Dr. Susan L. Freeman has decided to retire from her position as provost of RUSH University and co-director of the RUSH BMO Institute for Health Equity, effective Aug. 30. Freeman has also served as the Robert C. and Naomi T. Borwell Presidential Professor.
During Freeman’s tenure as provost, RUSH University has grown and prospered academically and financially. Educational programs, research awards, enrollment, diversity, philanthropic support and endowments, wellness programs, degrees awarded, and staff and faculty engagement have all grown, enriching the student experience, despite the many challenges due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In fact, enrollment and degrees awarded are the highest they have ever been at the University. Earlier this year, a five-year comprehensive, market-driven strategic plan was developed and approved by the RUSH University Board of Governors and RUSH Trustees.
The provost’s office established numerous formal affiliations, enhancing RUSH University’s relationships with the Illinois Institute of Technology, DePaul University, the University of Illinois Chicago, the University of Notre Dame, the University of Global Health Equity and Malcolm X College. These affiliations present new opportunities for faculty and students that will enhance the workforce and the discovery of new scientific knowledge. Internally, the Center for Innovative and Lifelong Learning, the simulation center, the library, interprofessional education, and programs impacting student life, such as the RUSH Community Service Initiatives Program, have all worked to contemporize offerings to meet the needs of the University’s students, RUSH University System for Health and the community.
As a co-director of the RUSH BMO Institute for Health Equity (RBIHE), Freeman worked in close collaboration with Dr. David Ansell, the RBIHE operations committee and philanthropy to create an infrastructure built on years of dedication in the community that led to formalization of the Institute in May 2021. RBIHE continues to build, evaluate and sustain scalable approaches to improve health and eliminate inequities through the integration of community engagement, clinical practice, education and student scholar programs, community-based research and policy.
“I am grateful to RUSH and University leaders for their dedication to the academic experience and continued focus on the excellence of our education and research programs,” Dr. Freeman said in a message to the University’s leadership. “The University has an unwavering commitment to our students and to the community in which RUSH provides the highest quality health care.”
Freeman has served as provost since October 2019. Prior to joining RUSH, she was the chief medical officer of Temple University Health System and the president of the Temple Center for Population Health in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Freeman will work closely this summer with RUSH and University leaders to ensure a smooth transition. During the fall term, Freeman will teach in the Graduate College, after which she is moving to her new home in Arizona.