New Interim UNTHSC President holds Town Hall meetings

In Town Hall and faculty meetings last week, Michael Williams, DO, MD, MBA, the newly named Interim President of UNT Health Science Center, addressed roughly 700 faculty, staff and students across the campus.

After describing his background, including being a 1981 graduate of the Texas College of Osteopathic Medicine (TCOM), Williams reassured the audience that "my role is to continue executing on the strategic plan as approved by the Regents. We will continue to focus on education, research, patient care and community engagement. We also have a number of important initiatives that I will continue to pursue with all the vigor and energy I have."

In his remarks and in questions from the audience, he talked about:

On the potential merger of UNTHSC and UNT - "Merger talks have been tabled for the foreseeable future, so it's not an issue. I'm not even thinking about it. That's not why I'm here."

On the possible addition of an MD degree program - "We have one of the nation's leading DO programs, and now the potential to grant an additional degree. But, for some reason, there's a perception that it's an either-or choice, which isn't the case. I don't see how adding an MD granting program could in any way diminish the decades of DO degrees we have granted. I have already had a number of constructive meetings with leading DOs across the state and will continue to talk with alumni, with the DO leadership in Texas and with TOMA to find a collaborative way to work on this in order to better serve the needs of Texas."

On his position as Interim President - "The interim role is no guarantee that I ultimately will get the job, and I understand it will be a competitive process. However, I have told the Chancellor that I want to be a candidate for the permanent position and will pursue it with everything I've got." 

Williams concluded his remarks by noting that UNTHSC's drive to be best-in-class will not change, emphasizing that teamwork is a critical component to how he defines success. "If we're all focused on doing what we do best, sticking with our core competencies and passionate about leadership development and continuous improvement at every level, success is a natural result.

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