A national search garnered dozens of candidates for dean of the University of Toledo’s College of Medicine and Life Sciences, but the university found their man was already in the fold.
A UT search committee has recommended the name of Dr. Christopher Cooper, the current chairman of the department of medicine, to the trustees for discussion at their September meeting. Dr. Cooper rose above other candidates, Interim UT President Nagi Naganathan said, because of his academic and clinical background, and his ability to articulate a vision for the future of medical education and the clinical enterprise at UT.
“In an enterprise like ours, where the academic and clinical mission are so closely integrated, Dr. Cooper’s background as a clinician and an academic, and his knowledge of the community came to the forefront,” Mr. Naganathan said.
Dr. Cooper, who will start on the job in August, received a bachelor’s degree from Wittenberg University and his doctor of medicine degree from the University of Cincinnati’s college of medicine.
He joined UTMC in 1994 after completing a cardiology fellowship at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, a hospital affiliated with Harvard Medical School. He also did his residency at Brigham and Women’s.
He was appointed interim chairman of the department of medicine in 2012 and was named to the permanent post in April, 2013.
From 2002 to 2012, Dr. Cooper served as director of the division of cardiovascular medicine, and from 2008 to 2011, he also served as director of the UT Heart and Vascular Center.
Dr. Cooper is a fellow at the American College of Cardiology, the American Heart Association, and the American College of Physicians. Since 2012, he has served on the board of governors of the American College of Cardiology and is president of the Ohio chapter.
Mr. Naganathan, who was co-chairman of the search committee, said Dr. Cooper showed obvious passion for UTMC, the former Medical College of Ohio, when he presented his vision for the future of the institution. He could describe its constraints, but also its strengths in detail.
“He talked about how we can deploy those talents and resources,” Mr. Naganathan said. “I found that very appealing.”
Dr. Cooper could describe how UTMC fits into the health marketplace in Toledo and also what its students need.
Dr. Bonita Stanton, a professor of pediatrics and vice dean for research at Wayne State University’s school of medicine, was the other finalist for the position. She received a bachelor’s degree from Wellesley College and her doctor of medicine degree from the Yale University School of Medicine.
“Both are quality individuals,” Mr. Naganathan said. “But we had to make a decision on who would help us not lose momentum.”
Also considered was Dr. Steven Kanter, vice dean, professor of medicine and neurological surgery for the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine.
Dr. Kanter withdrew from consideration and the University of Missouri-Kansas City’s school of medicine announced last week that Dr. Kanter had been appointed its dean.