Campus professor William Dow to assume role of interim dean for UC Berkeley School of Public Health

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William Dow, a professor in the campus School of Public Health, or SPH, and the Kaiser Permanente endowed chair in health policy management, will assume the role of interim dean of the SPH beginning July 1.

Chancellor Carol Christ and Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost Paul Alivisatos released a joint statement Tuesday announcing Dow’s appointment as interim dean, calling him a “celebrated scholar of the economic aspects of health insurance, health behaviors, and health and demographic outcomes.” Dow will replace Stefano Bertozzi, the current dean of the SPH.

“The School of Public Health is a very special place and the interim dean role is an important one,” Dow said. “I’m very honored to be chosen.”

Dow has been a UC Berkeley faculty member for 14 years and has served as both the division head of health policy and management and associate dean of research in the SPH. He is also the current director of the Berkeley Center on the Economics and Demography of Aging and the associate director of the Berkeley Population Center.

In his roles in these demographic research departments, Dow said he promotes research in Berkeley on population change, fertility decline and increasing longevity in the United States and other countries.

Executive Director of the Berkeley Population Center Leora Lawton called Dow “down-to-earth” and noted that the center would likely not exist were it not for Dow’s efforts to create and sustain the center. 

“We’re a vibrant center and it is good credit to William,” Lawton said. “He is a great scholar and amazingly productive.”

Amani Nuru-Jeter, associate professor and chair of faculty council in the SPH, said she has been working with Dow in various capacities since he became a faculty member at UC Berkeley.

Nuru-Jeter said that in Dow’s work as associate director of the Berkeley Population Center, he played a key role in creating an intellectual community across campus regarding population health and science. Dow will bring the potential of connecting with other units on campus to role of interim dean, according to Nuru-Jeter.

“Professor Dow will bring tremendous leadership experience to the role of interim dean,” Nuru-Jeter said. “He is an excellent scholar, has the respect of his colleagues and is attuned to the needs of the department.”

Christ and Alivisatos said in the statement that a search committee is being formed to conduct a global search for a permanent dean for the SPH. Their goal is to have a new dean in place by July 1, 2019.

“Will’s broad academic interests, coupled with his leadership within the SPH, will ensure that he provides a steady hand during this period of transition for the school,” Christ and Alivisatos said in the statement.

Amanda Bradford covers academics and administration. Contact her at [email protected] and follow her on Twitter at @amandabrad_uc.