The Medical University of South Carolina Board of Trustees’ task is a daunting one: Find a new president who measures up to the high standards that Dr. Raymond S. Greenberg has set.
Indeed, MUSC has had a number of accomplished people in the president’s office. Dr. James B. Edwards, former governor and secretary of the U.S. Department of Energy, preceded Dr. Greenberg — and hired him in 1995 as provost and vice president for academic affairs.
When Dr. Edwards retired in 2000, Dr. Greenberg was chosen for the job.
In his 13 years as president of the Medical University of South Carolina, Ray Greenberg has surpassed what is ordinarily expected of a university president.
When he leaves his post at the end of August to become vice chancellor for health affairs in the University of Texas System, he will leave a university that has thrived despite a gloomy economy and shrinking state support.
It has added state-of-the-art buildings, including the impressive Ashley River Tower, and, along with the city of Charleston, has been key to plans to develop the Horizon District Project north of Spring Street near MUSC as a complex of residential, hotel, retail, office and research buildings.
Dr. Greenberg has recruited leaders at the top of their various fields of study and research. MUSC’s national profile has increased, as has its statewide profile.
As physician, research scientist and doctor of public health, he has pushed MUSC to play a lead role in improving the health of people across the state.
Under his watch, MUSC has implemented projects to narrow the gap between those who are well served medically and those who are underserved. The gap is often connected with poverty.
One program that the Legislature just funded in part would supply special computers to rural hospitals where services are limited. Doctors in these smaller hospitals are able to transmit medical information immediately to MUSC and get advice from specialists.
Another initiative is Health Sciences South Carolina, which unites MUSC with Clemson, USC, Greenville Hospital System, Palmetto Health and Spartanburg Regional Healthcare System to increase research, promote economic development and improve the health of South Carolinians. The Duke Endowment contributed $21 million to the effort — its largest award at that time.
In that spirit of cooperation, Dr. Greenberg helped merge the pharmacy schools of USC and MUSC.
The Medical University of South Carolina has made significant strides with Dr. Greenberg at the helm.
The board’s tough job will be to find someone who can bring energy, insight and a strong work ethic to the post — the way it did 13 years ago.