The University of Tennessee Medical Center (UTMC) has selected Robert M. Craft, MD, as Senior Vice President and Chief Academic Officer leading all academic and education efforts within the health system. In addition, he will serve as the fifth dean of the University of Tennessee Graduate School of Medicine (UTGSM). Dr. Craft began his new role August 1, 2023.
As Senior Vice President and Chief Academic Officer, Dr. Craft will focus on strengthening relationships across the enterprise and the entire UT System, expanding education of the next generation of physicians, and growing the academic presence at UTMC through improved recruitment and research, all of which align with UTMC’s vision of transforming the health of individuals in our region as a top-tier academic health system.
“I am thrilled that Dr. Robert Craft has accepted this mission critical position at our organization,” said Joe Landsman, UTMC’s CEO. “His leadership, collaboration and problem-solving abilities are crucial to advancing our academic mission and made him the clear choice to lead the education and research at the medical center.”
“After almost 30 years of working at this medical center, this role will allow me to work together with the medical staff, partners, and team members to perpetuate the education and research initiatives across the state of Tennessee,” said Dr. Craft. “As a native Tennessean and alumnus of three UT campuses, I consider this role a career capstone that fills me with gratitude and a strong desire to serve my alma mater in this capacity.”
Dr. Craft completed his undergraduate degree and medical degree at The University of Tennessee, his residency at UTMC and a fellowship in Neuroanesthesia at the Mayo Clinic.
In 1994, Dr. Craft joined the medical center as an anesthesiologist. At UTMC he has held the roles of anesthesiologist, clinical researcher, medical educator, and physician leader for the UTGSM. Dr. Craft was the Chair of the Department of Anesthesiology from 2015-2022 and the department experienced significant educational and clinical growth during his tenure, including significantly advancing the Critical Care and Pain Management Divisions and initiating three new fellowships (Perioperative Medicine, Pain Management, and Regional Anesthesia). Under his leadership, the anesthesiology residency grew from 21 to 40 total residents and the department expanded to include 40 faculty, 100 CRNAs and 35 SRNAs providing patient care at 78 clinical sites across four campuses.
Since October 2022, Dr. Craft served as interim Dean of the UT Graduate School of Medicine as well as UTMC’s interim Senior Vice President and Chief Academic officer. In that role, Dr. Craft led the development of a strategic plan for growth of undergraduate medical education, graduate medical education and scholarly activity that is fully integrated across the system.