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Published on February 23, 2024
OHSU Medical School Dean Steps Down Amid Scandal Over Mishandled Allegations Against Doctor in PortlandSource: Google Street View

The dean of Oregon Health & Science University’s (OHSU) medical school, Dr. David Jacoby, tendered his resignation on Wednesday. This came after OHSU President Dr. Danny Jacobs directly asked him to step down over his handling of a scandal involving allegations against a high-ranking doctor accused of covertly photographing female students, according to reports from the Portland Business Journal.

Jacoby's decision to leave his leadership role, which does not affect his tenure as a professor at the university, follows allegations against Dr. Dan Marks, a pediatric endocrinologist. Marks was accused of secretly taking photos of women students, an incident that has been marred with controversy and a lackluster response from leadership. Despite multiple complaints, Marks continued to lead his research lab until his resignation last fall, raising questions about the university's handling of such misconduct, as per Oregon Live.

President Jacobs expressed loss of confidence in Jacoby's leadership capabilities, stating that his actions undermined a confidential process that OHSU, with our Office of Civil Rights Investigations and Compliance, is devoted and dedicated to building and enhancing. This incident has triggered an external review by Scott Schneider of Schneider Employment Law, focusing on the university's adherence to its processes and policies during the crisis, yet Jacobs stressed that Jacoby's resignation was demanded for reasons "separate and distinct from the scope of the review," the Portland Business Journal states.

While the investigation is pending to scrutinize the chain of events and administrative responses, Jacoby anticipates cooperating with the investigator, maintaining his candidness about the circumstances. His attorney, Paul Buchanan, highlighted concerns over the president's decision to request Jacoby's resignation before the conclusion of the investigation, saying it is "surprising and worrisome." Buchanan further emphasized that Jacoby is looking forward to contributing to OHSU's learning and healing process, and to his research commitments at the institution, according to Willamette Week.

The interim dean role will be filled by Dr. Nate Selden, chair of the Department of Neurological Surgery, as OHSU braces itself for additional scrutiny and media attention over the unsettling incident, Oregon Live reports.