12/17/2013 12:03 EST | Updated 02/16/2014 05:59 EST

Saskatchewan's only medical school gets new dean as it restructures program

SASKATOON - The University of Saskatchewan's College of Medicine has a new dean as it works through accreditation issues.

The university's board of governors has approved the appointment of medical educator and administrator Dr. Preston Smith for a five-year term starting in July.

Smith is the senior associate dean of education at Dalhousie University's Faculty of Medicine and has also been chief of medical staff and vice-president of medicine for the South-East Regional Health Authority in Nova Scotia.

The University of Saskatchewan says Smith has extensive involvement in accreditations, curriculum reform and development of educational programs.

He takes over a medical school that was put on probation in October because it was found to be weak or deficient on 10 standards, such as faculty not providing timely feedback to students.

The school is still fully accredited and has been working to address the shortcomings for a couple of years.

"I am very excited to join the College of Medicine at the University of Saskatchewan and work collaboratively with the great faculty and staff to lead the college to be amongst the best medical schools in Canada," Smith said in a news release Tuesday.

"I see a huge opportunity in a college that is energized and poised for change and a university, community and province committed to seeing the College of Medicine succeed."