Black Medical School Hires White President

The Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science in the Willowbrook section of South Los Angeles offers medical training through a cooperative program with UCLA. It also offers bachelor’s degrees and master’s degrees in allied health fields. Almost all students at the university are black or Hispanic. In 1987 the institution was designated by Congress as a historically black graduate institution.

The university, along with its Martin Luther King Jr./Charles Drew Medical Center, has had financial problems in recent years and has lost its accreditation to train physicians in surgery, radiology, and neonatology.

Now the university has hired a new president. She is Susan Kelly, a 55-year-old Australian who was serving as vice president of the Council for Adult and Experiential Learning in Chicago. Previously she was a professor, dean, and associate provost at the University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee. There she is credited with turning around the university’s School of Continuing Education.

A psychologist by trade, Kelly will be the first woman and the first nonminority to serve as president of the Drew University of Medicine and Science.