Appointment of health dean ends vacancies

Last of Theobald’s dean appointments a chairwoman from VCU.

The university announced earlier this month that Laura Siminoff, a professor at Virginia Commonwealth University and chair of its department of social and behavioral health, will be take over as dean of the College of Health Professions and Social Work on March 1, 2014.

“One of Temple’s core missions is fostering research that improves people’s everyday lives,” President Neil Theobald said in a release. “That mission is a passion for the faculty and staff of Temple’s College of Health Professions and Social Work. Laura Siminoff shares that passion. It’s a great match for the college, the university and the city.”

Siminoff, who is also the associate director of cancer prevention and control at Massey Cancer Center and chair of the Theresa A. Thomas Memorial Foundation in Cancer Prevention and Control, said in a statement that she was excited to join the university’s leadership as it transitions under Theobald.

“I feel extremely privileged and honored to be the new dean of the College of Health Professions and Social Work and have the opportunity to lead such an outstanding group of faculty, staff and students,” Siminoff said in the release. “Temple is undergoing an exciting transition under the leadership of President Theobald and I am looking forward to being a part of Temple’s leadership team.”

Before joining VCU in 2006, Siminoff was a faculty member at Case Western Reserve University’s School of Medicine and the University of Pittsburgh’s Graduate School of Public Health.

“Laura Siminoff is a highly accomplished scholar in the study of public health issues related to cancer treatment,” Provost Hai-Lung Dai said in the release. “She has a tremendous research funding record, and she is an experienced academic leader and administrator. She is keenly aware of the challenges facing higher education in a rapidly changing health care environment. She will bring the leadership and vision we need to lead our College of Health Professions and Social Work to continued growth.”

The appointment of Siminoff to the dean of CHPSW is the fourth dean appointment of Theobald’s presidency and fills the last of the vacant deanships the university had when Theobald took over as president.

When Theobald took office, interim deans were serving in the College of Education, the College of Science and Technology and the School of Media and Communication, as well as CHPSW.

Michael Klein was named interim dean of CST in 2012 and officially dropped his interim tag on July 1.

Klein was the only one of the four deans to be selected from within the university.

In June, the university announced that Gregory Anderson, the former dean of the Morgridge College of Education at the University of Denver, was appointed dean of COE. A month later, David Boardman, the former executive editor of the Seattle Times, was appointed dean of SMC.

Sean Carlin can be reached at or follow on Twitter @SeanCarlin84. 

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