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The Department of Surgery chair search advisory committee is being co-chaired by Drs. Dee Fenner and Charles Parkos. Nominations should be sent to Courtney Godfrey ( by July 9th.

Tentative Interview Dates

October 1

October 23

November 1

Candidates interested in the position should submit a CV and a 1-2 page letter of interest to Courtney Godfrey ( by August 3, 2018.

Job Summary

The University of Michigan Medical School seeks a nationally recognized, highly innovative and visionary leader to further advance the clinical, research, education, and philanthropic missions of the Department of Surgery. The chair is responsible for the successful leadership and strategic management of the department, in accordance with the general mission and vision of the Medical School and Michigan Medicine.  The chair serves as a representative of the Dean and the Medical School to internal and external constituencies. This leader will build on the significant departmental and institutional strengths, commitment to service excellence, research innovation, and superb patient and family-centered care.

For over 150 years, the University of Michigan Department of Surgery has stood as the standard of excellence in surgical care locally and nationally.  Continued success depends on our ability to develop new approaches to delivering care across a regional network. The department stands for innovation in delivery of care, including research that develops novel techniques, processes of care, and technology development.  The unifying goal of all training programs in the Department of Surgery is to create the next generation of academic surgical leaders, and we aspire that University of Michigan surgical training will become the signature of American surgical leadership. The Department of Surgery stands for excellence in scientific inquiry, as attested by its national and international prominence in a number of scientific disciplines and by its NIH ranking of 1st in the nation. Inquiry is a core value of the department. Michigan Surgery has a singular focus on faculty professional development called “The Michigan Promise”. This is a promise from the department that we will provide a culture focused relentlessly on deliberately developing faculty. Diversity, equity and inclusion is explicit part of The Michigan Promise. The department collectively believes in the power diversity—that combining different perspectives and integrating diverse cognitive repertoires is key to our future success. 


Create and establish a unifying vision for the future of the Department of Surgery.

  • Effectively articulate the mission, vision and values of the Department of Surgery and lead in their execution and delivery.  
  • Be a role model for integrity, scholarship, professional competence, and collegiality and collaboration across the organization.
  • Support interdisciplinary collaboration to catalyze Michigan Medicine’s tripartite mission of patient care, research, and education. Strengthen opportunities to engage the next generation of health care providers and health scholars with members of the Department of Surgery.
  • Be an effective institutional leader, helping in the development of network strategies and outreach opportunities.
  • Promote a culture of diversity, in its many forms.

Ensure the highest-quality, patient-centered, efficient and equitable care.

  • Identify opportunities for improved health care delivery while maintaining the highest standards for quality medical care.
  • Support and assess departmental faculty and trainees in care delivery and professional standards through appointment/reappointment decisions and granting/renewing clinical privileges.
  • Ensure that the department is on the cutting-edge of techniques and technologies integral to the delivery of highly innovative, safe and quality care.
  • Understand and support the broad clinical disciplines within the department while also assisting in the development of emerging opportunities and new care delivery trends.

Lead and ensure the success of the educational process and environment for the department and support educational initiatives across the campus.

  • Enhance excellence in the department’s many educational programs at all levels.
  • Oversee training program directors in the Department of Surgery.
  • Work collaboratively with other departments and centers to create and grow shared training programs or assigned training experiences
  • Implement curricular changes and requirements in order to provide a supportive and constructive environment for learners.

Advance and strengthen individual and departmental research programs.

  • With members of the department and other leaders at the University, establish a unifying plan to leverage existing institutional strengths to advance life science research across the University.
  • Identify and support critical research areas that will enhance the department’s knowledge base and improve the quality of care.
  • Lead the department and individual faculty members in identifying and obtaining external and intramural funding.
  • Strengthen the integration and collaboration between the clinical and non-clinical investigators within the department within the department and across organizational boundaries of the University.


The Chair of the Department of Surgery reports to the EVPMA/Dean, with delegation to the Executive Vice Dean of Academic Affairs of the Medical School.



Recruit, retain and develop diverse faculty and staff to achieve the department vision, ensuring the success of all disciplines within the department and the national prominence of the department.

  • Recruit, mentor, develop and retain outstanding faculty who share the vision for the future of the department.
  • Listen to, communicate with, and empower all faculty and staff. Seek appropriate honors, awards, and national leadership positions for faculty and staff. Maintain an environment that cultivates high employee satisfaction and supports career advancement for all faculty and staff.  

Continue to achieve or exceed financial goals through management, research funding, and philanthropy.

  • Ensure the administrative budget and operations management are sound and that the departmental resources are effectively, wisely, and transparently managed.
  • Adhere to all University, regulatory and Michigan Medicine policies and practices.
  • Work effectively to secure philanthropic support for department programs while collaborating with the Office of University Development to develop robust philanthropic programs across the institution.

Build on the University’s longstanding commitment to build and nurture a community characterized by diversity, equity and inclusion.

  • Participate in and help develop new approaches to maintain diversity as a critical component of education, research, and service.
  • Lead the department to recruit, retain, and mentor the best learners, faculty, and staff by creating a community that seeks, welcomes, and expects diversity.
  • Coordinate with institutional leadership and the Office of Health Equity and Inclusion to provide metrics and help implement strategies for creating a supportive culture and climate that promotes inclusion and health equity.

Align with the cultural priorities and approaches of the school and university.

  • Implement and participate in the missions of the Medical School, specifically programs and initiatives of the Executive Vice President for Medical Affairs (EVPMA)/Dean and his delegates.
  • Understand and adhere to the Regents’ Bylaws, the University’s Standard Practice Guide, the Medical School Bylaws and policies, and the University of Michigan Medical Group Bylaws.
  • Enthusiastically participate in cultural and organizational needs and activities of the University, Health System and Medical School.

Fulfill other responsibilities of leadership

  • Ensure fiduciary and regulatory agency compliance related to the department’s activities and responsibly manage conflict of interest and commitment, policy and procedural compliance. Avoid conflict of interest, conflict of commitment and the appearance of such conflicts.
  • Implement the missions of the school, specifically programs and initiatives of the EVPMA/Dean and his delegates. A chair may have parallel responsibilities managing interdepartmental or extra departmental units, such as a center or facility with parallel expectations. Ultimately, the chair should maintain the confidence of the EVPMA/Dean and his delegates.

Required Qualifications*

The successful candidate will have an MD or MD, PhD and be board-certified in Surgery. The individual’s faculty appointment will be at a level commensurate with the candidate’s experience which is expected to include a record of outstanding scholarly accomplishments as well as a successful track record of extramural funding. It is expected that the successful candidate will be highly collaborative, motivated and have significant experience building, leading and unifying interdisciplinary teams. He/She will have a proven track record in developing research programs; dedication to the clinical mission; a demonstrated commitment to education; and significant philanthropic, administrative and budgetary experience in a matrix-based organization.  

Desired Qualifications*

  • The chair should possess:
    • Communication skills – Positive interpersonal skills that demonstrate diplomacy and accessibility. Relational skills to support vision and leadership. He/She should be approachable, collegial, and able to build a team that moves towards common goals in a transparent manner.
    • Integrity – Personal standard of behavior that will be a model for the organization and will inspire collaboration.
    • Vision – Forward thinking, responsive to needs of the physicians, scientists, learners, staff, patients, and health system. Able to convey a clear, shared vision and alignment of efforts.
    • Intellectual and analytical skills – Ability to drive cogent planning and establishment of robust research management systems.
    • Political acumen and collaborative skills –Skills to build consensus and collaboration among strong, diverse and sometimes competing individuals and programs.
    • Accessibility – Invested in the work environment for members of the department, sensitive to their areas of dissatisfaction, and celebratory of their areas of growth and achievement.
    • Diversity mindset – Demonstrated commitment to diversity and equity and an appreciation for its important contributions to excellence.
  • The chair should be a:
    • Motivator/mentor –Motivates individuals to be team players, collegial, supportive, and willing to share information. Committed to developing faculty, trainees and staff for departmental and institutional leadership roles.
    • Change agent –Possess creativity to reengineer existing practices and try new ways of doing things.
    • Decisive leader – Combines a sense of equanimity with humor to sustain intense, productive and collaborative leadership effort.
    • Team player – Collaborates on multiple levels for research, clinical and administrative staff.
    • Results-oriented achiever – Utilizes appropriate problem solving tools and techniques that aligns with the culture in the process of obtaining results.

Additional Information


Department of Surgery:

Michigan Medicine:

Office of Health Equity and Inclusion:

The University of Michigan:

Background Screening

Michigan Medicine conducts background screening and pre-employment drug testing on job candidates upon acceptance of a contingent job offer and may use a third party administrator to conduct background screenings.  Background screenings are performed in compliance with the Fair Credit Report Act.

U-M EEO/AA Statement

The University of Michigan is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer.