EDINBURG — After two years of leading the creation of what is slated by many as one of the greatest steps forward for the region — the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley School of Medicine — founding Dean Francisco Fernandez will be stepping down from his position, several sources said Wednesday.

EDINBURG — After two years of leading the creation of what is slated by many as one of the greatest steps forward for the region — the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley School of Medicine — founding Dean Francisco Fernandez will be stepping down from his position, several sources said Wednesday.

UTRGV officials will appoint Dr. Steven Lieberman, professor and senior dean of medicine at the UT-Medical Branch in Galveston, as interim dean at the School of Medicine while they conduct a search to fill the permanent position,said the sources who asked their identities not be revealed due to lack of authority to speak on behalf of UTRGV.

Fernandez announced his decision to step down from the leadership role to university staff Wednesday afternoon, they said.

Details on Fernandez’s reasons for his decision have yet to be released, but the announcement comes only days after Fernandez introduced the inaugural student cohort at the medical school.

“I’m in an emotional rollercoaster,” Fernandez said Monday during the introduction of the students. “It is enormously fulfilling to know that kids from the Valley now have a place to call their own. This is their medical school.”

Check back for more details.

dperez-hernandez@themonitor.com