Milestone Appointment in Medical Education

William F. Owen Jr. was named president of the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey. When he takes office in July he will become the first African American to lead the university and one of the first blacks to head a major medical school that is not at a historically black college or university.

Owen was the chancellor and vice president for health affairs at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center in Memphis. Prior to assuming that position he was the chief scientist in the renal division of Baxter Healthcare Corporation. He has a quarter-century of experience teaching at Harvard Medical School and Duke University School of Medicine. He also taught health sector management at Duke’s Fuqua School of Business.

A kidney specialist, Owen is a graduate of Brown University. He received his medical degree at Tufts University and completed his internship and residency at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston. Owen is the author of two books and approximately 200 journal articles on kidney dialysis and transplantation.

The University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey has four main campuses and several smaller satellite campuses throughout the state. The university consists of two traditional medical schools, a school of osteopathic medicine, a dental school, a nursing school, two public health schools, and a graduate school of biomedical sciences. It has total enrollments of more than 5,700 students. Nearly half of the student body is black, Hispanic, or Asian. In 2006 blacks made up 14.9 percent of the graduates of the university’s medical schools and nearly 9 percent of the graduates of its dental schools.