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University selects new School of Public Health dean

Bess Marcus, founder of UCSD’s Institute for Public Health, to assume position Nov. 1

Bess Marcus, founder of the University of California at San Diego’s Institute for Public Health, was named the next dean of the School of Public Health. A member of the Brown faculty from 1990 to 2011, Marcus will be taking over the role from the school’s inaugural dean, Terrie Fox Wetle, Nov. 1.

“I am elated to return to Brown and build upon the remarkable legacy of Fox Wetle and others in advancing the School of Public Health’s mission of academic excellence, evidence-based research and community service,” Marcus wrote in an email to The Herald.

Marcus’ “excellence in leadership” and interdisciplinary approach to public health equip her for the post, said Stephen McGarvey, director of the International Health Institute and professor of epidemiology.

With her “administrative and people skills” and her ability to “bring different groups together around research,” according to McGarvey, Marcus will build on the school’s success by continuing collaboration with other University departments, such as the social sciences and engineering as well as the Warren Alpert Medical School.

This interdisciplinary focus was developed under the leadership of Fox Wetle, who communicated that the goal of the school was to be “greater than the sum of (its) parts,” McGarvey said. This goal was instilled in the faculty who entered the school “from several disparate departments and research centers.”

By working with community partners, students, faculty and staff, Marcus wrote that she looks forward to creating “a dynamic community of public health innovators who solve today’s complex population health issue.”

Marcus will uphold the priorities of the Building on Distinction strategic plan by committing to “reshaping healthcare and safeguarding vulnerable populations,” Paxson wrote in her community-wide announcement on Marcus’ appointment. 

Additional goals “shared by most of the faculty” of the School of Public Health include establishing potential major donors and diversifying sources of external research funding, McGarvey said.


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