CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - The Medical University of South Carolina Board of Trustees acted quickly to name an interim successor for Dr. Raymond Greenberg, who on Wednesday announced his intentions to resign as president.
During an executive session, the board unanimously appointed Dr. Mark S. Sothmann, former VP for Academic Affairs and Provost, as interim president. Sothmann will take charge in late August, around the time Greenberg departs to take a position at the University of Texas System.
Board chairman Thomas Stephenson said the Board felt it was imperative to maintain a sense of continuity while the Board prepared to launch a national search for a new president in the coming months. "Dr. Sothmann has proven his ability to lead here at MUSC, first in his role as the dean of the College of Health Professions and then in his current position as provost. The Board has every confidence that Mark will provide a steady leadership presence during this period of transition for the University."
According to a press release, Sothmann earned his bachelor's degree in history from the University of Northern Iowa, a master's of science degree in 1976 and a doctorate degree in 1982 with a focus on exercise science, both degrees from Purdue University.
He moved to the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee in 1982 as an assistant professor and developed the Exercise Research Laboratory where he spent 13 years on the faculty conducting his research in exercise biochemistry and studying human performance in extreme environments. He also held clinical faculty appointments in the Department of Medicine at the University of Wisconsin Medical School and the Department of Preventive Medicine at the Medical College of Wisconsin.
Sothmann moved to Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis in 1995 as professor and held the administrative appointment of Associate Dean in the Indiana University School of Medicine from 1997 through 2003. In 2004 he became the founding Dean of the Indiana University School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences. During this period he was also a founding faculty of the Indiana University School of Informatics.
In 2007 Sothmann moved to MUSC as professor and Dean of the College of Health Professions. In 2010 he assumed the administrative appointment of Interim Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost at MUSC and in 2011 he was named to the permanent position after a national search.
"I have had the privilege of working closely with Dr. Sothmann for the past three years. He is a very skilled and diplomatic leader and he has direct experience in helping to guide the University," said Dr. Greenberg. "I applaud the Board of Trustees for their vote of confidence in Dr. Sothmann, and believe that he will be a very effective interim president for MUSC."
Sothmann serves on numerous national science and health care advisory boards, and is a Fellow of the American College of Sports Medicine where has served in leadership roles. He has published extensively in the fields of exercise science and academic leadership. His research has been funded by the National Institutes of Health, Department of Defense, NASA, EEOC, Lilly Foundation and numerous other agencies. He is a recipient of the University of Wisconsin Foundation Award for Excellence in Research and Creative Endeavors and the Glenn W. Irwin, Jr., M.D. Experience Excellence Recognition Award for Service to IUPUI.
"I appreciate the confidence that Dr. Greenberg and the Board of Trustees have expressed by naming me interim president and I am prepared to help the University navigate the path going forward," Sothmann said. "It is my first priority to work to the best of my ability to facilitate the continued success of MUSC."
Earlier Wednesday, Greenberg announced he'd accepted the position of Executive Vice Chancellor for Health Affairs at the University of Texas System after spending over 13 years as president at MUSC.
In his new role, Greenberg will provide administrative and strategic oversight for six health sciences campuses at the University of Texas System. Greenberg will be succeeding Dr. Kenneth Shine, who served in his role at the University of Texas System for 10 years.
"It has been an extraordinary privilege for me, both personally and professionally, to be part of such a wonderful organization," Greenberg said in a statement. "The decision to leave behind so many good friends and colleagues has been difficult, but MUSC will always remain in my heart."
Greenberg became president at MUSC in 2000. Under his guide, the campus added a state-of-the-art hospital, new facilities for the Hollings Cancer Center, the College of Health Professions, and the College of Dental Medicine.
"He led us through challenging financial times, yet still was able to expand our contributions to the state," said Thomas Stephenson, chairman of the MUSC Board of Trustees, in a statement. "He will be missed on campus, but equally important, throughout the state of South Carolina."
Mayor Joseph P. Riley, Jr. released a statement commending Greenberg for his leadership, which helped guide the medical university to the national spotlight.
"Dr. Greenberg's generous leadership and service to the community have been invaluable to this region," said Mayor Riley in a statement. "The University of Texas has found a superb leader. This is a great opportunity, and I am very happy for him."