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The USciences community welcomed new President Paul Katz, MD, to campus on Tuesday, August 23, 2016, marking the start of his tenure as the University’s 25th president.

In his first address to the USciences community, Dr. Katz pledged to lead the institution toward becoming the “university of choice” for those interested in pursuing careers in science and healthcare, rather than one of Philadelphia’s “best-kept secrets.”

“This will be due to a relentlessly student-centered environment that provides curricular innovation to prepare the next generation of leaders,” said Dr. Katz, speaking to the standing-room crowd of faculty, staff, students, and honored guests packed into the AstraZeneca Auditorium in the McNeil Science and Technology Center.

“We will create the framework and redesign that will sustain our university well into its next century,” he said.

While looking to the future, Dr. Katz said USciences’ history, including the longevity and legacy of Philadelphia College of Pharmacy, provides unique advantages to build upon. 

“When PCP is combined with Misher College of Arts and Sciences, Samson College of Health Sciences, and Mayes College of Healthcare Business and Policy, the creation of highly sought after degrees has broadened and diversified our portfolio in an extraordinary way – and much more can be done,” said Dr. Katz

Dr. Katz’ career includes experience in a variety of executive leadership positions within medical schools and health systems. Most recently, Dr. Katz had been the chief architect, executive, and academic leader of Cooper Medical School of Rowan University (CMSRU) which graduated its first class this summer and achieved full accreditation. Prior to his leadership role at CMSRU, Dr. Katz was the founding vice dean for faculty and clinical affairs and professor of medicine at The Commonwealth Medical College in Scranton, PA. 

The Presidential Search Committee felt this experience uniquely qualified Dr. Katz for this position at USciences, said Kathleen R. Mayes P'76, PharmD'78, who had been serving as interim president of the university since July 2015.

“The committee reviewed 50 candidates, and from that group selected seven to interview,” said Dr. Mayes, speaking on behalf of board Vice Chairman Ken Murtha who chaired the search committee. “Needless to say, the most qualified and only candidate selected to bring to campus was Dr. Katz.”

Marvin Samson HonAlum’96, HonDSc’16 said he learned quickly when working with Dr. Katz on an interdisciplinary education program between CMSRU and USciences, his clear vision and focus on the future needs of students. 

“I am so impressed with his ability to foresee the future and his focus on providing students with the appropriate knowledge, values, skills, attributes, and experiences coupled with compassion to be successful as they move into the communities they will serve,” said Dr. Samson. 

Dr. Katz said he is excited to get to know the faculty, staff, and students that make the USciences community thrive and begin on the journey to future successes.

See more photos from the event. 

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