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Stanford Report, July 9, 2003

Cohen welcomed as new assistant dean of fiscal affairs at medical school Top finance position filled just as key elements of strategic plan take shape


Marcia Cohen’s desk is already crammed with stacks of neatly arranged folders, testimony to her new responsibilities as the assistant dean of fiscal affairs and chief financial officer at the School of Medicine.

Cohen, who joined Stanford June 24, is a veteran financial manager who will help oversee the school’s $780 million budget. She is directly responsible for activities such as the development of school budgets and financial forecasts, faculty compensation plans and environmental health and safety.

Cohen also is expected to play a role in broader school initiatives such as the "knowledge center" project known as SMILE, the planned Stanford Institutes of Medicine and the financial underpinnings of the new medical student curriculum.

"It’s an exciting time to come to Stanford, with the dean’s far-reaching plans for developing the school," Cohen said.

Cohen previously worked for UC-San Francisco, where she spent the last eight years as director of finance for the 2,300-member Department of Medicine. While there, she helped improve many business processes and reorganized research administration.

Cohen also has professional experience in the private sector, having served various industry clients as a consultant and senior manager for eight years in the Hong Kong and New Jersey offices of the consulting firm Deloitte & Touche.

"I’m delighted that we were able to attract Marcia to the School of Medicine," said Michael Hindery, senior associate dean for finance and administration.

"Marcia brings great experience and leadership as well as fresh insight to the school," Hindery added. "She is smart, insightful and fun to work with. We had a large and outstanding candidate pool, and Marcia’s leadership, initiative and style made her an exciting choice. I’m confident that the faculty and staff will find Marcia a terrific and resourceful colleague. "

Cohen replaces Carole Buffum, who retired from Stanford after 15 years in the dean’s office.

Cohen said she looks forward to her involvement in changes under way regarding the flow of money between the medical school and the university and the medical school and Stanford Hospital & Clinics.

"Changing some of those historical formulas are important," she said. "You need to align the way funds flow with your strategic goals. In the end, that gives everyone the right incentive."

Cohen also has had considerable experience with new finance tools and hopes to smooth the transition to the new accounting and budgeting systems being implemented by the medical school to help improve the financial management process, she said.

Medical education earmarks take effect next fall (6/4/03)

Town hall meeting provides forum to discuss medical school direction and strategic planning (11/28/01)

Officials gather input on School of Medicine 'blueprint' (1/23/02)