The University Record, April 17, 1995

Noreen Clark recommended as public health dean

Noreen Clark recommended as public health dean

Noreen M. Clark, chair of the Department of Health Behavior and Health Education, will be recommended as dean of the School of Public Health, effective Sept. 1.

The appointment of Clark, who also is the Marshall H. Becker Collegiate Professor of Public Health, will be presented to the Board of Regents at its April meeting.

In recommending Clark, Provost Gilbert R. Whitaker Jr. noted that her appointment "reflects the widespread respect of her colleagues for her scholarly achievements and academic leadership."

"Prof. Clark has an outstanding record of sponsored research focused on clinical interventions and patient services in the areas of asthma and heart disease," Whitaker noted. "In addition, she has served as principal investigator for several major grants and has published and consulted widely in her field."

"Within the School of Public Health," Whitaker added, "Prof. Clark has successfully led her department through a number of important transitions, including the integration of faculty members from the Health Gerontology and Community Mental Health Programs into the department.

"During her tenure, the department has grown in the diversity of disciplines and perspectives represented among the faculty.

"Prof. Clark will provide strong academic and personal leadership to the School of Public Health," he said.

Commenting on her pending appointment, Clark said, "This is an exciting and challenging time to have been selected as dean. We're one of the leading schools of public health in the nation and we want to maintain, indeed, increase our standing among public health institutions. Our eyes are always on excellence."

Among Clark's objectives are increasing the level of research, particularly that addressed to answering such pressing issues as effective reimbursement mechanisms and administratively healthy health care organizations; pollutants and toxins in the environment; health problems of specific groups such as those who are economically disadvantaged, minorities, women, infants and children; and health problems that affect everyone nationally and internationally, such as HIV/AIDS, controlling infectious and chronic disease, substance abuse and smoking.

"We also want to revise our curricula to ensure we continue to develop the highest level of skills and the public health perspective in all our students.

"We're well into these tasks, but we have much more exciting and valuable work to do."

Clark holds an undergraduate degree from the University of Utah and master of arts, master of philosophy and doctoral degrees from Columbia University.

She began her academic career at Columbia as assistant professor in 1974, was named director of Columbia's Program in Public Health Education in 1977 and promoted to associate professor in 1980. She joined the U-M in 1981 as associate professor of health behavior and education, was promoted to professor in 1985 and named to the Becker chair in 1995. She has been chair of the department since 1987.

Clark has served on editorial boards of a number of professional journals and been active in a number of national professional associations.

She was president of the Society of Public Health Education and has been a member, among other positions, of the Governing Council of the American Public Health Association (APHA), executive board of the American Thoracic Society and the board of directors of the Freedom from Hunger Foundation, which she has served as honorary director since 1992.

Her honors include the APHA Distinguished Career Award, the First National Award for Health Education Research from the National Asthma Education Program and the Distinguished Fellow Award from the Society for Public Health Education.