Saralyn Williams named associate dean for Faculty Affairs for VUSMAug. 14, 2023, 1:16 PM
by Kathy Whitney
Williams replaces John Penn, PhD, who holds the Knights Templar Directorship in Pediatric Vision Research and is stepping down from his faculty affairs position.
“We are delighted to have Dr. Williams assuming this vitally important role in the Office of Faculty Affairs,” said Donald Brady, MD, senior associate dean for Health Sciences Education and executive vice dean for Academic Affairs for VUSM and Executive Vice President for Educational Affairs for Vanderbilt University Medical Center. “Her experiences in academic medicine, faculty development and the promotions and tenure process are core reasons that she was chosen for this role. She and Dr. Penn already have been working closely together looking toward the transition. We are immensely grateful for John’s many years of service to faculty affairs and welcome Saralyn to our team.”
Williams graduated from Duke University School of Medicine and completed an internship in internal medicine at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. She completed her emergency medicine residency and medical toxicology fellowship at the University of California, San Diego, and remained on faculty at UCSD until 2006 when she was recruited to Vanderbilt to join the faculty as a medical toxicologist.
She is vice chair of Education for the Department of Emergency Medicine and oversees the educational programming in the department. She has served as the chair of the department’s Committee on Appointments, Promotions and Tenure since 2016. On a national level, she has served in several leadership roles with the American Board of Emergency Medicine including the sub-board for medical toxicology, appointments to several task forces, and as a senior oral board examiner. Williams was previously appointed to the Emergency Medicine Residency Review Committee (RRC) for the ACGME and serves on the ACGME board of appeals for the RRC. She was appointed to the editorial board for the journal Clinical Toxicology in 2006 and is an invited reviewer for other journals due to her toxicology expertise.
Williams has earned a number of teaching awards for renowned didactic and bedside teaching and also received a Vanderbilt CREDO award in 2012. In 2023 she received the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine Thomas A. Hazinski, MD, Award for effectiveness in mentoring and professional development of faculty.
“I am both honored and humbled by the opportunity to serve the faculty of the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine in the role of associate dean of Faculty Affairs. I look forward to collaborating with other institutional leaders to enhance the faculty experience at Vanderbilt,” Williams said.
The Office of Faculty Affairs provides faculty advocacy, promotes academic quality and advances the strategic goals of VUSM by:
- Supporting the hiring of outstanding and diverse faculty members.
- Providing support and education to VUSM departments.
- Overseeing the appointments and promotions process.
- Fostering the development, implementation and interpretation of faculty policies.
- Facilitating access to training and compliance requirements.
- Administering conflict of interest, disclosure and review policies.
- Providing professional development programs for faculty members.
- Managing emeritus and endowed chairs nominations.
- Supporting VUSM department chair searches.
“Dr. Williams’ organizational skills and attention to detail make her well suited to the role of associate dean for Faculty Affairs,” Penn said. “Additionally, she comes from a perspective of faculty advocacy, which will serve both her, the faculty affairs office and our faculty. I look forward to watching her many successes in her new role.”