Former U-M Medical School dean, rheumatologist dies

Giles G. Bole, a former dean of the University of Michigan Medical School who specialized in arthritis research and rheumatology, died June 8 at University Hospital. He was 82 years of age.

Bole served as dean for six years, stepping down in 1996 to return to the faculty. He retired from U-M in 2003. He spent nearly his entire academic career at the University of Michigan, earning his B.S. in 1949 and his M.D. in 1953. He joined the Medical School faculty in 1959.

During his tenure as dean, the Medical School moved from 16th to 9th in rankings of research intensive medical schools in the U.S. News and World Report survey. In 1992, he led the School in a redesign of medical student curriculum, the first such change in 23 years.

Bole also was an advocate of cultural diversity and commissioned a diversity audit to help the Medical School develop new ways to integrate the values of diversity.

During Bole's term as dean, construction of Medical Science Research Building III and renovation and remodeling of Medical Science Buildings I and II were completed. Bole worked with the Michigan Congressional delegation to secure support and funding for the new Ann Arbor Veterans Administration Medical Center. In addition, two major construction projects, the Cancer-Geriatric Center and the East Medical Campus, were begun during his tenure.

Prior to serving as Dean, he was director of the Rackham Arthritis Research Unit and chief of the Rheumatology Division in the Department of Internal Medicine. He also served as senior associate dean and executive associate dean.

“We are still benefitting from the leadership of Dean Bole, whose commitment to research helped lead to our current success as a top academic medical center,” says James O. Woolliscroft, Dean of the Medical School and Lyle C. Roll professor of Medicine. “He will be remembered for his exemplary work as a clinician, educator, leader and administrator.”

A memorial service is planned at 1 p.m. June 18 at Nie Funeral Home, Liberty and Wagner Rd. in Ann Arbor, MI. Visitation will be from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. and the memorial service will follow. Please visit Dr. Bole's personal webpage at to leave a memory.

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