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UNLV medical school dean moves up transition to advisory role

Updated July 24, 2019 - 2:46 pm

Dean Barbara Atkinson of UNLV’s School of Medicine will transition from her current role at the school to an advisory position by Sept. 1, the university announced Wednesday.

Atkinson had previously announced her decision to take on a new role at the university following a search for her replacement, but Wednesday’s announcement moved up the transition timeline while the nationwide search continues.

An interim dean, who has not yet been named, will lead the school until a replacement is found.

Atkinson will start an advisory role focused on the “accreditation process, community outreach and help in the planning for the medical education building,” according to a release from the university.

“All of our students are very special to me, but it’s always been one of my goals to watch our charter class graduate,” Atkinson said in a statement. “I will be there in 2021 when they walk across the stage. Those students are particularly special to me because they believed in us when we were a brand new medical school.”

The announcement comes after the Nevada Systems of Higher Education Board of Regents Friday approved a new plan to fund the medical school building that will rely on $125 million in bonds.

Atkinson has been with the school since its inception, first as planning dean in 2014, before being named founding dean in 2015.

During her term, the medical school welcomed three classes of students, but struggled to raise funds for a permanent building, which at one point included a $14 million donation contingent on Atkinson remaining in her role through 2022.

Contact Aleksandra Appleton at (702) 383-0218 or aappleton@reviewjournal.com or follow her on Twitter @aleksappleton.

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