Dr. Mohammad R. Torabi, founding dean of the Indiana University School of Public Health-Bloomington, has announced that he plans to step down from his administrative role and return to the faculty at the successful conclusion of a national search for his successor, expected no earlier than June 2017. By that time, he will have led the school for seven years, and served IU and the school in faculty and leadership capacities for 35 years. A search committee will be appointed in the fall.
[Photo: Dean Mohammad R. Torabi]
Dean Torabi was appointed dean January 1, 2012, having served from November 2010 as interim dean of the school’s previous incarnation, the School of Health, Physical Education and Recreation, founded in 1946. Under his leadership, the school successfully navigated the Council on Education in Public Health’s rigorous accreditation process, becoming an accredited school of public health in 2012.
“The entire campus is deeply grateful to Dean Torabi for his stellar leadership during the transition of the school from HPER to public health,” said IU Bloomington Provost and Executive Vice President Lauren Robel. “Dean Torabi successfully shepherded the school through its first accreditation process and has hired first-rate faculty members who are increasing multidisciplinary collaboration across our campus. With his characteristic care for the school and its community, Dean Torabi has provided a long lead time to ensure that we can have a national search for the school’s next leadership, and that the leadership transition, whenever it occurs, will be seamless.”
In the year ahead, Dean Torabi will continue to hire exceptional faculty, keep up momentum with fundraising goals and ensure that the school he loves continues to grow and expand.
During Dean Torabi’s tenure, the school has created one new department, the department of epidemiology and biostatistics; expanded its master’s degree programs; increased credit hours and undergraduate enrollment; and added bachelor’s degrees in environmental health and epidemiology. The school has made major advances in career services and academic advising, requiring all School of Public Health majors to meet with an assigned advisor before registering for class each term, while also offering more frequent access to targeted career fairs and guidance on internship acquisition and success.
Graduate and undergraduate research has also increased under Dean Torabi’s direction. In the 2014-15 academic year, nearly half of faculty publications included student co-authors, who are studying many of the most pressing public health challenges facing the nation and the globe, such as obesity and healthful eating, rural health and other health disparities.
Dean Torabi has served as a research consultant for various state and national organizations, and he has presented his research at major national and international conferences. He started his IU career in 1982 as a post-doctoral fellow in the department of applied health science and moved through the ranks from assistant professor in 1984 to Chancellor’s Professor of Applied Health Science in 1997.
Dean Torabi earned a Bachelor of Science (1975) and Master of Science in Public Health (1978) at Tehran University, a Master of Public Health at IU (1984) and a PhD at Purdue University (1982).