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Interim dean named for medical school's Duluth campus

DULUTH -  One of the first students at the University of Minnesota Medical School’s Duluth campus will soon be its new interim dean.

Dr. Alan Johns was appointed to the position Wednesday by Brooks Jackson, dean of the University of Minnesota Medical School. Johns is assistant dean at the Minnesota Duluth campus and a faculty member in the school’s Department of Family Medicine and Community Health.

“I’m certainly excited. I’ve had connections with this school since I was 20 years old,” said Johns, 62. “I’m a northern Minnesota boy, and I have a lot of local knowledge of this community and this medical community.”

Johns takes over July 1 for Dr. Gary Davis, who announced he was stepping down in April.

Johns began studying medicine at the Minnesota Duluth campus in 1972, the first year the University of Minnesota Medical School had a branch in Duluth. He later earned his Master of Education degree from UMD and just completed his first year in the university’s educational doctoral program.

Johns said the search for a permanent dean is underway and has attracted a strong field of applicants. A decision is expected in about six months.

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