William Dalton named new Moffitt Center CEO

The H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center named William Dalton on Tuesday as its new director.

Dalton, 52, holds both a medical degree and Ph.D., and is considered an expert on multiple myeloma. He comes to Moffitt from the University of Arizona, where he is currently serving as dean of the medical school.

Dalton’s appointment marks the beginning of his second stint with Moffitt. He first worked at the center in 1997 and made discoveries in multiple myeloma. In addition, Dalton helped found the center’s Clinical Investigation’s Program.

Before joining Moffitt in 1997, Dalton worked at the University of Arizona. He could not be reached for comment Wednesday.

Connie Mack, chairman of the board for Moffitt, commented in a press statement.

“Bill Dalton is absolutely the right person for the job,” Mack said. “We are looking ahead to exciting opportunities and sustained growth for the institution in both cancer research and patient care.”

Dalton replaces John Ruckdeschel, who served as Moffitt’s head for 10 years.

Ruckdeschel departed June 30 after Moffitt officials did not renew his contract. Mack did not comment on the matter, but board member Ted Couch, speaking to The Tampa Tribune, said Ruckdeschel’s contract was not renewed because of an aggressive management style.

Ruckdeschel will continue at Moffitt in a research capacity. Dalton will begin his new position on Aug. 1.

Protest against The Tribune scheduled for Friday afternoon

A protest scheduled to be held Wednesday at The Tampa Tribune was postponed until Friday at 4 p.m.

Supporters of controversial professor Sami Al-Arian say they will picket the building in response to the newspaper’s June 23 article, which fingered Al-Arian as a member of the terrorist organization Jihad. The story, written by Michael Fechter, cited unnamed Israeli intelligence personnel as its sources. The story was accompanied by a letter of explanation, which gave the reasons for the uncommon but not unheard of practice of using unnamed sources.

Al-Arian said Wednesday he has not decided whether he will attended Friday’s protest.

“A lot of people are fed up with the Tribune’s attempt to push their agenda,” Al-Arian said. “I think there is a growing movement for boycott and protest.”

Ruling on Al-Najjar case expected imminently

According to Sami Al-Arian, former USF adjunct professor Mazen Al-Najjar may not have to wait much longer for a court decision that could release him from prison.

Al-Najjar, Al-Arian’s brother-in-law, has been held by Immigration and Naturalization Services for deportation in a maximum-security prison since November.

According to Al-Najjar’s attorneys, if an accepting country cannot be found within six months, their client must be released unless the government can prove he is dangerous to society.

Al-Arian said Wednesday that legal briefs have been filed in the case, and a ruling may come in a matter of days.