University of Vermont College of Medicine Dean Frederick C. Morin, MD, has announced that following a national search, William B. Jeffries MS’82, PhD’86, has accepted the position of senior associate dean for education. Dr. Jeffries will assume this role on August 1, 2009, and will relocate to Vermont from Omaha, Neb., where he is the associate dean for medical education and director of academic computing at Creighton University School of Medicine.
Internationally recognized as an accomplished teacher, scholar, and administrator, Dr. Jeffries has extensive experience in strategic institutional planning, curriculum design, and technological innovation. Since 2001, he has been the chief academic officer in charge of the medical curriculum at Creighton University, overseeing ongoing revision of the curriculum and LCME accreditation, establishing new institutional policies and administrative structures, driving educational research, and advancing technology in teaching and learning. He has played a leadership role in the planning of a new interprofessional clinical simulation center at Creighton University and has obtained a competitive grant to obtain state of the art mannequin simulators for clinical skills training. He has also led Creighton’s efforts to develop affiliate clinical training sites, leading the establishment of remote clerkships in Phoenix, Ariz.
Dr. Jeffries will replace Professor Emeritus of Molecular Physiology and Biophysics Robert Low, PhD, who has served in the position in an interim capacity since December 2008, following Lewis First, MD, professor and chair of pediatrics, who stepped down from the role to become editor of the journal Pediatrics
. Jeffries will have oversight for the Vermont Integrated Curriculum, including the expansion of clinical clerkship programs with academic medical center partner Fletcher Allen and with potential new affiliations outside Vermont. He will also have responsibility for Admissions and Student Affairs, playing a key role in attracting and recruiting top students.
Dr. Jeffries has written and presented widely on medical education, and was invited to become one of two editors of the 5th edition of the Handbook for Medical Teachers
, the classic guide for medical education. He has been actively engaged in medical student education for more than twenty years, teaching and directing courses across all four years of the curriculum, and was awarded the Golden Apple for Teaching in 2000. He served as co-investigator on several educational research grants, including a HRSA Center of Excellence grant designed to increase cultural competence in the curriculum. He also developed Creighton’s Minority Summer Research Training Program and is currently a co-investigator at Creighton’s National Institute on Drug Abuse Center of Excellence for Physician Information.
In addition to his involvement in medical education, Dr. Jeffries has had a productive career as a scientist, with research interests in the role of the kidneys and the autonomic nervous system in the regulation of blood pressure. He is a longtime member of the Council for High Blood Pressure of the American Heart Association, and was named a Fellow in 2001.
A native of Philadelphia, Dr. Jeffries graduated cum laude with a bachelor of science degree from the University of Scranton (Pa.), and earned his master’s and doctoral degrees in pharmacology from the Philadelphia College of Pharmacy and Science. He completed a postdoctoral fellowship in pharmacology and served as senior research associate at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas. He then joined the Creighton University faculty in 1988, and was named associate professor of pharmacology, Biomedical Sciences and Medicine in 1994. He became interim associate dean for medical education in 2001, and was named to the permanent position in 2002.