Marla Gold, dean of the School of Public Health, announced this week she will be stepping down as dean by July 1, 2013, and will resume research and teaching as a member of the faculty.
Gold was named interim dean in the summer of 2002, just as the school completed its formal merger with Drexel. She was named dean permanently in 2003, and has spent the past 10 years growing the school along every dimension.
From the beginning of her tenure, she worked with University administrators and School of Public Health staff, faculty and students to ultimately achieve full accreditation for the School by the Council on Education and Public Health. This was the first accreditation for the school.
Under Gold’s leadership, the student body grew from 60 to more than 500 students involved in multiple programs of study and online opportunities. The School added new degree programs and online certificates, and began offering the Executive MPH at the Drexel Center for Graduate Studies in Sacramento. And more than 150 community partners each year work with Drexel students to tackle real-world public health problems.
Gold has recruited 30 full-time faculty members since 2002, building a group that conducts cutting-edge research and prepares the best and brightest public health students for leadership roles. Faculty contract and grant activity has grown markedly. And the recent Middle States reaccreditation of the University twice cited the School of Public Health for the diversity of faculty and students, noting a strong connection to civic engagement.
Recently the school launched an undergraduate public health minor, and work is underway to develop a public health major. A new and growing focus on global health has included more international opportunities for public health students and a new global public health certificate.
Gold also led a recent comprehensive strategic planning process that produced a model plan closely aligned with the overall University strategic plan. Under the plan, the school will retain its focus on health disparities research and the critical importance of the interplay of health and human rights. Future growth will be focused on undergraduate education, global public health initiatives and key research centers, with renewed emphasis on the school’s public health practice expertise.
Prior to becoming dean of the School of Public Health, Gold was chief of the HIV/AIDS Division at the College of Medicine, where she also served as vice chair of the Department of Medicine. During her time at the College of Medicine, she founded the Partnership Comprehensive Care Practice for patients with HIV disease. That practice continues to thrive at Drexel, offering a comprehensive array of services to men and women with HIV/AIDS. She was a leader at the college throughout the turbulent time of the AHERF bankruptcy, all the while growing the HIV Care Practice and expanding clinical research.
In the near future, the University will appoint a committee to lead a national search for a new dean—Gold will be closely involved in the transition to new leadership.
“As we work with Marla on her transition throughout the upcoming academic year, we anticipate ample time and opportunity to thank her for her leadership and commitment to Drexel,” said President John A. Fry. “We are deeply grateful for her service to the University and the region, and we commend her national and global leadership throughout her tenure.”