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Two finalists named for vice chancellor post

Published on Thursday, January 22, 2015

By: Tom Fortner at 601-984-1100 or tfortner@umc.edu.

Published in News Stories on January 22, 2015

It's down to two.  Two final candidates under consideration to become UMMC's next vice chancellor for health affairs and dean of the School of Medicine.

They include an internal candidate, Dr. LouAnn Woodward, who has served as associate vice chancellor for health affairs and medical school vice dean for the last five years, and a candidate from outside the institution, Dr. Stephen J. Spann, a family medicine physician who is chief medical officer for the Johns Hopkins Medicine-affiliated hospital in the United Arab Emirates.  

Their names have been submitted by the search committee for final consideration by University of Mississippi Chancellor Dan Jones.

Both candidates will be at UMMC next week for final meetings and for town-hall style presentations for members of the campus community - Spann on Monday and Woodward on Thursday.  Both town halls will be in the lower amphitheater, R-153, from 5:15 to 6:15 p.m., and both will be videoed for posting on the campus Intranet.

Biosketches and curriculum vitae of each candidate can be found here.

Members of the Medical Center community who would like to submit their impressions of the candidates may do so at the following links:




A native of Texas, Spann spent 10 years of his youth in Uruguay, South America, in a missionary family.  He graduated from Baylor University in Waco, Texas, and earned his medical degree at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston.  He completed a family medicine residency at Duke University Medical Center in Durham, N.C.  Spann also completed an MBA at the University of Texas at Dallas.

After six years practicing family medicine in North Carolina and Arkansas, Spann joined the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center, attaining the rank of associate professor and vice chairman of the Department of Family Medicine before leaving in 1990 to become chairman of family medicine at the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston.  He rejoined his medical alma mater, Baylor College of Medicine, in 1997 as chairman of family medicine.  During the last part of his tenure at Baylor, Spann was called on to serve as senior vice president and dean of clinical affairs during a period of institutional crisis and leadership transition.  Since 2012, he has been part of a Johns Hopkins team managing a 460-bed teaching hospital owned by the government of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi. 


Woodward has spent her entire academic medical career at UMMC, culminating in her position as the Medical Center’s second highest-ranking officer under Vice Chancellor James E. Keeton.  A native of Carroll County in north central Mississippi, Woodward graduated from Mississippi State University and then earned a medical degree at UMMC.  After a residency in emergency medicine here, she joined the emergency medicine faculty and is currently a tenured professor.

In 2003, she became assistant dean for academic affairs in the School of Medicine and assumed increasing responsibility for its educational programs as she ascended the administrative ladder. As vice dean, she is responsible for the day-to-day operations of the school and has overseen not only a gradual expansion of its class size but the 2012 accreditation visit that resulted in no citations, a rarity.  In 2013, Woodward was invited to serve on the Liaison Committee on Medical Education (LCME), the accrediting body for U.S. and Canadian medical schools.

Woodward and Spann were selected from a group of four candidates who made initial campus visits that began in November.

If Woodward is selected, she would be the first woman to hold the vice chancellor post.  If Spann is selected, he would be the first external candidate to hold the position since Dr. Norman Nelson, who was a faculty member at Louisiana State University when he was appointed UMMC vice chancellor and dean in 1973.