UT MD Anderson Presidential Search Advisory Committee Named

AUSTIN – The appointment of members of a presidential search advisory committee to advise The University of Texas System Board of Regents on the selection of a president for The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center was announced today (Jan. 6) by Regents’ Chairman Colleen McHugh.

The committee will make recommendations to the Board on possible successors to President John Mendelsohn, M.D., who announced Dec. 6 his plans to step down as president of the institution once his successor is in place. Mendelsohn, who has served as the president of the institution for almost the past 15 years, will remain on the faculty, returning to clinical and translational research as co-director of its new Institute for Personalized Cancer Therapy (IPCT).

"Widely regarded and repeatedly recognized as the nation's top cancer center, UT MD Anderson serves a critical role in meeting the health care and educational needs of Texas, the nation and the world, and it has achieved international prominence for the excellence of its clinical, research and educational programs," Regents' Chairman Colleen McHugh said. "The advisory committee includes outstanding representatives of all the constituencies of the institution, UT System and the community and I am confident these individuals will do an excellent job of screening candidates as the search is conducted for this very important leadership position."

The committee will be asked to present the names of candidates – unranked – to the board, which will choose a finalist or finalists. The committee membership is made in accordance with the Board of Regents’ Rules and Regulations, which includes a provision for representation on such committees by various constituencies of the institution.

The committee will be chaired by Kenneth I. Shine, M.D., executive vice chancellor for health affairs in the UT System. Other advisory committee members are:

  • Regents’ Vice Chairman Janiece Longoria of Houston
  • Regent Printice L. Gary of Dallas
  • Kirk A. Calhoun, M.D., president, UT Health Science Center at Tyler
  • David E. Daniel, Ph.D., president, UT Dallas
  • Edward F. Jackson, Ph.D., department of imaging physics, UT MD Anderson
  • Louise C. Strong, M.D., department of genetics, UT MD Anderson
  • Borje S. Andersson, M.D., Ph.D., department of stem cell transplantation, UT MD Anderson
  • Robert C. Bast, Jr., M.D., vice president of translational research, UT MD Anderson
  • Melinda Garza, president, UT MD Anderson Student Congress
  • Peter Hu, Ph.D., alumni and faculty association president, UT MD Anderson
  • Joel Helmke, division administrator, cancer prevention, UT MD Anderson

The community representatives on the advisory committee are:

  • Ernest Cockrell of Houston, Cockrell Interests, Inc., and former chairman, UT MD Anderson Board of Visitors
  • James R. Huffines of Austin and Dallas, president and COO of The PlainsCapital Corporation and former chairman of the Board of Regents
  • Woody Hunt of El Paso, chief executive officer of the Hunt Building Company, Ltd., and former vice chairman of the Board of Regents
  • Nancy Loeffler of San Antonio, chairman, UT MD Anderson Board of Visitors
  • James Mulva of Houston, president and CEO of ConocoPhillips
  • Melinda Perrin of Houston, former chairman of the board of the Memorial Hermann Hospital System and former chairman of the Chancellor’s Council Executive Committee

Witt Kieffer, an executive search firm, is assisting the UT System in the national search and advertisements for the position will be placed in publications so the committee may carry out its search as expeditiously as possible.

About UT MD Anderson

The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston ranks as one of the world's most respected centers focused on cancer patient care, research, education and prevention. MD Anderson is one of only 40 comprehensive cancer centers designated by the National Cancer Institute. For seven of the past nine years, including 2010, MD Anderson has ranked No. 1 in cancer care in “America's Best Hospitals,” a survey published annually in U.S. News & World Report.

About the University of Texas System

The University of Texas System is one of the nation’s largest higher education systems, with nine academic campuses and six health institutions. The UT System has an annual operating budget of $12.8 billion (FY 2011) including $2.3 billion in sponsored programs funded by federal, state, local and private sources. Preliminary student enrollment exceeded 202,000 in the 2009 academic year. The UT System confers more than one-third of the state's undergraduate degrees and educates nearly three-fourths of the state's health care professionals annually. With more than 84,000 employees, the UT System is one of the largest employers in the state.