TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – A University of Alabama administrator who helped the UA College of Human Environmental Sciences make significant gains in research funding, infrastructure and impact and who has been honored for teaching excellence has been named dean of the College.
Dr. Stuart Usdan, senior associate dean of CHES, has been named dean, said Dr. Kevin Whitaker, UA executive vice president and provost. Usdan’s appointment is effective July 1. He succeeds Dr. Milla Boschung who is retiring after serving as dean since 2003.
“Stuart is a strong academic leader with a respected research record and a firm commitment to teaching and service,” Whitaker said. “I’m confident he can build on the College’s many strengths while charting a bold and innovative course for the future.”
As dean, Usdan will be the chief academic officer for the College with oversight over all its academic programs and activities.
Usdan joined UA as an associate professor in 2005, earned tenure in 2008 and was named associate dean for graduate studies, research and assessment in 2010. He was promoted to professor in 2011 and has served as senior associate dean since 2014.
With extensive experience in the oversight of graduate academic programs and curricula, Usdan saw the College nearly double its graduate school enrollment over the last decade. He serves on UA’s Council of Associate Deans for Research, performing liaison functions between the vice president for research and the College’s faculty. As a member of the advisory board for the Alabama Life Research Institute, he facilitates and supports interdisciplinary research for this new university-wide institute.
During his UA tenure, Usdan has taught both undergraduate- and graduate-level courses in various subjects including personal health, community health, principles of health promotion, research methods, public health policy and more. He was honored with the Joseph S. Rowland Teaching Excellence Award in 2014.
He has served on more than 65 student dissertation and thesis committees and is an active member of the American Public Health Association. He has authored or co-authored numerous book chapters and academic journal articles.
Usdan earned his bachelor’s degree in health sciences from the University of Arizona, his master’s degree in health promotion and behavior from the University of Georgia and his doctorate degree in health education and health promotion from the University of Alabama at Birmingham.
Prior to joining UA, Usdan served as an assistant professor at both the University of South Carolina and at Mississippi State University.
The University of Alabama, the state’s oldest and largest public institution of higher education, is a student-centered research university that draws the best and brightest to an academic community committed to providing a premier undergraduate and graduate education. UA is dedicated to achieving excellence in scholarship, collaboration and intellectual engagement; providing public outreach and service to the state of Alabama and the nation; and nurturing a campus environment that fosters collegiality, respect and inclusivity.