VERMILLION, S.D. -- Dr. Rodney R. Parry, M.D., will retire in June 2011 as dean of the Sanford School of Medicine of The University of South Dakota as well as USD’s vice president of health affairs. In 2004, Parry was named interim dean and became dean in 2005. He has been a medical school faculty member for 35 years.
“It has been my honor to be able to serve the University for these many years,” Parry said. “Few people have the opportunity to work with so many gifted and dedicated individuals. My life has been greatly enriched by the faculty, staff and leadership as well as patients, students, residents and their families.”
A native of Canistota, S.D., Parry received his undergraduate degree in pharmacy at South Dakota State University in 1965. After earning a B.S. in medicine from USD in 1967, he received his M.D. from the University of Wisconsin in 1969. He completed his internship in mixed medicine and pediatrics at the Good Samaritan Hospital in Phoenix, Ariz., in 1970 and completed his residency in internal medicine at the Mayo Graduate School of Medicine in Rochester, Minn., in 1972.
Parry's professional training also includes a fellowship in pulmonary disease at the Mayo Graduate School of Medicine, which he accomplished in 1976. From 1973 to 1975, he served as a major in the Department of Medicine, United States Army, and was chief of internal medicine and allergy from 1974-1975. In 1976, he became one of the state’s first pulmonologists when he moved back to South Dakota. He also was named head of pulmonary medicine for the medical school that same year. In 1988, he became the medical school’s executive dean.
“For more than three decades, Dr. Parry has worked tirelessly on behalf of the Sanford School of Medicine and The University of South Dakota. His vision, leadership and commitment have shaped the lives of generations of students, residents, scientists, physicians, and health professionals of all disciplines,” noted James W. Abbott, president of The University of South Dakota. “I wish Dr. Parry and his wife, Ruth, nothing but the best in his retirement from the Sanford School of Medicine and the USD School of Health Sciences.”
Parry became the 13th dean of the medical school, succeeding Robert C. Talley. During Parry’s tenure, the medical school received one of the best re-accreditations in its history. In addition, scholarship funding has increased significantly, a new pediatrics residency received approval, the School of Health Sciences was created and research funding increased. Additionally, the state-of-the-art Lee Medical Building was completed in Vermillion and the Avera Sacred Heart Professional Office Pavilion and Education Center was constructed in Yankton. In 2006, philanthropist T. Denny Sanford pledged $20 million to the school for new program development and faculty development.
A search committee is being formed to find Parry’s replacement. The search is expected to begin next month. A photograph of Dr. Parry is available for download at www.usd.edu/press/news/images/releases/Rod_Parry.jpg.