Nationally Renowned Physician Scientist Named Executive Dean of the OU College of Medicine
Published: Friday, November 17, 2023
The University of Oklahoma announced today the appointment of Ian F. Dunn, M.D., FACS, FAANS, as executive dean of the OU College of Medicine, pending OU Board of Regents’ approval. Dunn will begin serving in his new position on Jan. 15.
As executive dean, Dunn will also provide leadership at the university’s health care partner, OU Health, as its inaugural chief academic officer, ensuring the integration of the university’s academic and research missions with the clinical mission of the health system.
Dunn joined the OU College of Medicine in 2018, serving as professor and chair of the Department of Neurosurgery, holding the Harry Wilkins, M.D. Chair in Neurosurgery. He also serves on the OU Health executive leadership team, serving as chief physician executive since October 2021, as well as president of OU Health Partners and vice chair of the OU Health Partners Board of Directors. He has also served as senior associate dean of clinical affairs at the College of Medicine. In this capacity, Dunn has provided crucial leadership since the historic 2021 merger that combined the OU College of Medicine faculty practice and OU Medicine Inc. to create OU Health, Oklahoma’s first fully integrated academic health system.
“In addition to being an exemplary neurosurgeon, researcher and educator, Dr. Ian Dunn has played a pivotal role in our progress to unite research-driven care and education, with the ultimate goal of enhancing health care for the people of Oklahoma,” said OU President Joseph Harroz Jr. “We continue making considerable strides toward elevating the OU Health Sciences as a top-tier, research-intense academic health center, and our College of Medicine is key to this endeavor. Dr. Dunn’s proven ability to foster strategic collaborations to achieve enterprise-wide goals make him the ideal choice to lead our College of Medicine. His talent and energy will lift the health care for all Oklahomans.”
The merger to create OU Health included bringing the research and education missions of the enterprise into closer alignment with the care of patients. As the physician practice transitioned to OU Health, Dunn led several important initiatives in forming the new health system – including co-leading the integration of physicians into OU Health, leading a modernized physician compensation plan and overseeing a new ambulatory operational infrastructure.
“Dr. Dunn’s remarkable track record as a physician scientist and executive health care leader has been transformational in the modernization of our clinical platform at OU Health while ensuring the research and education missions remain at the forefront of our work,” said Richard P. Lofgren, M.D., MPH, president and CEO of OU Health. “Dr. Dunn’s new role will accelerate our progress as an integrated academic health center and further aligns the OU College of Medicine and OU Health as integral partners.”
As chair of the Department of Neurosurgery, Dunn has ushered substantial growth and development over the past five years: the department has substantially increased its faculty and Advanced Practice Provider team by recruiting the most comprehensive neurosurgical group in the state, and it has leveraged innovative approaches such as telehealth to expand clinical services and neurosurgical care to reach even more Oklahomans. Largely due to the department’s progress and national reputation, the American Association of Neurological Surgeons/Congress of Neurological Surgeons chose OU to host the Joint Section of Pediatric Neurosurgery national meeting this year.
Moreover, Dunn has grown the residency program and emphasized the importance of medical student mentorship, supporting a robust medical student research program led by several faculty members. Working closely with the Department of Cell Biology in particular, the group has helped nurture the Graduate Program in Neuroscience, recruiting graduate students and postdoctoral fellows in this key educational program. He is deeply invested in the research missions of both the Department of Neurosurgery and the OU Health Sciences campus, with the department significantly increasing its scholastic output in recent years.
“Over the past five years, Dr. Dunn has provided exceptional leadership across our academic health system, consistently prioritizing the advancement of research and the preparation of future health care professionals as we strive to improve health outcomes in Oklahoma,” said Gary Raskob, Ph.D., senior vice president and provost of the OU Health Sciences. “His selection as the College of Medicine’s next executive dean will elevate the college’s already strong reputation and strengthen our essential partnership with OU Health.”
Before joining the OU enterprise, Dunn served eight years as an associate professor in the Department of Neurosurgery at Harvard Medical School and as director for the Center for Pituitary and Skull Base Surgery at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, where he became nationally known for his expertise and excellence in pituitary and skull-based neurosurgery.
He completed his clinical fellowship in skull base neurosurgery at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences/St. Vincent Infirmary Medical Center, Little Rock, after completing his postdoctoral fellowship in cancer genomics at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute/Broad Institute, Boston. He completed his neurosurgery residency and served as chief resident at the Children’s Hospital/Brigham and Women’s Hospital, and general surgery internship at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. He earned his medical degree from Harvard Medical School in Boston.
Dunn is a member of numerous national professional societies and presents nationally and internationally on his central focus on complex brain tumors at the skull base, including those in the pituitary region. He has authored more than 250 peer-reviewed journal publications and 40 chapters of various scientific and/or medical publications in neurosurgery and has lectured widely nationally and internationally.
Dunn is married to Dr. Carolyn Kloek, and they are parents to Catherine, Jack and Carys.
About the University of Oklahoma
Founded in 1890, the University of Oklahoma is a public research university located in Norman, Oklahoma. As the state’s flagship university, OU serves the educational, cultural, economic and health care needs of the state, region and nation. OU was named the state’s highest-ranking university in U.S. News & World Report’s most recent Best Colleges list. For more information about the university, visit www.ou.edu.
About the OU College of Medicine
Founded in 1910, the OU College of Medicine at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences trains the next generation of health care professionals. The OU Health Sciences is the academic partner of OU Health, the state’s only comprehensive academic health system of hospitals, clinics and centers of excellence. With campuses in Oklahoma City and Tulsa, the College of Medicine offers the state’s only Doctor of Medicine degree program and a nationally competitive Physician Assistant program. For more information, visit medicine.ouhsc.edu.
About the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences
The University of Oklahoma Health Sciences is one of the nation’s few academic health centers with all health professions colleges — Allied Health, Dentistry, Medicine, Nursing, Pharmacy, Public Health, Graduate Studies and School of Community Medicine. OU Health Sciences serves approximately 4,000 students in more than 70 undergraduate and graduate degree programs on campuses in Oklahoma City and Tulsa and is the academic and research partner of OU Health, the state’s only comprehensive academic healthcare system. The OU Health Sciences is ranked 129 out of over 2,849 institutions in funding received from the National Institutes of Health, according to the Blue Ridge Institute for Medical Research. For more information, visit ouhsc.edu.