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MEMPHIS, Tenn.– Dr. Robert L. Summitt Sr., dean of the University of Tennessee-Memphis College of Medicine since 1981, has announced plans to step down from the position next June.

 Summitt, a native of LaFollette, said he will continue to serve as professor of pediatrics and anatomy.

 UT Memphis Chancellor Bill Rice said the College of Medicine and UT Memphis have benefited from Summitt’s leadership over the past 16 years.

 “His superb guidance of the college and its faculty has served us well,” Rice said. “It will be difficult to replace him.”

 Under Summitt’s leadership, the College of Medicine has:

 — Established a national reputation for the education of primary care physicians, earning the recognition of the Association of American Medical Colleges and U.S. News and World Report.

 — Increased external funding of peer-reviewed basic science and clinical research from $10.9 million in 1981-82 to $25.9 million in 1996-97.

 — Raised enrollment of African-American students from 17 in 1987 to 80 in 1996.

 Summitt attended Davidson College and UT-Knoxville prior to beginning his medical training at UT-Memphis. Graduating with honors in 1955, Summitt interned in 1956 at UT Medical Center in Knoxville.

 Other positions Summitt has held at UT-Memphis include instructor, professor, provost and executive vice chancellor.


 Contact: Claire Lowry (901-448-5544)