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Williams takes reins at UNT Health Science Center

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Robert Francis
Robert Francis
Robert is a Fort Worth native and longtime editor of the Fort Worth Business Press. He is a former president of the local Society of Professional Journalists and was a freelancer for a variety of newspapers, weeklies and magazines, including American Way, BrandWeek and InformatonWeek. A graduate of TCU, Robert has held a variety of writing and editing positions at publications such as the Grand Prairie Daily News and InfoWorld. He is also a musician and playwright.

The University of North Texas System (UNTS) Board of Regents on Friday voted to confirm Michael R. Williams, DO, MD, MBA, as president of the UNT Health Science Center effective immediately.

Last month, Williams was named sole finalist for the presidency. State law requires university governing boards to name finalists for a presidency at least 21 days before making a permanent appointment.

UNT System Chancellor Lee F. Jackson recommended Dr. Williams to the Board after receiving a unanimous recommendation from a Presidential Search Advisory Committee comprised of campus, system, and community leaders.

Williams was named to his interim position in December 2012 following the firing of former President Scott Ransom.. A Fort Worth native, Williams, 58, is board-certified by the American Board of Anesthesiology in both anesthesia and critical care medicine. He practiced medicine in Dallas for several years, moved to Fredericksburg to practice anesthesiology in 1995 and grew the practice to eight providers. In 2008, after serving on the board of Hill Country Memorial for five years, he quit his practice to become chief executive officer of the hospital.

“I didn’t set out to be a hospital CEO, but I always enjoyed the managing partner roll of my practice,” said Williams in an earlier interview. He says he often looks to successful business practices to find solutions in health care problems. “In both medical education and health care, there has been a real lack of business approaches. Health care organizations have been slow to recognize that they are, in fact, businesses,” Williams said.

He is a 1981 graduate of UNTHSC with a Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine degree (DO) from the Texas College of Osteopathic Medicine, one of five schools and colleges now part of the UNT Health Science Center. Williams earned his bachelor’s degree from Texas Wesleyan University; a Doctor of Medicine (MD) degree from Ross University; a Master of Business Administration from Duke University; and a Master’s Degree in Health Care Management from Harvard University.

“Dr. Williams is an extraordinary and accomplished product of the institution he now will lead. He returns to his hometown in Fort Worth with a proven commitment to quality healthcare and innovation,” Chancellor Jackson said in a news release. “Over the past six months in his interim assignment he has demonstrated a strong commitment and keen grasp of the issues and opportunities ahead of the UNT Health Science Center.”  

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