UTRGV launches search for new dean for School of Medicine

By Jennifer L. Berghom  

RIO GRANDE VALLEY, TEXAS – NOV.  22, 2016 –  The search for a new dean for The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley School of Medicine is underway.

UTRGV announced today that it has formed a committee of 29 people from the university and the community, and has hired executive search firm  Witt Keiffer  to help with the search.

The committee’s co-chairmen are Dr. Kenneth Shine, consultant to the president of UTRGV, and Dr. Michael Lehker, dean of the UTRGV College of Health Affairs.

UTRGV President Guy Bailey said he is grateful to the members of the committee who have given their time and talents to finding a new dean for the School of Medicine.


“I have confidence that they will work together diligently to find the right person to lead our School of Medicine and to continue  forging relationships between the School of Medicine and the communities it serves.”

Lehker said the search is expected to take about six months, and the final candidates will be introduced to the wider community before a new dean is selected.

External and community members of the committee are:

  • Dr. Ken Shine, consultant to the president of UTRGV, committee co-chairman.
  • Dr. Amy Shaw Thomas, vice chancellor for Academic and Health Affairs, UT System.
  • Larry Safir, Entravision Communications (retired).
  • Jim E. Darling, mayor of the City of McAllen. 
  • Anne K. Shepard, community representative.
  • Randy K. Whittington, attorney.
  • Nick T.  Serafy Jr., president, Proficiency Testing Service Inc.
  • Eduardo R. Rodriguez, law partner, Atlas Hall Rodriguez.
  • Jennifer C. Garza,  CEO, Edinburg Regional Medical Center / Edinburg Children's Hospital.
  • Doug A. Matney, group vice president, South Texas Health System.
  • Manny M. Vela, president and CEO, Valley Baptist Health System.
  • Dr. Carlos J. Cardenas, chief administrative officer, Doctors Hospital at Renaissance.
  • Cris Rivera, CEO, Rio Grande Regional Hospital.
  • Judy L. Quinsenberry, grants director, Valley Baptist Legacy Foundation.
  • Bonnie Gonzalez, CEO, Knapp Community Care Foundation.
  • Maxine Guerra, community representative.

Committee members from UTRGV are:

  • Dr. Michael Lehker, dean, College of Health Affairs, committee co-chairman.
  • Dr. Sarawathy Nair, chairman, Department of Health and Biomedical Sciences, College of Health Affairs.
  • Dr. Alexander Domijan, dean, College of Engineering and Computer Science.
  • Dr. Frank Ambriz, chairman, Department of Physician Assistant Studies.
  • Dr. Frederic Zaidan, chairman, Department of Biology, College of Sciences.
  • Dr. Sarah Williams-Blangero, director, South Texas Diabetes and Obesity Institute.
  • Dr. Leonel Vela, senior associate dean for Academic Affairs, School of Medicine.
  • Dr. Tony Ogburn, professor and chair, residency program director, UTRGV School of Medicine Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology.
  • Dr. Michelle L. Cordoba Kissee, program director, DHR Internal Medicine medical residency.
  • Dr. Humberto Hidalgo, clinical associate professor, pediatrics.
  • Kathleen Carter, associate university librarian, School of Medicine.
  • Melba Sanchez, associate dean for Finance and Administration, School of Medicine.
  • Rick Anderson, executive vice president for Finance and Administration, UTRGV.


UTRGV Senior Writer / 956-665-7192

UTRGV Director of News and Internal Communications / 956-665-2742