November 24, 2021

1. Dr. Peter F. Buckley Recommended to be Next UTHSC Chancellor

Peter F. Buckley, dean of the School of Medicine at Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) and executive vice president of medical affairs for the VCU Health System, will be recommended by University of Tennessee System President Randy Boyd to the UT Board of Trustees as the next chancellor of the UT Health Science Center (UTHSC).
The UT Board of Trustees will consider the recommendation at a special meeting on December 6 at 5:00 pm EST.  
“One of the most important responsibilities the UT president has is to hire great leaders,” Boyd said. “I have tremendous confidence that Dr. Buckley will build on our successes, while also providing innovative ideas to move UTHSC into the future.”
Pending an affirmative vote of the board, Buckley’s effective start date will be February 7, 2022. He will replace Steve Schwab, who announced his retirement in June. Schwab agreed to serve as chancellor until a successor was named and on board. With the support of an executive search firm, a 14-member committee began its search process in late July. The committee narrowed the field to two candidates who came to the UTHSC campus in Memphis for open forums earlier in November. 

Most recently, Buckley has been the dean of the VCU School of Medicine since 2017 and also previously served for seven years as School of Medicine dean at the Medical College of Georgia in Augusta. A psychiatrist and international expert in schizophrenia, Buckley is also a professor of psychiatry. From January through September 2020, he was also appointed as interim CEO, VCU Health System and interim senior vice president, VCU Health Sciences and led the health system-health sciences response to the COVID-19 pandemic.  In service to academic medicine, Buckley chairs the Administrative Board of the Council of Deans of the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) and is also on the AAMC’s Board of Directors.
Buckley is also a Distinguished Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association (APA), served on the association’s workgroup on the Role of Psychiatry in Healthcare Reform and as an expert on the APA’s workgroup on Treatment Guidelines for Schizophrenia, published in 2020. Additionally, he is a Fellow of the Royal College of Psychiatrists and a member of the Data Safety & Monitoring Board of the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH).
To access Buckley’s full curriculum vitae, please visit

Dr. Peter F. Buckley

2. COVID-19 Vaccine and Mask Mandates

Based on UTHSC's status as a federal contractor, and the Federal CMS Mandate, UTHSC will need to come into compliance with the federal mask mandate and the federal vaccine mandate requiring COVID-19 vaccination for all federal subcontractors.

In order to comply with federal vaccine and masking mandates:

  1. All full-time and part-time UTHSC employees, contracted on-campus vendors, and designated students (College of Dentistry, Audiology and Speech Pathology) must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 by January 18, 2022 or have a valid UT-approved exemption as required by this Executive Order.
  2. All UTHSC campuses will continue to follow the CDC’s current guidelines regarding masking, social distance, and other public health measures as required by this Executive Order. Currently, this requires masking and social distancing when indoors.

To read more about the vaccine and mask mandates, please read the full Message from the Chancellor.

The UT System has compiled answers to frequently asked questions and will continue to update these.

3. RKS Winter Coat Drive: Now – December 8

The Rachel Kay Stevens Therapy Center is collecting winter clothing to help support the children of Youth Villages (up to age 18) now through December 8. A donation bin is located in the Madison Plaza Lobby by the HSC Hub on the Memphis campus.

4. Campus Food Drive: Now – December 10

It is time again for our annual Campus Food Drive! All proceeds from the Campus Food Drive will go to the UTHSC Campus Cupboard benefitting the entire campus! The Campus Food Drive is accepting non-perishable food, paper products, and monetary donations now through Friday, December 10. Please consider making a contribution and/or monetary donation to help support the UTHSC Campus Cupboard. To find out more about the UTHSC Campus Cupboard, including eligibility and hours of operation, please visit
Donation boxes will set up across campus:

  • Cancer Research Building
  • Coleman Building
  • Crowe Building
  • Dunn Dental Building
  • General Education Building
  • Madison Plaza
  • Mooney Building
  • Pauline Building
  • Pharmacy Building
  • Physical Plant
  • Student-Alumni Center
  • Translational Science Research Building
  • Van Vleet Building

Monetary donations can securely be made at   

Thank you for your continued support of this important initiative!

5. Happy Thanksgiving!

UTHSC will be closed on Thursday, November 25, and Friday, November 26, for the Thanksgiving holiday.

To view past editions of the 5 Quick Things, please visit the 5 Quick Things Archive.
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