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U. names new medical school dean to replace Vivian Lee

Michael L. Good
Michael L. Good
University of Florida Health

SALT LAKE CITY — The University of Utah on Wednesday replaced Dr. Vivian Lee, former head of health sciences and dean of the medical school, who resigned amid controversy involving the Huntsman Cancer Institute last year.

Dr. Michael Good, University of Florida College of Medicine dean since 2008, has been appointed as the new vice president for health sciences at the U., CEO of University of Utah Health and executive dean of the U.'s School of Medicine.

"Dr. Good is a widely respected leader and administrator with extensive experience managing the complementary missions of clinical care, education and research that are the essential components of academic medicine," said U. President Ruth Watkins. "Mike shares my vision that a public university should serve as a catalyst for improving the human condition and should strive to improve the community it serves."

Watkins selected Good after an extensive national search following a shake-up in the administration resulting from Lee's resignation.

In April 2017, Lee and then-U. President David Pershing fired Huntsman Cancer Institute Director Mary Beckerle without notice. A public uprising ensued, including protests from students, patients, faculty and staff at the school, who believed the termination was heavy-handed.

A new memorandum of understanding outlining controversial funding mechanisms among other things was developed after months of private negotiations. It ultimately realigned the two institutions and Beckerle was reinstated per the demands of the late Jon Huntsman Sr., who founded the U.'s companion award-winning cancer hospital and research center.

Lee resigned her position, and Dr. Lorris Betz has been serving as vice president in the interim.

Betz has praised the work of Lee and said he hoped the university would continue the forward momentum she created with various beneficial initiatives.

"My predecessors built a strong foundation for future success and I look forward to working with leaders across campus to further the mission of one of the country's top public universities," Good said.

He praised University of Utah Health for its "work around transparency and the patient experience, as well as its emphasis on value and quality."

"It is clear to me that Utah has a distinctively collaborative culture and the talented faculty, staff and students here are uniquely positioned to continue transforming health care and academic medicine," Good said.

The inventor, anesthesiologist and administrator earned bachelor degrees in computer and communication sciences and a medical doctorate from the University of Michigan. He completed residency training in anesthesiology at the University of Florida and joined the faculty there in 1988.

He is well-known for his work at the University of Florida, including the collaborative development of the Human Patient Simulator, used in health care education programs and clinical training sites throughout the world.

Good will start in his position at the U. early this fall.