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University of Miami Announces Julio Frenk as Next President

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UM hires Harvard Dean of Health as its' next leader. The impact on day to day athletics issues should be minimal.

UM Communications

Well the University of Miami swung for the fences and connected in terms of research and academics with this hire.

They went Ivy League and hired former Harvard Dean Julio Frenk as the 6th President of the University.

"I am humbled by the decision of the Board of Trustees of the University of Miami...it is a great honor,"  Frenk began.

"Miami is truly a global hub....It is a unique strength that Miami offers."

Frenk also named the school's upward momentum, Miami's role as a global hub, and university's ability to mobilize society as his three factors for taking the job.

Some background on Frenk (courtesy Harvard.edu):

Since January 2009, Dr. Julio Frenk has been Dean of the Faculty at the Harvard School of Public Health...Dr. Frenk served as the Minister of Health of Mexico from 2000 to 2006....Dr. Frenk was the founding director-general of the National Institute of Public Health in Mexico, one of the leading institutions of health education and research in the developing world. In 1998, Dr. Frenk joined the World Health Organization (WHO) as executive director in charge of Evidence and Information for Policy.....Most recently, he served as a senior fellow in the global health program of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and as president of the Carso Health Institute in Mexico City.....He is a member of the U.S. Institute of Medicine, American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and National Academy of Medicine of Mexico......In September of 2008, Dr. Frenk received the Clinton Global Citizen Award for changing "the way practitioners and policy makers across the world think about health....

Expect Frenk to continue what Donna Shalala started.

The University of Miami will remain one of the  preeminent private universities in the country.

Not that any of that has anything to do with sports.

What it means to athletics?

First of all I think a lot of fans have misconstrued the role of a University President to athletic programs.  Athletic Directors handle/run the day to day operations. The President's job is to ensure the athletic programs reflect the university's values.

Many Presidents at major universities do take it a step further than that.

For instance, UAB's maligned leader Ray Watts started an external review that resulted in the disbanding of three sports this fall, including football.

But that is NOT going to happen at the University of Miami.

Chances are that Frenk is not going to be hands on at all in terms of football (or any other sport for that matter) decisions, instead deferring to AD Blake James.

If there is a scandal, or major announcements including anything from sponsorship (see Adidas) to Stadium contracts (see Sun Life extension) the President will be involved.

However he will not be firing or hiring football coaches.

Now that that is out of the way, does Frenk even know who Blake James and Al Golden are yet?

Clearly this is a man who is more concerned with real life issues than what happens in sports arenas.

To his credit, he acknowledged the school's proud history,

Wich is to say that the new University President can still demand excellence in athletics as well as academics.

But the point is this hire is not going to have the impact either good or bad, sports fans might think it does.

The 61 year old Frenk will take office on September 1st.

He will be first Hispanic leader of the University of Miami.

This is a great day for the University of Miami, even if it does next to nothing to impact the gridiron, diamond, or any other playing field.

We will have much more on Frenk's hiring in the coming days.