Nobody ever accused former University of South Florida medical school dean Stephen Klasko of thinking too small. He tried to build a network of regional hospitals under the USF name but ruffled feathers and ran into opposition. After nine years in Tampa, Klasko left in 2013 to become president of Philadelphia-based Thomas Jefferson University and CEO of the university-affiliated hospital system.
This week, Klasko announced that philanthropist Sidney Kimmel, founder of the Jones Apparel Group, was contributing $110 million to Thomas Jefferson University, which will rename its medical school the Sidney Kimmel Medical College. Klasko said the funds would help support innovations that would make Thomas Jefferson look like Apple next to Microsoft.
Kimmel told the Philadelphia Inquirer that he was impressed with Klasko. "It's like getting a new manager of a ball team," he said. "You feel he's going to do a great job."
That $110 million is big money. In 2011, Klasko helped convince Tampa business leader Frank Morsani and wife Carol to donate $20 million to USF's medical school in exchange for renaming it the Morsani College of Medicine.