OUM announces succession plans for its next phase of growth

Oceania University of Medicine Founder and Chairman Taffy Gould announced several changes in leadership at OUM last week, including naming Professor Randell Brown as Vice Chancellor to lead the University.

The changes were put into motion last year, when Dr. Viali Lameko expressed his desire to step down from his administrative duties as Vice Chancellor in order to concentrate more on his clinical teaching and to start a research program for Samoa. He recommended Professor Brown to succeed him as Vice Chancellor.

Joining Professor Brown and Dr. Lameko in the Chancellery will be Professor Hugh Bartholomeusz, Dean for Australia. Professor Bartholomeusz will assume additional duties as Deputy Vice Chancellor (Clinical), along with his role as dean. Meanwhile, Chris Dudley, the third member of the Chancellery, has been transitioning his duties as Deputy Vice Chancellor for Administration & Student Affairs to others in the University in anticipation of his retirement and will step down from the Chancellery when Professor Bartholomeusz assumes his new position. The new Chancellery appointments are effective 1 April.

“This reorganization will place a great team of academics and clinicians to lead OUM into its third decade,” says Ms. Gould, who founded the University in 2002. “I welcome Professors Brown and Bartholomeusz to their new positions, and I wish to thank Dr. Lameko and Chris Dudley as they take on other roles at OUM.”

“This is a tremendous honor, and I truly appreciate the trust that Taffy and the OUM Council have placed in me and our leadership team,” says Professor Brown, who joined OUM in 2012 as an Associate Professor in Biochemistry and Physiology. In 2014, he was named Associate Dean and in 2015 was promoted to Deputy Vice Chancellor and Chief Academic Officer. As VC, Professor Brown will continue to serve as OUM’s Chief Academic Officer.

“Serving as the VC has been a wonderful honor, especially as we developed the University into the exemplary accredited medical school it has become,” says Dr. Lameko, who will assume the title of Senior Advisor to the Chancellery. “And I will fully support Professors Brown and Bartholomeusz as they take OUM to the next level.”

Dr. Lameko first joined OUM in 2008, serving as Director of Clinical Studies until leaving for the National University of Samoa Faculty of Medicine in 2012 in the same position. In 2015, he rejoined OUM as Vice Chancellor.

“I am a believer in succession planning as part of good governance in any institution,” says Dr. Lameko. “It is an indication to junior faculty and staff that dedication and hard work can be recognized by promotions through the ranks.”

Professor Bartholomeusz joined OUM in July 2020 as Dean for Australia with the primary focus of building relationships with hospitals and clinics to host clinical clerkships for Australian students. Previously, he was an Associate Professor at the University of Queensland and in private practice as a plastic surgeon since 1985.

“It is a great honor and a privilege to have been appointed as Deputy Vice Chancellor (Clinical),” says Professor Bartholomeusz. “Since I joined OUM last year, I have been overwhelmed by the dedication and professionalism of all staff, and my main aim is to assist Professor Brown to seamlessly integrate a world-recognized pre-clinical online program into the clinical teaching setting, so that academic knowledge translates effortlessly into bedside teaching.”

Dudley informed Ms. Gould in early 2020 of his intention to retire.

“It has been a wonderful privilege to work with so many amazing students and faculty members and to help those who otherwise may not have had the opportunity to realize their dreams to become physicians,” says Dudley, who first joined OUM as a communications consultant in 2002, helping to open the North American market and expanding markets in other countries.

He later assumed administrative duties on the business side of the University, including managing the accreditation process, and will remain with the University as a consultant in communications and accreditation.

Director for Academic Transition and Student Engagement

In order to expand its services to students, OUM has named Dr. Nicolette McGuire—instructor for the Reproductive and Endocrine system-based modules for the past nine years and Provincial Director of Research, Ministry of Health, British Columbia, Canada—to the new position of Director for Academic Transition and Student Engagement.

“I’m so excited to support OUM’s mission and to serve students, faculty, staff, and administration through this role,” says Dr. McGuire.

An instructor in OUM’s new 12-week Introduction to Medicine program which began in January for all entering students, Dr. McGuire will assume management of that program and others to prepare OUM students for the rigors of medical school and to engage them in the learning process. She will continue to teach her SBM courses.

Dr. McGuire earned her PhD in Reproductive Endocrinology from the University of California Berkeley and has held several positions with the Ministry of Health in British Columbia, Canada.

(February 2021)