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Gugelchuk named WesternU Provost/COO

by Rodney Tanaka

January 17, 2012

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Gary Gugelchuk, PhD, has been named provost and chief operating officer of Western University of Health Sciences, WesternU President Philip Pumerantz, PhD, has announced.

Gugelchuk, the university’s executive vice provost, succeeds Ben Cohen, DO, who asked that he be relieved of the Provost/COO duties so that he can focus on the University’s strategic planning process. Dr. Cohen will become Advisor to the President for Strategic Planning. The administrative changes will be effective Feb. 6, 2012.

“I am sure that each of you shares with me our deep appreciation for the excellent role Ben has performed for the university as provost,” Dr. Pumerantz said in a message to the university’s Board of Trustees. “I am also honored that his commitment to the university is so strong that he wishes to continue his involvement in this important but different role. We all owe him our thanks for a job well done.”

Dr. Cohen — whose career includes stints as Provost and Senior Vice President for Health Affairs and Dean for the College of Osteopathic Medicine at the University of North Texas Health Science Center, and as Founding Dean of the Osteopathic School at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey — joined WesternU in 2005. He is credited as being the main architect of the university’s academic and physical expansion over the past five years. WesternU has added four colleges and more than a quarter-million feet of instructional and research space during his tenure, and total enrollment surged past 3,000 for the first time in 2011-12.

Dr. Gugelchuk has served in a variety of roles since joining the College of Osteopathic Medicine of the Pacific (COMP) more than 25 years ago, including as a health professions faculty member, dean of the College of Allied Health Professions, Vice President of Academic Affairs, and Senior Vice President for Executive Affairs. He has been Executive Vice Provost since 2010.

“We are fortunate that an accomplished, capable and committed person like Gary is already part of the WesternU family and welcomes the opportunity to serve as provost and COO,” Dr. Pumerantz said. “I have worked side by side with Gary for 25 years, and remain constantly impressed by his thoughtfulness and vision. We are in excellent hands with him as our new provost.”

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