ETSU president Brian Noland announced Dr. William Block’s new position as dean of the Quillen College of Medicine during a Feb. 6 press conference. Block stepped in as interim dean in 2018.

“It is definitely a privilage and an honor to be able to serve as a dean of the College of Medicine,” Block said. “I would not have guess a few decades ago when I was a student here that this would have even been a possibility, but I am honored to do it, and I look forward to it.”

A 1992 graduate of Quillen, Block is the first alum of the college to return and become dean, according to a press release by University Relations.

From 1998-2004, Block worked as a faculty member in the college. Then, he worked as the Minnesota Perinatal Physicians’ medical director until returning to Quillen in 2016 as the COM’s Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology chair.

Block said he plans to continue Quillen’s tradition of training rural medicine physicians while also making the college more prevalent through practice and research in the surrounding areas.

“The Quillen College of Medicine is the community’s medical school,” Block said. “There are 146 medical schools in this country, and we’re lucky enough in our region to have one. I think the community has seen the great things that Quillen can do, and hopefully will join with us as we advance into even greater things in the near future.”

Noland believes the university has chosen the best person for the job.

“Dr. Block is a visionary leader,” Noland said during the conference. “He’s dynamic; he’s one of ours. He is an individual who understands our mission, who understands the critical role we play as a provider for the region.”