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Release: Nov. 8, 2002

NOTE TO EDITORS: Jean Robillard's name is pronounced Zhawn RO-bee-ard.

Jean E. Robillard named new dean of UI Carver College of Medicine

Jean E. Robillard, M.D., will become the new dean of the University of Iowa Roy J. and Lucille A. Carver College of Medicine, following approval by the Board of Regents, State of Iowa at their November meeting. The appointment is effective Feb. 1, 2003.

Robillard is professor and chair of the department of pediatrics at the University of Michigan Medical School and physician-in-chief at C.S. Mott Children's Hospital, where he has been a member of the faculty since 1996. Prior to that, he was vice chair of the department of pediatrics and director of the pediatric nephrology division of UI Health Care.

He succeeds Robert P. Kelch, M.D., who will step down as dean to concentrate on his duties as UI vice president for statewide health services. Robillard's salary will be $390,000 per year.

Robillard is a pediatric nephrologist whose work focuses on the developmental physiology of the kidney. He has published more than 220 scientific papers during his career.

"I am delighted that Dr. Robillard has agreed to return to the University of Iowa as dean of the UI Carver College of Medicine," Kelch said. "The University of Iowa is home to one of the few medical schools in the country that excels in all three missions of education, research and patient care. It is important that the dean have leadership abilities in all these areas. In Jean Robillard, we will have such a dean.

"He was the recommended candidate of the search committee, and the faculty, staff and students with whom he met during the interview process were very impressed with him," Kelch added.

"I have always had a great deal of affection and admiration for the University of Iowa. I am honored to be able to return as dean," Robillard said. "It will be wonderful to renew old friendships with colleagues and to establish new relationships with faculty, staff and students. I am particularly looking forward to working with health care providers across Iowa to address the challenges of our health care system."

"Jean Robillard is an outstanding academician who has demonstrated his commitment to medical education for the 21st century," said UI Provost Jon Whitmore, to whom Robillard will report on academic matters. "I am confident he will build on the foundation established by Vice President Kelch and will bring even more recognition to our renowned medical school."

"The dean of our medical school is an important voice in Iowa's health care system," said interim UI President Willard L. Boyd. "Dr. Robillard has a clear understanding of the roles the university and the College of Medicine play in serving the health care needs of all Iowans."

Donna Katen-Bahensky, director and CEO of UI Hospitals and Clinics, which is a partner with the UI Carver College of Medicine in UI Health Care, said she was looking forward to establishing a close partnership with Robillard.

"The UI Carver College of Medicine and UI Hospitals and Clinics are very closely intertwined," Katen-Bahensky said. "We rely upon each other to fulfill our shared missions of patient care, teaching and research. I have been impressed with Dr. Robillard's energy and enthusiasm, and I look forward to working with him as we pursue those missions."

A native of Montreal, Robillard received bachelor's and medical degrees from the University of Montreal. Following receipt of his medical degree, Robillard did an internship at the Hôtel Dieu Hospital and a residency in pediatrics at Ste. Justine Hospital in Montreal. He was a fellow in pediatric nephrology at the University of California Medical Center in Los Angeles before coming to the UI in 1974.

The UI Carver College of Medicine is one of the top-ranked medical schools in the country and the largest college within the University in terms of research and faculty size. In the last fiscal year, the college received nearly $186 million in external awards, and is among the top 10 public medical schools in the country in research funding from the National Institutes of Health. The college, which has 748 faculty members, offers degree programs in anatomy, biochemistry, genetics, microbiology, molecular biology, neuroscience, nuclear medicine, pharmacology, physical therapy, physician assistant studies, physiology and biophysics, radiation biology, and clinical laboratory sciences in addition to the doctor of medicine degree.

In December 2001, Kelch announced he would step down as dean to concentrate on his duties as vice president. At that time, he said he would continue to serve as dean until his successor was on board.

University of Iowa Health Care describes the partnership between the UI Roy J. and Lucille A. Carver College of Medicine and UI Hospitals and Clinics and the patient care, medical education and research programs and services they provide. Visit UI Health Care online at