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Saturday, December 2, 2023


Breaking: Tilman J. Fertitta Family College of Medicine dean announces retirement

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In an email sent out Monday, UH President Renu Khator announced the retirement of the University’s vice president for medical affairs and founding dean for the Tilman J. Fertitta Family College of Medicine.

Dr. Stephen J. Spann was appointed to the position of planning dean in 2015 and was promoted to founding dean in 2018. According to the email, Dr. Spann was a key player in securing preliminary accreditation for UH’s nascent medical program in 2020. His retirement marks an end to more than four decades spent in academic medicine, eight of which was at UH.

“A family physician leader, educator and researcher, Dr. Spann has dedicated his career to improving health and health care around the world,” Khator’s email read. “We thank him for his service and passion for the mission of the College of Medicine.”

Khator also credited Dr. Spann with guiding the University through the COVID-19 Pandemic, and the opening of two clinics aimed at providing care to underserved communities. 

Though his retirement has been announced, Dr. Spann isn’t leaving quite yet. The email stated that he plans to remain with the University until a suitable replacement is found. In the meantime, Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and UH Provost Diane Chase will form a national search committee to determine who will replace the school’s departing dean. 

“Please take a moment to thank Dr. Spann for his contributions to establishing the Fertitta Family College of Medicine and his service to UH,” Khator’s email read. “I speak for all faculty, staff and students when I wish him the best.”

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