Editor’s note: This story was updated at 2:37 p.m. on Friday.
After four years of serving Central Michigan University and founding its medical college in 2012, College of Medicine Dean Ernest Yoder announced his resignation on Friday.
Yoder’s final day will be June 30, according to a university-wide press release issued via email. While the release mentioned Yoder’s departure hinged on personal and family matters, he told Central Michigan Life that his decision focused on the future of the CMED.
“It’s been four very challenging and difficult years (for CMED),” Yoder said. “Given the lay of the land and the success of the college, it’s time for a leadership change. We’re entering a new stage of development for the college.”
The decision also involved a self assessment by Yoder looking at what he could offer the CMED moving forward. That assessment moved Yoder to accept that it was time for him to leave.
“The key question is ‘are the people that are in place the right people to handle the next stage?’ It’s time for me to (resign).”
Some of the challenges facing CMED include the college’s accreditation process, Yoder said. CMED has been setting up the school for accreditation while simultaneously planning for the next accreditation cycle.
“It’s a bit like putting the engine and the skin on a plane while at the same time flying the plane,” he said. “It took us twice the work of an established medical school.”
Other challenges outlined by Yoder include creating consistency in quality across CMED’s curriculum. Merging with Saginaw, updating its residency programs and expanding the curriculum was also a great deal of work for the college, he said.
When asked if the CMED was facing any financial hardships, Yoder said “not right now.”
The college’s clinical programs are self-funded, but tuition dollars and university resources make up the largest part of the school’s funding. CMED raised its tuition rates in May to $38,522 per year for residential students. Out-of-state students will be paying $71,659 in tuition in the fall.
CMED’s inaugural tuition rates were $33,536 and $67,072 for 2013-14, respectively.
Yoder was one of CMU’s highest paid administrators, garnering a salary of $403,504 for 2013-14, according to CMU salary data complied in the Charles V. Park Library.
Provost Michael Gealt said the average tenure for medical college deans is about four years. However, Yoder said NCAA data shows that the lifespan of medical college deans is on average six to seven years.
Yoder joined CMU in 2010.
“I don’t know the data on founding deans, but four years isn’t too crazy out of the range,” Yoder said.
Linda Perkowski, CMED’s senior associate dean, will fill in for Yoder in the interim. A committee to find Yoder’s permanent replacement will be charge within two weeks, Gealt said.
The outgoing dean made his announcement Friday morning at a small end of the year party for CMED’s first class, said Jim Knight, director of communications and marketing for CMED.
Yoder told CM Life that his students are some of the brightest he’s seen and that they will all make “excellent physicians.”
“These students are, when you look at them in a holistic sense, they’re not just academic high achievers, but are excellent people,” he said. “They will be the kind of physicians I want to be taking care of me later on in life.”
Visit cm-life.com for updates on this story.