Dean’s Message: Moving Forward During Time of Transition

Dr. Kevin Black, the new interim dean for Penn State College of Medicine, sent the following message to employees on Tuesday:

Dear Colleagues:

It is my honor to serve as interim dean at Penn State College of Medicine.

Someone recently asked me why I accepted this role, knowing it’s only for a short while. The answer is pretty simple: I care deeply about this organization. Penn State has been my home for 26 years. If my experiences can keep us moving forward during this time of transition, I want to do that.



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I was drawn to Hershey in 1993 when I was a young physician and father, looking for a place where I could make a difference in medicine but also raise my children. I knew I wanted to work in an academic environment because while I love caring for patients, I also wanted to advance health through teaching, discovery and community outreach. This college and health system have made it possible to achieve those aspirations, and for that, I am deeply grateful.

Summer is one of my favorite times of the year at our College of Medicine, as our new students, residents and fellows arrive on our Hershey and University Park medical campuses and at locations across Penn State Health. New learners bring new backgrounds, perspectives and experiences, enriching our environment. We recently welcomed 33 new physician assistant students, and throughout the next few weeks, we’ll also welcome 152 medical students, 78 graduate students, 157 residents and 50 fellows.

Together, we are creating the future of health care.

All of us – including our colleagues at University Park – are committed to preserving the symbiotic relationship between our college and our health system. Penn State College of Medicine’s ability to create a pipeline of clinicians, scientists, public health professionals and innovative research ensures that Penn State Health can continue to provide the most advanced care to patients. The growing health system provides a vast array of clinical environments and experiences for our students, educators and investigators.

We need to work together to blend our missions. Steve Massini, the new chief executive officer at Penn State Health, and I will be working closely together with the people of this organization as we map our future. We are surrounded by change, and wherever we go in this next era of health care, we need to go there together for the success of our organization and the benefit of the patients we serve.

For those who missed last month’s town hall with Penn State Provost Dr. Nick Jones, who is leading the search for our new dean, you can view it here. In a nutshell, Dr. Jones will conduct a robust, national search. He will establish a search committee that includes department chairs, faculty and leadership from Penn State College of Medicine and Penn State Health, along with Penn State University leadership. A search firm will be hired. When finalists are identified, we’d like you to meet them and share your views. The final decision will be made by Penn State President Dr. Eric Barron, and the process is expected to take six to 12 months.

I look forward to working with you.

Dr. Kevin Black
Interim Dean
Penn State College of Medicine

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