The senior vice president for medical enterprises at the University of Utah, who had been at the center of two weeks of turmoil over the firing and later reinstatement of the director of the university’s Huntsman Cancer Institute, abruptly resigned on Friday, The Salt Lake Tribune reported.
In a message to colleagues on Friday, Vivian S. Lee wrote that she was stepping down immediately as senior vice president for health sciences, dean of the medical school, and chief executive of the university’s health-care system. She remains a tenured professor of radiology in the medical school.
In a separate statement, the university’s president, David W. Pershing, said that he had accepted Dr. Lee’s resignation and would appoint an interim leader for the health system.
Faculty members had been calling for Dr. Lee’s ouster since April 17, when she and Mr. Pershing announced without explanation that Mary Beckerle was no longer chief executive and director of the cancer institute. They did not give a reason for the departure. Dr. Beckerle told the Tribune that her sudden termination came as a surprise to her. She had learned of it in an afternoon email from the president’s office that same day.
A week later, Mr. Pershing announced that Dr. Beckerle had been reinstated and, in an organizational change, would report directly to his office.