Friese named vice provost for academic and faculty affairs

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Christopher R. Friese, a national authority in measuring and improving the quality of cancer care delivery, has been named the next vice provost for academic and faculty affairs in the Office of the Provost.

The Board of Regents approved his five-year appointment, effective June 1, on May 16. Friese will replace Lori Pierce, who is stepping down June 30 after 20 years in the Provost’s Office.

A photo of Christopher Friese
Christopher R. Friese

Friese is the Elizabeth Tone Hosmer Professor of Nursing, focusing on assisting and encouraging nurses, as well-trained professionals, to put themselves forward as equal participants in the planning and policy processes, and to serve as forceful advocates for the rights and interests of patients in all aspects of the delivery of health care.

Friese also will maintain a fractional faculty appointment as a professor with tenure in the School of Nursing.

“Professor Friese is an outstanding scholar whose work has made a significant impact on the quality of patient care,” said Provost Laurie McCauley. “The incisive research that has earned him continuous funding and a national reputation is clearly motivated by his deep compassion for patients. It’s clear he is driven by an inspiring vision, and has proven he is collaborative and formidable in realizing it. I am thrilled to welcome him to this essential role.”

Friese’s first academic appointment was as a postdoctoral research fellow at the Center for Outcomes and Policy Research at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute/Harvard University from 2005-08.

He was appointed an assistant research scientist at the U-M School of Nursing in 2008 and an assistant professor in 2009, and was promoted to professor in 2016. He is the inaugural director of the Center for Improving Patient and Population Health in the School of Nursing and associate director for cancer control and population sciences at the Rogel Cancer Center.

“I am honored to accept this appointment,” Friese said. “The University of Michigan has been an incredibly supportive environment for me, and I will work to assure that we continue to recruit, retain and support exceptional faculty.”

His research is yielding an important body of work to improve health care delivery. 

He is a national authority on measuring and improving the quality of cancer care delivery, and has led pivotal studies to develop and test strategies to improve outcomes of high-risk care. His research findings were among the first to establish a significant relationship between favorable nurse practice environments and lower surgical mortality.

With more than 140 peer-reviewed publications, his research findings have informed clinical practice guidelines and state and federal health policy. He has been consistently funded by federal grants since arriving at U-M.

Friese’s research has been published in the New England Journal of Medicine, the American Journal of Public Health, and Health Affairs, and has been presented at national and international meetings. He is a member of the National Academy of Medicine and was inducted into the Sigma Theta Tau International Nurse Researcher Hall of Fame in 2022.

President Joe Biden appointed him to a six-year term on the National Cancer Advisory Board in 2021.

Friese has taught undergraduate, graduate and doctoral courses across multiple disciplines. He lectures widely on evidence-based oncology nursing practice, nursing workforce and health-care policy. An avid mentor to Ph.D. students, postdoctoral fellows and early-career faculty, he most recently was the inaugural director of a new T32 predoctoral and postdoctoral training program in cancer care delivery research. 

Friese received his Bachelor of Science in nursing with a minor in healthcare management, and his Master of Science in nursing degrees from the University of Pennsylvania. He was a pre-doctoral fellow at the Center for Health Outcomes and Policy Research at the University of Pennsylvania, where he received his Ph.D. in nursing.

Friese is a registered nurse and an advanced oncology certified nurse.

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