Washington State University’s new medical school will be called the Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine.

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Washington State University’s regents have named the school’s new medical school after its late president Elson S. Floyd and picked the dean of the Chicago Medical School to be its new leader.

WSU’s Spokane medical school, which has yet to be accredited, will be named the Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine. Floyd died June 20 of complications from colon cancer; he was the key to winning state support for the new medical school.

WSU officials believe the program can win initial accreditation next year and begin accepting students in fall 2017.

WSU Board of Regents chair Ryan Durkan said she told Floyd before he died that the regents planned to name the school in his honor, “and he was very grateful and humbled by the naming,” she said in a statement.

John Tomkowiak, of the Chicago Medical School, was chosen as the inaugural dean of the school. He will begin in early October.

In addition to serving as the Chicago Medical School dean, Tomkowiak is president of the Rosalind Franklin University Health System and executive vice president for clinical affairs for Rosalind Franklin University.

A psychiatrist, Tomkowiak’s training will complement the behavioral health and addiction research already taking place at the Spokane branch campus, said WSU Spokane Chancellor Lisa Brown. His experience will also be instrumental in forming the new psychiatry residency program that will be based in the Spokane Teaching Health Clinic, which will open soon. The goal of that program is to increase medical residency positions in Spokane, she said.

Over the course of his career, Tomkowiak has been involved with many successful accreditations through the Liaison Committee for Medical Education, the primary accrediting body for medical schools in the United States, WSU officials said. He has also been instrumental in the success of four community-based medical schools, the officials said, and he was part of the team that created a new medical school at Florida State University.