October 17, 1997

Jacobson named Vice Chancellor

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Dr. Harry Jacobson, Vice Chancellor for Health Affairs. Photo by Donna Jones Bailey.

Jacobson named Vice Chancellor

A 16-member search committee composed of faculty, staff, and Vanderbilt University Board of Trust members conducted a nationwide search for the vice chancellor position before selecting Jacobson, a nephrologist who has experience both in clinical practice and laboratory research, said Chancellor Joe B. Wyatt. Jacobson's appointment is pending Vanderbilt Board of Trust approval. The Board meets on November 14.

"We made a vigorous and thorough effort to seek the finest executive in academic medicine, and we found him," Wyatt said. "The members of the search committee deserve much credit for their energy, patience and thoroughness.

"Harry Jacobson will provide extraordinary vision and leadership to the Medical Center," Wyatt added. "He has distinguished himself as a scholar, as a decision-maker and as an articulate advocate for academic medical centers. He is dedicated to the preservation of values that have distinguished the Vanderbilt culture for many generations of students, faculty and staff.

"I believe that Harry's commitment to an interdisciplinary approach to research, patient care, and public service will elevate Vanderbilt to the next level of national and international accomplishment. He shares our goal of making Vanderbilt the premier health care center in the region, and among the finest in the world."

Wyatt's praise was echoed by John R. Hall, president of the Vanderbilt Board of Trust.

"Harry Jacobson is a leader with extraordinary talent who has the respect of physicians and administrators alike. Vanderbilt is well-prepared to face the challenges ahead with Harry Jacobson at the head of the Medical Center."

Edward G. Nelson, chair of the Medical Center Board, noted that it was a strength of Vanderbilt that the search committee could consider candidates from all over the United States and arrive at the conclusion that Jacobson was the best person for the job.

"Harry Jacobson inherits a very sound Medical Center foundation," Nelson said. "He is destined to take Vanderbilt University Medical Center to even greater heights."

The man who occupied the job before Jacobson agreed.

"I'm obviously pleased by the appointment," Robinson said. "I've had the closest of opportunities to work with Harry Jacobson, and I am totally confident that he is the right man for the right job at the right time.

"I look forward to this great medical center reaching new heights under his leadership. VUMC's future is bright, even in these tumultuous times."

Roxanne Spitzer, associate dean of the School of Nursing and professor of the Practice of Nursing, and a member of the search committee, said, "The appointment of a clinician and academician with such strong business skills will move Vanderbilt forward at an important time. I believe that Harry will lead us significantly ahead of the competition."

Another search committee member, Dr. Harold L. Moses, professor and chair of Cell Biology and director of the Vanderbilt Cancer Center, said, "The search committee looked far and wide, but we couldn't find anyone as good as ‹ or better than ‹ Harry Jacobson.

"He had distinguished himself in basic research, clinical medicine and entrepreneurial activity. He has what it takes to make us a top ten medical center. Harry will be an outstanding vice chancellor."

"I feel honored and I feel challenged," Jacobson said. "I think this is a great opportunity for me and for the exceptional team of physicians, researchers, and staff that we are building here at Vanderbilt.

"There are enormous challenges for academic health centers today that must be met, and I want to be a part of meeting those challenges."

As Vice Chancellor for Health Affairs, Jacobson will serve as the chief executive office and academic head of Vanderbilt University Medical Center, which has annual net revenues of more than $680 million, and more than 8,000 employees, including more than 1,000 full-time faculty.

Vanderbilt University Medical Center includes the Vanderbilt School of Medicine, Vanderbilt School of Nursing, Vanderbilt University Hospital, The Vanderbilt Clinic, Vanderbilt Children's Hospital, Vanderbilt Medical Group, which is one of the largest physician practices in the Southeast, and the Vanderbilt Health Plans, which include the Health 1€2€3 insurance plans.