UW News

December 4, 1997

UW president appoints advisory committee to help search for new dean of School of Public Health and Community Medicine

University of Washington President Richard L. McCormick has appointed a committee to advise him in the search for a new dean of the School of Public Health and Community Medicine.
The 11-person committee will be chaired by Dr. Paul B. Robertson, dean of the School of Dentistry, and will have faculty representation from the public health, medical, and nursing schools, as well as a student representative.

The person named to the position will replace Dr. Gilbert Omenn, who left the UW in September of this year to become executive vice president for medical affairs at the University of Michigan. “Gil Omenn was an exceptional dean for many years. He helped create one of the most outstanding programs in public health and community medicine in the country,” said McCormick. “The outcome of this search for his successor will help define the direction and future of the school for many years to come.”

The dean of the School of Public Health and Community Medicine is the academic leader and chief administrative officer of the school and is responsible for the development and management of all academic programs and resources, as well as fostering extramural research. The school has 180 full-time faculty, 600 students and 350 staff and is comprised of five departments: Biostatistics, Environmental Health, Health Services, Epidemiology and Pathobiology. It also has affiliations with state and local health departments, hospitals, HMOs, federal agencies and the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center.

The advisory committee will immediately begin to invite letters of interest and nominations for the position. McCormick has asked the committee to consider a diverse array of highly qualified candidates both within the University and nationally. Candidates must submit letters of interest no later than March 13, 1998.

In addition to Robertson, committee members are Kenneth Anderson, administrator of the School of Public Health and Community Medicine; Dr. Breck E. Byers, chair of the Department of Genetics; Dr. Susanna Cunningham, associate professor of biobehavioral nursing and health systems; Dr. Paula Diehr, professor of biostatistics; Dr. David Eaton, professor of environmental health; Dr. Mary-Claire King, professor of medicine and genetics; Dr. Andy Stergachis, chair of the Department of Pharmacy; Dr. Kenneth Stuart, chair of the Department of Pathobiology; Dr. Michelle Williams, assistant professor of epidemiology; and Theresa J. McCann, a doctoral candidate in epidemiology, who will serve as the student representative on the committee.

The School of Public Health and Community Medicine has pioneered teaching innovations such as direct links to the State Health Department for hands-on epidemiology courses, the Extended Degree Program for the Master of Public Health degree and an interschool course on environmental risk assessment, and is in the process of developing new degree pathways in public health genetics.