MUSC president leaving for post at Texas college

AP Photo/Bruce Smith, file Mayor Joseph P. Riley Jr., left, and Medical University of South Carolina President Raymond Greenberg look out over the Horizon District in Charleston.

CHARLESTON — Dr. Raymond Greenberg announced on Wednesday that he is leaving the Medical University of South Carolina after 13 years as president to become executive vice chancellor for Health Affairs in the University of Texas System.

Greenberg, who leaves at the end of next month, will be responsible for the administration of six academic health science institutions within the University of Texas System including four medical schools. The system each year trains more than two-thirds of Texas’ health care professionals, awarding 800 medical degrees and 160 dental degrees.

“Leaving a place where you have been for nearly two decades is not an easy thing to do. There are so many people I have worked with and learned from here. It’s very difficult to think about leaving,” Greenberg told The Associated Press. “At the same time the opportunity there is really extraordinary. Texas has 25 million people, and there are a lot of opportunities to build on already strong programs.”

Greenberg, who turns 58 next month, succeeded former South Carolina Gov. Jim Edwards as president of MUSC in 2000. Greenberg held administrative positions at the university for five years previous and earlier served in various administrative posts at Emory University.

During his tenure as president, MUSC built a new medical center among other campus projects that added more than 1 million square feet of space on its campus in downtown Charleston. Annual medical research funding doubled to a record $243 million.

“The transformation of the physical campus is probably the most visible thing that even the casual observer can see,” Greenberg said. “But there has also been a cultural change about partnerships - partnerships with other universities and with other hospitals.”

During his presidency, Greenberg helped create Health Sciences South Carolina, a partnership involving the state’s research universities and teaching hospitals. The separate pharmacy schools at MUSC and the University of South Carolina Medical School in Columbia were merged and the Carolina e-Health Alliance was created in which Charleston’s highly competitive hospitals now electronically share patient data between emergency departments.

“There are not a lot of places in the country that have been able to do those things. To me that’s a very special part of the opportunity in south Carolina. The state is manageable in size and if you work together you can do extraordinary things,” he said.

“Ray Greenberg has transformed the Medical University during his years in office,” Thomas Stephenson, chairman of the MUSC Board of Trustees said in a statement. “He will be missed on campus, but equally important, throughout the state of South Carolina.”

Stephenson said the board would meet soon to select an interim president and then begin a national search for a permanent president.

Greenberg is the second president of a major South Carolina university to announce this year that he is leaving.

Clemson President Jim Barker announced in April that he is stepping down after 14 years to return to teaching. Barker remains president while the university searches for a successor.