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Release: Nov. 14, 2002

Board Of Regents Approves New VP Responsibilities, Title For Kelch

The Board of Regents, State of Iowa has approved additional responsibilities and a new job title for University of Iowa Vice President Robert P. Kelch, M.D. Kelch, who has been vice president for statewide health services since 2001, will now serve as vice president for health affairs.

UI Hospitals and Clinics Director and CEO Donna Katen-Bahensky will continue to report to Kelch in his revised position. The incoming dean of the UI Roy J. and Lucille A. Carver College of Medicine, Jean E. Robillard, M.D., will report jointly to Kelch and to the UI provost.

Kelch's new duties include coordination of strategic planning, fund raising and capital planning for the entire health sciences campus, which includes the Colleges of Dentistry, Nursing, Pharmacy and Public Health, and the University Hygienic Laboratory (UHL), as well as the UI Carver College of Medicine and UI Hospitals and Clinics.

"I am extremely pleased that Dr. Kelch has agreed to take on these important duties," said UI Interim President Willard L. Boyd. "Bob's leadership will be critically important to the university's efforts in fostering economic development and providing better health care in our state. He is blessed with knowledge, experience, vision and an incredible capacity for work –- abilities that will serve the university and the state well as we address the challenges ahead of us."

Boyd said the change in title was made to more accurately reflect Kelch's additional responsibilities.

"Each of the seven units within the health sciences campus is engaged in many interdisciplinary activities, both within the university and across the state," Boyd said. "Dr. Kelch's leadership will ensure that we use our resources effectively and efficiently."

In collaboration with Vice President for Research and External Relations David J. Skorton, M.D., Kelch will oversee the UHL and the Office of Health Science Relations. The hygienic laboratory currently reports to Skorton, and Health Science Relations reports jointly to Skorton and to the dean of medicine.

"Bob Kelch has a tremendous list of accomplishments as dean of the medical school," Skorton said. "Our hygienic laboratory will play an increasingly important role in the state and in the region on homeland security issues. Bob's vision, wisdom and experience will be of utmost importance as the hygienic laboratory assumes a higher profile."

Kelch will continue to co-chair with the provost the UI Health Sciences Policy Council, which consists of the deans of dentistry, medicine, nursing, pharmacy and public health, the directors of UI Hospitals and Clinics and the UHL, and the associate provost for health sciences.

Kelch will also work with the vice president for finance and university services and the deans of the health science colleges in budget planning. He is charged with establishing and maintaining close relationships with university, state, federal, corporate, public and professional constituents who affect issues relating to the health sciences campus, including homeland security.

Last December, Kelch announced he would step down as dean of the UI Carver College of Medicine to concentrate on his duties as vice president. He will continue to serve as dean until Feb. 1, 2003, at which time Robillard will become dean.

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