I am writing with a mixture of sadness and deep gratitude to announce that Irving Kron, MD, has decided to step down from his position as senior associate vice president for Health Sciences. His last day will be June 30, 2020, as he leaves to return to the University of Virginia and his family.
During his time at Health Sciences, Dr. Kron has provided a stable presence and guiding hand for our academic and research endeavors, helping to position Health Sciences for success in both areas for years to come. As important as his accomplishments leading those areas are, the values and personal commitment he has brought to the various roles he has filled, as well as his integrity, warmth and humor, will have the most profound and lasting impression on us.
I am personally grateful to Dr. Kron for his willingness to lead no matter what the need, and it has been a pleasure for me to work alongside him as a colleague both here and during our time together in Virginia.
Dr. Kron has led our efforts in three critical areas: as interim dean of the College of Medicine – Tucson, as head of research program development for Health Sciences, and as the contact principal investigator for the All of Us program. In leading each of these areas, he has served with great distinction.
As interim dean, Dr. Kron brought stability and a renewed sense of purpose for the pursuit of clinically relevant research. He championed the clinical excellence and reach of his colleagues and created awards to acknowledge their contributions.
Perhaps most importantly in his role, he brought the perspective of an academic physician-scientist leader and administrator, hosting town halls, promotion retreats, an innovations and inventions fair, and other activities to foster increased communication and a sense of purpose at the college. During his tenure, the Honors College MedCats program was conceived and initiated, and the MD/PhD program was revamped. He also appointed a permanent deputy dean for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion.
In that key area for the college, Dr. Kron’s greatest assets were his presence and the compassionate connection he made with students, for whom he became an endearing figure due to his humility and approachability.
He was always eager to attend their meetings or networking events, listen and support change, and he was always willing to stop in the hallways to entertain a conversation with individual students whom he knew by name. He gave a voice to their concerns about curricular revision around diversity and inclusion related matters, and even offered students his personal cell phone number to contact him if they needed anything.
Dr. Kron also made significant progress in improving the alignment of goals with our clinical partner, Banner Health, developing strong support from the college’s department chairs and working with hospital leadership to improve direct communication with faculty.
Through general faculty meetings as well as by attending department faculty meetings with Banner as a partner, he worked tirelessly to ensure that Banner and UArizona leadership presented a unified effort to the Tucson community. In that regard, he not only made connections with key leaders, but led by example as a well-respected cardiac surgeon who built his practice by going out into the community.
When Dr. Kron stepped out of the role of interim dean, he immediately stepped into the roles of leading the development of research programs for Health Sciences and serving as contact principal investigator for the All of Us program. There, he not only successfully led the program through a critical transition period, but also recruited new administrative leadership and hosted numerous workshops to expand the program’s reach and effectiveness.
Dr. Kron also has served as the medical director of the Clinical and Translational Sciences Research Center, where he led the implementation of a new compliance risk assessment review to ensure participant safety and clinical research competence. Most recently, Dr. Kron has provided key assistance to the UArizona Cancer Center in their leadership transition, serving as chair of the hiring committee for a new director, and he has been instrumental in guiding the resubmission of our Clinical and Translational Science Award application.
As much as he will be missed, I am delighted that Dr. Kron will be continuing in academic medicine and will be doing so back with his family. In his absence, there will be organizational adjustments that I will announce at a later date, but the role that Dr. Kron has played at Health Sciences will truly never be able to be filled.
Please join me in thanking him for his leadership and service, and in wishing him all the best.
Michael D. Dake, MD
Senior Vice President
University of Arizona Health Sciences