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Interim Leaders Named at UC Davis Health

By News and Media Relations on April 26, 2017 in University

Interim Chancellor Ralph J. Hexter and Interim Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor Kenneth C. Burtis today (April 26) sent the following letter to the UC Davis Health community, and are sharing it here with the main campus.


We have named Dr. Tom Nesbitt and Dr. Lars Berglund as, respectively, interim vice chancellor of UC Davis Human Health Sciences and interim dean of the School of Medicine, effective May 1. They succeed Vice Chancellor of Human Health Sciences and School of Medicine Dean Dr. Julie Freischlag, who takes up her post as president and chief executive officer at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, the same day.

We are deeply appreciative of the contributions Julie made during her years at UC Davis, particularly as a champion for women and underrepresented minorities. She has been an enthusiastic mentor of faculty, staff and students, and promoted health and wellness for all members of the UC Davis Health community. We wish her well in her new role.

Tom Nesbitt

Dr. Nesbitt is eminently qualified to serve as interim vice chancellor of Human Health Sciences, an appointment that is made with the approval of the UC Office of the President. Indeed, Tom served as interim vice chancellor and dean of the School of Medicine from June 2013 through February 2014, immediately prior to Julie’s arrivai.

In his interim role, Tom will oversee the UC Davis Medical Center and Clinics, the UC Davis School of Medicine and the Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing.

Tom is currently serving as associate vice chancellor for strategic technologies and alliances for UC Davis Health. He specializes in family and community health. He has a long history with UC Davis and is recognized as a global leader in the use of telehealth and distance learning to meet the needs of populations in remote and underserved regions.

Due to Tom’s continued involvement in these and other critical projects, and, based upon advice from him and other key leaders, it was determined that in the best interest of the university, that another member of UC Davis Health’s strong leadership team would serve as dean concurrently with him. As interim dean of the School of Medicine, Dr. Berglund will oversee the school’s academic programs and its operations, faculty and staff. He will report to the UC Davis provost and executive vice chancellor with a dotted line to the interim vice chancellor of Human Health Sciences.

Lars Berglund

Lars is currently serving as associate vice chancellor for biomedical research and vice dean for research at UC Davis Health and is also director of the UC Davis Clinical and Translational Science Center (CTSC). In this latter role, Lars is the principal investigator for an NIH award to the CTSC, which includes responsibility for services, education and translational science projects.

We would like to thank Tom and Lars for agreeing to serve in these interim roles. We are confident that, working together, they will be able to optimally address the many challenges and opportunities facing UC Davis Health at this time of transition. We also thank the many individuals to whom we spoke and who offered their advice during the process of selecting interim leadership, and the outstanding leadership team at UC Davis Health who have generously offered their assistance over the coming months. It is clear that one and all are deeply dedicated to advancing the excellence of UC Davis Health and the School of Medicine and, consequently, that of the entire university.

We are in active consultation with Chancellor-designate Gary S. May about the search for permanent leadership and expect to announce details of that search in the near future. 

Ralph J. Hexter
Interim Chancellor

Kenneth C. Burtis
Interim Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor

About the author(s)

News and Media Relations News and Media Relations is a unit of the Office of Strategic Communications. Phone: 530-752-1930.