Message from the Vice Chancellor for Health Affairs

Dear Faculty, Staff and Students,

Dimitri Azar, M.D., MBA, Executive Dean of the University of Illinois College of Medicine, has announced that he will step down from his position as Executive Dean, effective March 15, 2018, to continue his role as Senior Director of Ophthalmologic Innovation at Verily Life Sciences. Dr. Azar will remain at UIC as faculty on a part-time basis.

Since 2011, Dean Azar’s guidance has led the College of Medicine toward significant advances, particularly in the areas of active learner-centered education, clinically-relevant translational research based on innovative fundamental discoveries, and high-quality value-based patient care. Through his tireless efforts, the College progressed as a leader in team-based learning and clinical simulation and was ranked #1 in the 2016 national Vitals survey which recognizes top-rated physicians. Dean Azar’s visionary leadership across a multi-campus institution created an atmosphere that encouraged excellence, promoted community engagement and stimulated innovation. The University deeply appreciates his dedication and leadership.

I am pleased to announce the appointment of Charles Ray, M.D., Ph.D., M.S. as Interim Dean of the University of Illinois College of Medicine, effective March 16, 2018, pending approval of the Board of Trustees.  Dr. Ray has served as Acting Dean since July of 2017 and head of the Department of Radiology since January 2014. His able stewardship over the past eight months has ensured continued progress during this time of transition, and I have been and continue to be grateful for his contributions.

I will commence a national search for the new dean of the College.  Please join me in thanking Dr. Azar for his exemplary service to UIC and to the College of Medicine as Dean and for his continued contributions in ophthalmic technology and innovation.


Robert Barish
Vice Chancellor for Health Affairs


For more information, please contact:
Margaret Moser

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