UM Names Accomplished Academic and Inventor as New Provost

By UM News

UM Names Accomplished Academic and Inventor as New Provost

By UM News
Jeffrey L. Duerk, dean of the School of Engineering at Case Western, has been named the new provost at UM.

The University of Miami has named Jeffrey L. Duerk, an accomplished engineer, scientist, inventor and leading expert in biomedical imaging, as its new executive vice president and provost, a position that serves as the University’s chief academic officer.

In making his announcement, UM President Julio Frenk noted Duerk’s accomplishments as dean of the School of Engineering at Case Western Reserve University and his long-standing commitment to innovation and scientific discovery.

“I am delighted to welcome Jeffrey as a key member of our leadership team. He is an innovative academic administrator with extensive experience building interdisciplinary bridges. He has a deep appreciation for the University of Miami’s academic depth and breadth, as well as our rich diversity,” said Frenk. “He also has a keen understanding of the complexities of a global research university, and the importance of continuing to advance on all fronts—education, research, and service—even against the headwinds facing higher education.”

In his position, Duerk will oversee the University’s 11 schools and colleges and other academic and research initiatives. He will start at UM on July 1, and succeeds Thomas J. LeBlanc, who is stepping down to become president of The George Washington University.

“I am honored and excited to be joining the University of Miami family and embarking on this inspiring opportunity,” said Duerk. “These are challenging times for higher education, but together we will grow and succeed in our mission to share knowledge and ensure our students achieve their full potential.”

Duerk, who has been on the faculty at Case Western since 1988, has served as dean of the School of Engineering since 2012 and is the Leonard Case Professor of Engineering. He received his Ph.D. in biomedical engineering from Case Western in 1987, and received his B.S. and M.S. degrees in electrical engineering from Purdue University and The Ohio State University, respectively.

Duerk is one of the world’s leading experts in biomedical imaging, with emphasis on magnetic resonance imaging. He holds more than 30 patents and has received numerous NIH and industry-sponsored grants. He was inducted as a fellow into the National Academy of Inventors in 2017.

“Jeffrey Duerk’s distinguished academic career and his restless quest for discovery makes him a perfect fit for the University of Miami,” said Richard Fain, chair of the UM Board of Trustees. “His focus on innovation and interdisciplinary initiatives will benefit our students as they become the world’s next generation of leaders.”

Dr. Eduardo Alfonso, director of the Bascom Palmer Eye Institute, chaired the 16-member search committee that considered many superb candidates before recommending Duerk as one of the finalists for appointment.

“The quality of the candidates was exceptional, and Jeffrey Duerk stood out to the committee as having all the qualifications considered important for the position of executive vice president and provost,” said Alfonso. “He’s a noted collaborator, a global thinker and someone with a track record of accomplishments.”

Duerk was the founding director of the Case Center of Imaging Research, an innovative and interdisciplinary center that brings together engineers, physicists, physicians, biochemists and radiochemists to explore and develop new biomedical imaging technologies and translational applications. He was a founding leader of the Cancer Imaging program at the Case Comprehensive Cancer Center. He also helped plan or put in place either research or student learning programs in Germany, Malaysia, Thailand, Philippines, China, Brazil, Romania, South Korea, Indonesia and other locations.

As a member of Frenk’s executive leadership team, Duerk will work closely with Jacqueline Travisano, executive vice president for business and finance and chief operating officer, and Steve Altschuler, executive vice president for health affairs and CEO of UHealth.