WSU welcomes final candidate for medical school dean

SPOKANE, Wash. – The last of three finalist candidates for founding dean of the new WSU College of Medicine will visit the Spokane campus on Monday, August 31.

John Tomkowiak, MD, is the dean of the Chicago Medical School at Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science. He is also a professor and acting chair of the school’s Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences program.

Tomkowiak has Spokane connections. He earned a Masters of Organizational Leadership degree from Gonzaga University.

He will spend his day in Spokane participating in a series of meetings with university faculty and administration and community leaders, leading up to an open forum from 4-5 p.m. in the first floor auditorium of the Pharmaceutical and Biomedical Sciences Building, 205 E. Spokane Falls Boulevard. A reception featuring the candidate will be held immediately after that.

Tomkowiak is the last of three founding dean finalist candidates to come to Spokane. He was preceded by Dr. David Gozal, a professor of pediatrics and biomedical researcher from the University of Chicago, and Dr. Dawn DeWitt, a professor of medicine from the University of British Columbia.

“These visits have offered us a great opportunity to assess some really outstanding candidates and expose them to what we have going at WSU Spokane,” said founding dean search committee chairman Gary Pollack, dean of the WSU College of Pharmacy. “At the same time, they get the chance to learn about us and see if this is the right place for them.”

The new dean will serve as head of the soon-to-be WSU College of Medicine, including the medical school, which was authorized by the legislature and governor during the 2015 legislative session. The hiring of the dean is a major step toward gaining national accreditation for the new school, which hopes to begin teaching its charter class of medical students in August 2017.

First- and second-year medical students will do their academic work on the WSU Spokane campus. Third- and fourth-year students will be assigned to WSU clinical campuses in Spokane, the Tri-Cities, Vancouver and Everett; they will do their clinical rotations in clinics and hospitals in and around those cities.



Doug Nadvornick, WSU College of Medical Sciences, 509-358-7540,

Terren Roloff, WSU Spokane, 509-358-7527,