Dean Howard Frumkin announced he is stepping down after “six wonderful and rewarding years” at the helm of the University of Washington School of Public Health. He plans to resume his research, teaching and writing in his home department of Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences, effective Sept. 23.
Dean Frumkin joined the School in 2010, in the middle of the Great Recession. “He has led [the School] during one of the most difficult periods in higher education with style, grace and true vision,” said UW President Ana Mari Cauce.
“He leaves behind a School with renowned graduate programs, a superb new undergraduate major in public health, and research that his perhaps more important now than ever,” she said. “I have greatly appreciated his leadership as a dean and look forward to his continued leadership as he returns to the faculty.”
Provost Gerald Baldasty is leading the search for an interim dean, and will initiate a search for a permanent Dean at a later time. He has been consulting with students, staff and faculty.
In a statement, Frumkin said, in part:
“As I step down I am confident that the School is strong and that its future is bright. Our leadership, both in the Dean’s office and in the Departments, is highly capable and dedicated. Our academic programs are strong, including the superb new undergraduate public health major, our MPH program (whose updating is well underway), and our doctoral programs, which are among the best in the nation.
“Our strategic plan, adopted five years ago, is well along in its implementation, with excellent faculty leading efforts in all six Emerging Challenge areas we identified. Our financial outlook is strong, after a difficult stretch following the Great Recession; tuition revenues are substantially up, and research revenues have begun to recover.
“We have hired several dozen new faculty in recent years, all of them excellent. Our advancement efforts are very strong and are bearing fruit; for instance, we have established five new faculty endowments in the last five years.
“Our relations with state and local agencies, health-related organizations, and other external partners are more productive than ever. The University’s newly announced Population Health initiative offers great promise for the School of Public Health. Efforts are well underway to address our space limitations."
Frumkin said there still work to do, including current consideration of a methodologically oriented master’s degree.
“We must redouble our efforts to weave diversity and equity into every aspect of our School’s life," he said. "We have to identify the best ways to support interdisciplinary teaching and research. My successor will undoubtedly tackle these and other challenges, together with faculty, staff, and students who bring enormous energy and dedication.”