Dean appointed to new medical school at Methodist University

Dr. Hershey Bell has been hired as the founding dean of Methodist University’s planned medical school, the university announced Thursday.

Bell’s hiring follows a partnership between Methodist University and the Cape Fear Valley Health System that the university called “groundbreaking,” according to a news release.

In February, the two institutions announced the establishment of a state-of-the-art four-year medical school on the campus of Cape Fear Valley Medical Center in Fayetteville. The goal is to start classes in July 2026.

“Methodist University is delighted and proud to appoint Dr. Hershey Bell,” said President Stanley Wareden in a release. “Dr. Bell brings to this position a wealth of knowledge, experience, energy and passion for improving the quality of care through a more integrated approach to medical education and treatment.

“We are confident that Dr. Bell is the right person at the right time for the important task of founding a medical school, and we look forward to welcoming him to our leadership team.”

Dr. Hershey Bell is in the McLean Health Sciences Building at Methodist University. Bell was recently hired as the founding dean of the MU School of Medicine, which is expected to open in 2026 on the campus of Cape Fear Valley Medical Center.

Bell will oversee the medical school’s accreditation process as Methodist University submits a “substantial change prospectus” to the Southern Association of Universities and Schools Commission for approval, according to the release. SACSCOC describes itself as the “Accrediting Authority for Degree-Granting Higher Education Institutions of the Southern States”.

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