of a strong, innovative medical education, the achievement of final LCME accreditation status, and gaining national recognition. Develop and differentiate a vision and strategic plan for preeminence in community medicine and research while inspiring the team to effectively execute the plan, which will ultimately result in the highest quality students, faculty, and staff.


  • Oversee the development of all aspects of the curriculum. Maintain and enhance graduate medical education and provide coordinated oversight of the curriculum. Oversee the selection and admission process to ensure the quality of medical students.

Patient Care

  • Establish the College as a provider of choice for clinical care in the local community, while ensuring the highest of quality patient care and seamless integration of the educational and research programs.


  • Oversee UH Health Colleges’ research initiatives to foster outstanding interdisciplinary programs, basic research, and clinical research, while playing a key role in the development of a new state-of-the-art health research building.

Service and Community Engagement

  • Facilitate productive relationships with affiliated hospitals and academic departments to ensure high-quality medical education (including graduate medical education through the appropriate residencies), advance patient-centered care, and promote clinical innovation. Ensure that the College is committed to diversity by working to develop a culture of inclusion and a climate of respect.

Infrastructure and Leadership

  • Provide hands-on leadership and guidance to the College to ensure that the College’s programs are accredited while remaining aligned with the University’s mission, managed in a fiscally responsible manner, and responsive to the medical needs of the state. Responsible for the fiscal soundness of the College, which includes preparing and submitting budgets and identifying and securing sources of funding in support of its educational, clinical, and research agendas. Responsible and has authority for all matters related to the medical faculty, including appointments, space and resource allocation, compensation (within established structures), performance evaluation, and development opportunities. Serve as a member of the President’s Cabinet and as a key advisor on all areas involving the College. Serve as a member of the Provost’s academic affairs staff, a member of the Deans’ Council in the formation of academic policy and programs. Participates in planning and development of public relations activities. Other duties and responsibilities as deemed fit by the University President.

Candidates will be selected from a diverse pool and will be evaluated according to the following criteria:

  • National Recognition in Academic Medicine: Impeccable reputation as a clinician, clinician/scientist, educator, and/or physician leader. It is anticipated that most candidates will have excelled in more than one of these areas. Candidates will possess an outstanding record of demonstrated senior administrative experience at an LCME-accredited medical school, as well as a passion for and strong understanding of family medicine in underserved communities.
  • Demonstrated Vision: Forward-thinking leader who possesses experience modernizing the clinical enterprise and an appreciation for the economic engine this provides for the College of Medicine and UH. A strong grasp of the challenging issues facing medical education today, as well as the dynamics of operating a major research enterprise.
  • Leadership Aptitude: Demonstrated ability to build and motivate a senior leadership team. The VP of Health Affairs and Dean, COM will continually earn the respect of the University’s stakeholders, as well as legislative/government leaders, and will recruit, retain, and develop superb academic faculty and leaders.
  • Clinical Enterprise Builder: Track record of building a substantial clinical practice in collaboration with the teaching hospitals’ leadership and the community it serves.
  • Research Enterprise Builder: Expert knowledge of discovery and translational research with a commitment to growing research, research infrastructure, and translating findings back into clinical practice.
  • LCME Accreditation: Experience with Liaison Committee on Medical Education (LCME) accreditation as an active participant with knowledge and comprehension of the complexities of a medical college.
  • Demonstrated Business Acumen: A strong business sense, with both the experience and demonstrated understanding of the complex financial pressures facing medical schools and health care delivery organizations. The candidate must have a strong understanding of the links between quality, clinical delivery, effectiveness, business drivers, and cost.
  • Relationship Developer/Collaborations: Demonstrated ability as a consensus builder in expanding interprofessional relationships across the University and promoting further collaboration amongst UH’s affiliates, colleges, faculty, staff, and students.
  • Fundraising Skills: A proven and enthusiastic fundraiser who can effectively relate to and attract financial support from major donors, both individual and corporate.
  • Required Behavioral Competencies: Multi-faceted leadership skills to effectively execute the role of the Vice President of Health Affairs and Dean and serve as a unifying and motivational force for UH College of Medicine as a whole.

Candidates must hold an MD degree and credentials that merit appointment at the rank of full professor. A candidate at the level of associate professor should also have demonstrated success in building a substantial clinical enterprise and/or research agenda.


Please submit nominations and/or curriculum vitae with letter of interest directly to the search consultant: Jannah Hodges, President, Hodges Partners, via email:


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