Christopher C. Colenda, M.D., M.P.H., spent his first day as the new West Virginia University Chancellor for Health Sciences (Nov. 2) meeting with leadership from WVU Hospitals, University Health Associates and Health Sciences, as well as with WVU President James P. Clements.

Colenda has been participating for several months in various planning and board meetings in Morgantown through conference calls.

“I am thrilled to hit the ground running like this. There’s so much to do and so many good people here dedicated to this state and university,” Colenda said. “We will continue to build upon the success and achievements of the past as we move forward to an even brighter future.”

A respected academic physician, researcher and leader, Dr. Colenda, 57, was selected by President Clements following a national search.

“I can tell you with certainty that Chris Colenda is passionate about his new role and excited to be here,” President Clements said after meeting with Colenda today. “He brings an unbelievable background and level of experience to WVU, and is ready to roll up his sleeves and get to work alongside some very good people.”

Colenda came to WVU from Texas A&M Health Sciences Center, where he served as Jean and Thomas McMullin Dean of Medicine and Vice President for Clinical Affairs.

WVU’s Robert C. Byrd Health Sciences Center includes the schools of dentistry, medicine, nursing and pharmacy. In addition to the main campus in Morgantown, there are campuses in Charleston and Martinsburg. Biomedical research by HSC faculty is on a steady upward trend, with a substantial increase in NIH funding over the past several years.

“We can thank Dr. Fred Butcher for his fine stewardship of Health Sciences over the last two and a half years,” Colenda said. “Under his watch, the HSC campus has grown, literally. One perfect example is the Erma Byrd Biomedical Research Center.”

Butcher will now serve the HSC as vice president for planning and operations.

For more information about the HSC Chancellor, visit


For More Information: Amy Johns, HSC News Service