The Dell Medical School has a dean.
Ending a months-long search, UT President Bill Powers announced this morning that Dr. S. Claiborne “Clay” Johnston has been named inaugural dean of the Dell Medical School at the University of Texas at Austin.
Dr. Johnston, a neurologist who currently serves as the Associate Vice Chancellor of Research at the University of California, San Francisco, says that he is excited to have the rare opportunity to build a medical school from the ground-up.
“I’m not interested in just creating another medical school,” Johnston said at the announcement this morning. “I’m interested in creating a medical school that represents what we want health to be, what we want health education to be in the next century. And then making it nimble enough, responsive enough that it will keep Austin at the leading edge of health for centuries to come.”
The announcement represents a huge step forward for the medical school, proposed as part of an initiative to improve health care in Central Texas by state Sen. Kirk Watson, D-Austin. The school and its services will launch as a financial partnership between UT-Austin, the Seton Healthcare Family, the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation and Travis County. In 2012, voters approved a boost in property tax rates to cover services the school will offer.
President Powers thanked Travis County voters for their dedication to the school, and called Dr. Johnston a “visionary who is clearly up to the challenge of making the Dell Medical School a leading institution that serves our community and the nation from day one.”
Dr. Johnston will begin work at the Dell Medical School on March 1. The school is scheduled to open in Fall 2016.