Mark Schweitzer named Dean of SOM | Mobile

Editor’s Note: This article has been updated with additional information to correct a factual error. Wayne State provided an email statement from President Mr. Roy Wilson regarding the leadership change at the School of Medicine.

A previous version of this article said WSU declined to comment.

The South End regrets the mistakes.

The Wayne State School of Medicine replaced former Dean Mark Schweitzer with Dr. Wael Sakr on Tuesday.

President M. Roy Wilson announced the change in an email to the School of Medicine community on Tuesday morning.

“After careful consideration and further investigation, I have decided to announce additional changes to clarify organizational leadership and position us to achieve our ambitious goals,” Wilson said. “Specifically, the dual roles of Dean of the School of Medicine and Vice President for Health Affairs will be split, consistent with the structure of most universities with multiple health science schools.”

Sakr had previously been named executive vice-dean by Schweitzer, according to a Feb. 25 press release.

“Many of these improvements were adopted with valuable input from leading faculty and students,” Schweitzer said. “The strength and talent that these changes bring bring us to the next level of progression that we have developed over the past two years. We are now in a position to further secure our core mission as a medical school and ensure a favorable outcome during our Medical Education Liaison Committee site visit in 2023.”

Wilson said Sakr has extensive experience at WSU and is highly respected in his field.

“Dr. Sakr has served our medical school community for 31 years and is a trusted leader and champion of the School of Medicine,” Wilson said. “He is a nationally recognized academic pathologist with a strong record of funding from the National Institutes of Health and foundational contributions in his field of study.”

Deadline Detroit reported on Feb. 28 that three-quarters of respondents to an internal survey favored Schweitzer’s removal.

An anonymous comment from the inquest said Schweitzer had behaved inappropriately in a professional setting.

“Dean Schweitzer has, on numerous occasions, provided mixed messages when addressing the school as a whole and then in individual meetings,” an anonymous commenter said. “He has at times been rude, profane, dismissive and condescending to esteemed members of the SoM (School of Medicine) community to the point of being embarrassing.”

Schweitzer also received positive feedback from the survey.

“He has shown his ability to sacrifice himself financially for the good of the institution,” said an anonymous commentator. “This model of good stewardship set a very positive tone.”

Schweitzer is now vice president of health affairs at SOM, according to his website. He had been Dean since April 27, 2020 following his appointment.

“Dr. Schweitzer has accomplished a great deal in his tenure as Dean, and we appreciate his many contributions,” Wilson said. “As Vice President of Health Affairs, Dr. Schweitzer will focus on clinical affiliations in the health sciences and on the vision of a fully integrated approach to health care delivery, education and research that will make Wayne State a national leader.”

Schweitzer recently applied to become president of the University of South Florida, according to Deadline Detroit.

Jenna Prestininzi is the editor of The South End. She can be contacted at [email protected]

news editor Amelia Benavides-Colon contributed report. She can be reached at [email protected]

Cover photo by Mike Tokarz.

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