Upstate News

September 1, 2006
Darryl Geddes 315 464-4828

David R. Smith, M.D., begins work as president of SUNY Upstate Sept. 1

SYRACUSE, N.Y. – David R. Smith, M.D., a former chancellor of Texas Tech University and a former Texas commissioner of health, begins his new job as president of SUNY Upstate Medical University Sept. 1.

Smith’s appointment as president was approved unanimously by SUNY trustees June 27.

“My colleagues and I are very impressed by Dr. Smith’s tremendous record of success and pleased that the Upstate Medical University search committee and University Council have brought Dr. Smith to New York,” said SUNY Chancellor John Ryan.

Smith is an accomplished heath care professional and academic administrator with an impressive record of public service. From July 2001 until February 2006, he served as Chancellor of the Texas Tech University System. As Chancellor, Smith developed a strategic plan with a student-based focus that included an accountability scorecard for the System. Under his leadership, the Texas Tech System launched, in 2004, an aggressive five-year $450 million academic and research initiative designed to garner and invest resources in three critical areas: people, technology and facilities.

Prior to serving as Chancellor, Smith served for more than five years as President of the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center and Dean of the School of Medicine and Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences. During his tenure as President, more than $150 million was secured from fund raising to improve the academic and research enterprise of the Health Sciences Center, the faculty was expanded and federally funded research tripled. Before his service at Texas Tech University, Smith served for five years as the Commissioner of the Texas Department of Health, an agency with a $7 billion annual operating budget. From 1989 to 1992, Smith served as the Senior Vice President of Parkland Memorial Hospital in Dallas, and as the Chief Executive Officer and Medical Director of Parkland’s Community Oriented Primary Care Program.

A native of Ohio, Smith received his bachelor’s degree from Cornell University and a medical degree from the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine. He completed his pediatric residency and chief residency at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. He has been a Fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics since 1985.

Smith has served on numerous local and national boards throughout his career. In 1996, he was the recipient of the American Medical Association’s Dr. Nathan Davis Award, the organization’s highest award for outstanding public service. He is a member of the Executive Committee of the National Board of Trustees for the March of Dimes in White Plains, NY and, in January 2005, he began his tenure on the Board of Directors of the National Association of State Universities and Land Grant Colleges (NASULGC).

Gregory L. Eastwood, M.D., stepped down as president of Upstate Medical Center June 1. He is currently serving as interim president of Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio.

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