From the Chancellor

Appointment of Acting Dean, College of Health Sciences

October 12, 2006

UCI Campus Community:

We are pleased to announce that nationally recognized University of California, Irvine perinatologist Manuel Porto has been named acting dean of the College of Health Sciences, effective Nov. 1 and subject to regental approval.

Dr. Porto replaces Tom Cesario, who is retiring, and will serve as acting dean while the university recruits a vice chancellor for health affairs, who will oversee the College of Health Sciences and UC Irvine Medical Center. In his new duties, Porto also will oversee the School of Medicine.

Dr. Porto is chair of the Council of Clinical Chairs, chair of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, director of the Center for Fetal Evaluation and a member of the Dean’s Advisory Board. As the Edward J. Quilligan Chair in Maternal-Fetal Medicine, he has earned recognition as one of the nation’s leading experts on high-risk pregnancies.

Under his leadership, the medical center’s reputation in the field of gynecology has been well established and recognized for several years by U.S. News & World Report as one of the nation’s 50 best programs. UCI’s multidisciplinary team of specialists is world renowned for treatment of gynecologic cancers, diseases of the reproductive tract and complicated pregnancies. Dr. Porto, who came to UCI in 1984, has been listed in the “Best Doctors in America: National Edition” several times, and he has received numerous recognitions for his teaching and clinical work.

A national search is now well underway for the newly established position of vice chancellor for health affairs and dean of the School of Medicine. A short-list of outstanding candidates has been identified and interviews are taking place. To assist Dr. Porto during the interim period, we are also pleased to announce the appointment of Dennis Cunningham, senior associate dean of academic affairs, as acting vice dean for academic affairs, and John Heydt, clinical professor of family medicine, as acting vice dean for clinical operations. As vice dean for academic affairs, Dennis Cunningham will continue his oversight of the faculty appointment and review process, academic program development, space management, and consultation on significant research programs, while Dr. Heydt, who is also president and CEO of the UCI University Physicians and Surgeons, the medical group for UCI clinical faculty, will provide leadership and oversight for clinical matters.

We are grateful that this leadership team has agreed to work together for the next several months as we transition to the new vice chancellor.

We also extend our sincere gratitude to Tom Cesario, who has served as dean of medicine for 12 years and the dean of the College of Health Sciences since its 2004 inception. During his tenure, health sciences at UCI have earned a growing national reputation for excellence. Research funding has more than tripled, and he was instrumental in the creation of emerging programs in nursing science, pharmaceutical sciences and public health. He also helped build the Biomedical Research Center, which has fueled UCI’s expansion as a center of research excellence. The center includes three state-of-the-art buildings for laboratory and clinical research in cancer, genetics, neuroscience, immunology and infectious disease, and biomedical devices. In addition, he has overseen the recruitment of more than 70 new faculty members to launch new teaching and research programs.

Please join us in welcoming Manuel Porto, Dennis Cunningham and John Heydt to their new positions and in thanking Tom Cesario for his extraordinary service to UCI.

Michael Drake

Michael R. Gottfredson
Executive Vice Chancellor & Provost