Gary Russi spent almost 20 years as the president of Oakland University in Rochester, Michigan, before retiring from academia in 2013. A number of initiatives enacted by former president Gary Russi can still be seen on campus, including the school’s new medical program.
Oakland University recently graduated its first ever class from the William Beaumont Medical School. In a ceremony on “Match Day,” the school’s 47 graduating medical students received acceptance letters from residency programs all over the nation, including the Duke University Medical Center in North Carolina and the University of Michigan Medical Center. Graduates will complete residencies in various fields of medicine, such as anesthesiology and physical medicine.
While the students will officially graduate in May, the graduating class enjoyed a moment of shared relief at seeing the next step in their medical careers come into focus. Oakland’s William Beaumont Medical School is currently the youngest recognized medical program in the United States and the newest program since Florida State University’s more than a decade ago.
Prior to his 2013 retirement, Gary Russi served as president of Oakland University in Michigan, a position he assumed in 1996 after two years as vice president of academic affairs. He earned his PhD in pharmacology and toxicology in 1972 from the University of Kansas and subsequently taught those subjects as a professor at Drake University before advancing to various senior administrative positions there. At Oakland University, Dr. Gary Russi was instrumental in setting and meeting the challenging goal of changing the school from a comprehensive university to a major research institution.
Established by a generous gift from Alfred and Matilda Dodge Wilson, which included $2 million in funding as well as the couple’s 1,500-acre estate in Oakland County, Michigan, the University of Michigan-Oakland enrolled its first students in 1959. It was renamed Oakland University in 1963 and became independent in 1970.
Oakland University today educates more than 20,000 undergraduate and graduate students, most of whom are Michigan residents. It offers bachelor’s degrees in 139 different programs, and advanced degrees and certificates in 125. The William Beaumont School of Medicine, which opened in 2011, serves 325 medical students, and the Human Health Building, which opened in 2012, now houses the university’s schools of health sciences and nursing and provides them with state-of-the-art research facilities, clinical spaces, and laboratories.
As it progresses toward its goal of becoming one of America’s major research institutions, Oakland University is home to numerous research projects and centers, including the Center for Biomedical Research, the Galileo Institute for Teacher Leadership, the Fastening and Joining Research Institute, and the Ken Morris Center for the Study of Labor and Work, among many others.
When he headed Oakland University in Rochester, Michigan, former president Gary Russi spearheaded changes in the institution for the benefit of some 20,000 students. Gary Russi increased the number of the university’s degree programs by 64 and brought in resources for a new medical school. To enhance undergraduate learning, he set up a center for teaching and learning.
One aid to student and teachers is the Oakland University Writing Center. Founded in 2006, the Center’s mission is to enhance the quality of undergraduate and graduate students’ writing. It is open to all staff, faculty, and students, regardless of their current capabilities or needs. Trained consultants, who are also students, offer peer support to those in the program who may be struggling with brainstorming ideas, writing successive drafts, and polishing the final paper. The Writing Center currently has 17 student consultants who are knowledgeable about rhetoric, grammar, and creative writing. Several of the consultants have published their own academic works.
AmeriCare Medical, Inc. (ACMI) recently sponsored the Oakland University Nightingale Nursing Awards, held Thursday, May 8, 2014, in Clinton Township, Michigan. For three decades, the event has honored the region’s best nurses; it remains the state’s sole event of its kind. Greg Jamian, ACMI’s chief executive officer and president, also serves on the board of the Oakland University School of Nursing. He lauded the program’s success in training nurses of the highest caliber. ACMI meets the integrated health needs within Michigan, providing a wide range of services, including pharmacies and medical equipment. Its AmeriStaff Nursing Services employs more than 250 nurses at various hospitals, governments, businesses, and facilities for assisted care. One such employee, Michelle Ferris, was honored with the distinction of “Nightingale Nurse.” More than 500 doctors, administrators, nurses, and supporters were in attendance.
Gary Russi served as the president of Oakland University in Rochester, Maryland, for 18 years. Gary Russi holds a doctorate in pharmacology and toxicology from Kansas University.
Retired president of Oakland University, Dr. Gary Russi served almost two decades at the school. While leading the university’s educational and growth initiatives, Dr. Gary Russi added 64 new academic degree programs and opened the Human Health Building in 2012.
Made of eco-friendly materials, the Human Health Building serves as a collaborative environment for educating future healthcare professionals and houses the university’s School of Nursing and School of Health Sciences. The 172,000-square-foot building features nine classrooms, teaching labs, administrative offices, and a large auditorium to carry out medical forums.
Incorporating the latest technologies such as simulated patient models, students gain hands-on experience in their fields of study. Simulation labs ranging from surgical to neonatal intensive care prepare students to react to and solve medical scenarios. Furthermore, the labs offer realistic learning experiences through the use of robotics and visual recreations of occupational hazards. Research facilities, physical therapy suites, and an on-site health clinic also provide students access to learning opportunities.