Howard’s second forum focuses on success of UT’s academic health center

February 24, 2015 | News, PresidentialSearch
By Meghan Cunningham

Dr. Christopher Howard shared his experiences in the pharmaceutical industry and vision for The University of Toledo Medical Center in his second presidential search open forum on Tuesday.



Howard, one of three finalists to be UT’s 17th president, said the next president of the institution needs to build synergies between Main Campus and Health Science Campus and empower the leadership to create a model for the University’s academic health center that ensures the clinical enterprise is large enough to support its academic mission.

He is the president of Hampden-Sydney College in Virginia.

During his visit to Health Science Campus, Howard tailored his talk to focus on the president’s role in supporting translational research, addressing funding challenges impacted by the Affordable Care Act reimbursement model and the imperative to serve indigent patients, keeping up with medical technology, and improving patient and student satisfaction.

We live in a Coke Zero world, he said, noting the advertisement where the young person featured keeps saying “and” to add to the list of his demands in a job negotiation.

“What’s going to happen in places like this is patients and students want zero defect care and a state-of-the-art facility and hospitality, while students want world-class faculty and access to student residencies and fellowships and a reasonable cost. Hence, the Coke Zero ‘and world’ that we live in,” Howard said. “The new president will have to work to address these daunting issues because any perceived shortcomings inevitably end up on Facebook where everybody reads them.”

Howard, who also spoke about his experience with the Bristol-Myers Squibb biopharmaceutical company learning about the miracle of modern medicine, said the leadership of UTMC is well-positioned to handle the upcoming challenges.

He answered questions from the audience about increasing the diversity of students and faculty, what attracted him to UT, working with the Board of Trustees, his average day as a university president, views on funded and unfunded research, working with student leaders, ensuring good relationships with UT neighbors, navigating a challenging financial environment, instituting change while valuing tradition, supporting entrepreneurship, and supporting women in leadership roles.

If you would like to share your views with the UT Board of Trustees, fill out the feedback questionnaire available on Howard’s profile page on the presidential search website through Wednesday, Feb. 25, at 5 p.m.

For more information on the presidential search and schedule for future forums for another candidate this week, visit

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