Cryer to lead new Office of Faculty Diversity and Development

By Lin Lofley / Holidays 2010

Dr. Byron Cryer has been named associate dean for faculty diversity and development and will lead a newly created office of the same name. The initiative is the result of one of the key recommendations of the Faculty Development Task Force from last year’s strategic planning process focused on institutional priorities.   

“In this new role, Dr. Cryer will facilitate the efforts of our chairs and others to recruit and retain the very best faculty,” said Dr. Greg Fitz, executive vice president for academic affairs, provost and dean of UT Southwestern Medical School. “He also will develop a reporting system for tracking progress in our efforts to promote the careers of women and underrepresented minorities. These efforts will require the development of campuswide strategies to assure optimal identification, mentoring and retention of candidates. I am confident that the results over time will have a meaningful impact on all of our missions and will position us for even greater success in the future.”

Dr. Byron Cryer

Dr. Cryer, professor of internal medicine, said the dual functions of his new leadership position are equally important.

“Having a diverse faculty is good for a number of reasons, in part because we have a diverse medical school,” he said. “Having a diverse population provides us a number of benefits. As we move into an era of fortifying and expanding our clinical talent, we want to make certain that we’re representative of our patient population.

“Development is a newer concept, but we’re ready for it. We’ve looked at similar efforts going on at other academic medical centers, and, while I can’t tell you who I think is doing it best, in five years I’d like it if people point to UT Southwestern as a place where we’re doing it right.”

Before his appointment, Dr. Cryer served as associate dean for minority student affairs in the medical school, where he initiated a number of innovative programs.

A graduate of Harvard College, Dr. Cryer received his medical degree from Baylor College of Medicine. He joined the UT Southwestern faculty in 1992 and has focused his efforts as a clinical scholar in gastroenterology, with a specific research interest in the pathogenesis of ulcer disease and the adverse effects on nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs.

UT Southwestern recently received a first-place award from the National Association of Medical Minority Educators for an innovative program designed to ensure racial and ethnic diversity in the health care profession. 

“I believe Dr. Cryer’s accomplishments in clinical care, research and administration have provided him with experience and perspective that will be invaluable in promoting the goals of the faculty diversity and development programs,” Dr. Fitz said.

Dr. Charles Ginsburg, senior associate dean of the medical school, is leading a search committee to identify candidates for the associate dean for minority student affairs position.

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Dr. Fitz holds the Nadine and Tom Craddick Distinguished Chair in Medical Science and the Atticus James Gill, M.D., Chair in Medical Science.