Aron Sousa Recommended as Dean of College of Human Medicine

March 22, 2022

The following is a letter from Norman J. Beauchamp Jr., MD, MHS, Executive Vice President for Health Sciences, announcing the recommendation of the new MSU College of Human Medicine dean.

Dear College of Human Medicine community,  

Aron Sousa, MDI am grateful and delighted to announce my recommendation of Aron Sousa, MD, for the position of dean of the College of Human Medicine, effective April 22, 2022. Dr. Sousa’s appointment is subject to Board approval during its next regularly scheduled meeting in April. 

Dr. Sousa is well known and highly regarded by those in the college and across the communities we serve. As a longtime Spartan, he has served as interim dean since 2019 and prior to that, in 2016 and 2015. Dr. Sousa also has held the position of senior associate dean for academic affairs for 11 years.  

During his tenure, Dr. Sousa has led with kindness, transparency, integrity and a persistent emphasis on the success and well-being of students, faculty and staff. He truly embodies the values of an empathetic leader and has proven that in his service throughout the years. Many would agree he has shown a commitment to others that defines ‘servant leadership.’ 

The contributions Dr. Sousa has made to the college are astounding and the list is long, although he would be quick to credit others. His collective efforts and 17 years of leadership have been transformational for the college. Dr. Sousa has made a significant impact on education by leading the design of the college’s Shared Discovery Curriculum. He has also been responsible for the medical education programs of the college in the seven community campuses across Michigan. During that time, he managed the largest medical school expansion in the country, doubling the college’s class size and converting its two-year, 60-student Grand Rapids campus into a four-year, 350-student campus. He has been central to the development of the Grand Rapids Innovation Park and in the establishment of MSU’s partnership with Henry Ford Health System in Detroit.  

Dr. Sousa is a tireless advocate of student success. He has been intentional in expanding the commitment, resources and focus of the college in diversity, equity, inclusion and justice. Health disparities were prevalent before the pandemic, and Dr. Sousa has worked for years to address these issues to increase health care access and education across the state and on campus, by supporting a culture of caring. 

Research, discovery and innovation at the college have also grown significantly, fueled by major increases in NIH funding and philanthropic giving. As the leader of the college’s $30 million expansion in Flint, Dr. Sousa was the principal investigator on the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation grants that led the college to establish the Division of Public Health and to center its community campus in downtown Flint. Most recently, and in parallel with his exceptional leadership during the pandemic, Dr. Sousa led an initiative that resulted in a $25 million grant from the Mott Foundation to expand the college’s public health program in Flint. 

Dr. Sousa is a practicing general internist. He received his bachelor’s degree in chemistry and his medical degree from Indiana University School of Medicine. He then served as both a resident and chief resident in internal medicine and completed a primary care fellowship at Michigan State University. 

I am grateful that Dr. Sousa will continue to lead the college and most deeply thankful for all of you in helping us identify the best individual to serve as dean. The CAC provided great guidance and input, and the search committee was tireless in seeking the top candidates from across the country.

Please join me in celebrating and welcoming Dr. Sousa as the dean of the College of Human Medicine. 

With joy and appreciation,  

Norman J. Beauchamp Jr., MD, MHS
Executive Vice President for Health Sciences 

Related: Dean Search Process