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Distinguished Educator, International Health Expert Appointed Medical School Dean at the University of California, Riverside


Distinguished Educator, International Health Expert Appointed Medical School Dean at the University of California, Riverside

Dr. G. Richard Olds will lead the launch of California’s first public medical school in four decades

(October 27, 2009)

G. Richard Olds, M.D., an internationally recognized tropical disease authority and chair of the Department of Medicine at the Medical College of Wisconsin, has been appointed vice chancellor of health affairs and founding dean of the medical school at the University of California, Riverside.Enlarge

G. Richard Olds, M.D., an internationally recognized tropical disease authority and chair of the Department of Medicine at the Medical College of Wisconsin, has been appointed vice chancellor of health affairs and founding dean of the medical school at the University of California, Riverside.

RIVERSIDE, Calif. – G. Richard Olds, M.D., an internationally recognized tropical disease authority and chair of the Department of Medicine at the Medical College of Wisconsin, has been appointed vice chancellor of health affairs and founding dean of the medical school at the University of California, Riverside.

Dr. Olds will assume his new position by Feb. 1, 2010.

“This is a momentous step forward for the medical school, for the UCR campus and for the future of Inland Southern California,” said Chancellor Timothy P. White. “Dr. Olds brings to UCR wide-ranging leadership experience in medical education and research, as well as a worldwide reputation in the fields of international health, infectious disease and parasitology. He is an educational innovator with entrepreneurial talent and boundless energy, traits that will be essential for building this medical school.”

As chair of medicine at the Medical College of Wisconsin, Olds leads one of the institution’s largest academic departments, with 11 separate divisions and 280 faculty training more than 800 medical students, 100 residents and 70 fellows. The department last year carried out more than $27 million in research funded by the National Institutes of Health and had more than 100,000 patient visits in a range of medical specialties and subspecialties. Olds is also chief of medical service at Froedtert Hospital in Milwaukee.

“As a long-time supporter of a four-year medical school at UC Riverside I am excited to see a man of Dr. Olds’ caliber appointed the medical school’s founding dean and I congratulate him on his appointment,” said Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. “Dr. Olds is renowned for his expertise in prevention and cultural competency and having him head up this new medical program will ensure that the Inland Empire, and all of California, will be equipped with skilled doctors who provide quality medical care.”

“The appointment of the founding dean of the medical school is an important step for UC Riverside. This new medical school will support the needs of the region, and I hope the state can provide the financial support needed by UCR for this critical endeavor in future years,” stated California Assembly Speaker Karen Bass.

Said Senate Republican Leader Dennis Hollingsworth: “It is a privilege to welcome Dr. G. Richard Olds as he leads the effort to build a new medical school for Riverside. Dr. Olds’ international, highly respected medical expertise will help UC Riverside establish innovative programs for educating and training the next generation of physicians and medical researchers, establishing the school as a key educational resource for meeting the state’s health care needs as well as encouraging medical researchers to draw from world expertise in developing new methods of treatment and patient care.”


Olds, whose appointment has received regental approval, said he was attracted to UC Riverside by the opportunity to build a new medical school with a vision toward training doctors for the future needs of health care. “Health care is going to change in the United States and we will need a different paradigm for training physicians. There could not be a better time to build a new medical school,” he said.

“UCR has taken on two additional challenges that most medical schools would not take on – trying to fill the region’s physician workforce shortage with robust residency programs as part of the medical school and actually improving the health of the community we serve,” Olds said. “These are both large challenges and that is part of the excitement of coming to Riverside.”

“I’m very pleased with the appointment of Dr. Olds to be the founding vice chancellor and dean of the medical school,” said University of California Regent Bruce Varner. “We’re fortunate to have a person of his level of expertise, experience and qualifications at this critical time in the planning, development and financing of the UCR School of Medicine.”

The mission of the UCR School of Medicine is training a diverse physician workforce and developing research and health care delivery programs to improve the health of medically underserved populations. The University of California Board of Regents approved establishment of the medical school in summer 2008 and it is projected to enroll its first incoming class of 50 medical students in fall 2012.

“As we move to overcome the most daunting economic challenges we have faced in decades, the appointment of this highly accomplished doctor moves the medical school forward with the promise of a broad and beneficial impact on health care, higher education, and the overall quality of life for the Inland Empire,” said California Assembly Member Wilmer Amina Carter.

“The appointment of Dr. Olds is an exciting moment for the Inland Empire as it brings us one step closer to launching the UC Riverside School of Medicine,” Assemblyman Bill Emmerson said. “Through this important endeavor, we’ll be better prepared to meet the medical needs of our community while improving access to quality care.”

White emphasized the need of the medical school to expand and diversify the region’s physician workforce. “We will build a medical school that produces physicians trained to practice here with a clear emphasis on prevention, and with cultural competency and sensitivity to our unique and diverse population in Inland Southern California. Dr. Olds, as am I, is personally committed to these values and to the vital role of the medical school in expanding access to health care,” White said.

White also praised the service of Phyllis A. Guze, M.D., who has been acting vice chancellor and dean for the past year and earlier served as executive director of medical school planning. “Dr. Guze’s leadership has been indispensable, setting us on a solid foundation and trajectory to establish the medical school. Simply put, we would not have progressed this far with the medical school without her wise and insightful guidance,” he said. Guze will stay on with the UCR medical school during and for a time following the transition.

Recognized worldwide for his expertise in tropical diseases, Olds serves on the World Health Organization expert committee on schistosomiasis, a parasitic disease common in tropical countries of Africa, Asia and South America. He also serves on the board of a Gates Foundation initiative to de-worm children in sub-Saharan Africa. He has conducted laboratory and field research, including major overseas programs in Egypt, China and the Philippines, publishing more than 100 scholarly articles, book chapters and reviews.

“Richard Olds is an outstanding academic leader, scientist and medical educator. He brings a unique set of skills to the job including broad international experience on issues of cultural sensitivity and competence in working with people from diverse backgrounds,” said Ernest Levister, M.D., a member of the Chancellor’s Community Advisory Board for the School of Medicine and clinical professor of medicine at UC Irvine. “His selection attests to the medical school’s commitment to live up to its mission to improve the health of medically underserved populations in the Inland Empire.”

Mary Figueroa, a member of the Riverside Community College District board, served on the search committee that reviewed candidates from across the nation for the dean’s position. “Dr. Olds stood out among the candidates for his extensive experience in dealing with individuals and communities from a diverse variety of backgrounds. His approachable and professional demeanor will serve him well with the school’s mission of serving the underserved. We look forward to working with a dean with such an exemplary history and wealth of professional experience,” she said.

Earlier this year, Olds was elected a Master of the American College of Physicians (ACP), the second largest physician group in the U.S., comprised of 129,000 physicians in internal medicine. The designation as Master is the highest category of membership in the ACP, noting highly distinguished contributions to medicine. Olds has also received teaching awards at Case Western Reserve University, Brown University and the Medical College of Wisconsin.

Olds earned his bachelor’s degree from Willamette University in Salem, Oregon, while he also worked summers in refugee camps in Europe. His M.D. degree is from Case Western Reserve University, and he completed his internship and residency at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston.

Olds will earn an annual base salary of $525,000, which is subject to a 10 percent reduction through August 2010 under the University of California furlough/salary reduction plan approved by the UC Board of Regents. In addition to the base salary, he will have the opportunity to earn annual performance-based compensation of up to $100,000 based upon achievement of milestones in developing the medical school. This potential additional compensation is in lieu of compensation that other UC medical school deans receive from a Health Sciences Compensation Plan. His compensation will be funded initially with private funds donated to UCR for the start-up of the medical school. As approved by the Regents, additional compensation will include a temporary housing allowance, travel between Milwaukee and Riverside during his transition, moving expenses and a relocation allowance of 25 percent of his salary, participation in the Senior Management Supplemental Benefit Program, and eligibility for UC’s home loan programs.

The UCR medical school will be built on the foundation of the existing UCR/UCLA Thomas Haider Program in Biomedical Sciences, which has been in place since 1974. The program offers the first two years of medical school instruction to admitted UCR students, after which students transfer to the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA to finish their M.D. degrees.

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G. Richard Olds, M.D., an internationally recognized tropical disease authority and chair of the Department of Medicine at the Medical College of Wisconsin, has been appointed vice chancellor of health affairs and founding dean of the medical school at the University of California, Riverside.Enlarge

G. Richard Olds, M.D., an internationally recognized tropical disease authority and chair of the Department of Medicine at the Medical College of Wisconsin, has been appointed vice chancellor of health affairs and founding dean of the medical school at the University of California, Riverside.

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The University of California, Riverside (www.ucr.edu) is a doctoral research university, a living laboratory for groundbreaking exploration of issues critical to Inland Southern California, the state and communities around the world. Reflecting California's diverse culture, UCR's enrollment has exceeded 21,000 students. The campus opened a medical school in 2013 and has reached the heart of the Coachella Valley by way of the UCR Palm Desert Center. The campus has an annual statewide economic impact of more than $1 billion.

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