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Last modified: Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Mohammad Torabi named dean of the IU School of Public Health-Bloomington

Jan. 8, 2013

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Indiana University Bloomington Provost and Executive Vice President Lauren Robel has announced that Mohammad R. Torabi has been appointed dean of the IU School of Public Health-Bloomington.

Mohammad R. Torabi

Mohammad R. Torabi

Print-Quality Photo

The appointment of Torabi, Chancellor's Professor and interim dean of the school, became effective Jan. 1, subject to the approval of the IU Board of Trustees at its February meeting.

"The entire campus is grateful to Dean Torabi for his selfless and dedicated service as interim dean, and for the vision and judgment he has demonstrated as the school has transitioned to its new mission," Robel said. "Enormous opportunities exist for the School of Public Health-Bloomington, especially as we align its new programs with the global initiatives on campus. I am looking forward to continuing to work with Dean Torabi in achieving a bright future for this new and promising school."

Torabi served as interim dean as the School of Health, Physical Education and Recreation transitioned into one of Indiana University's two new schools of public health, with the formal naming ceremony for the IU School of Public Health-Bloomington taking place in September 2012. Before that, Torabi, a noted health behavior, education and public health expert, chaired the Department of Applied Health Science.

"Given his considerable experience as chair of the Department of Applied Health Science, which houses the state's oldest Master of Public Health program, and his administrative oversight as interim dean during the transition of the School of HPER to a school of public health, Mo Torabi in my belief is an excellent choice to be the founding dean of the IU School of Public Health-Bloomington," said Edwin Marshall, IU vice president for diversity, equity and multicultural affairs and chair of the IU Public Health Coordinating Council. "In Dean Torabi we have a knowledgeable and effective leader who will guide the school forward toward full accreditation and its continued evolution as a state, national and world leader in addressing the complex public health challenges of today and tomorrow."

The IU Public Health Initiative, launched in 2009 to address pressing public health needs across Indiana, called for establishing the state's only schools of public health, one at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis and the other on the Bloomington campus.

Torabi said the transition to a school of public health marks a defining moment in the 66-year history of his school, the third largest on campus, and provides untold opportunities for addressing the public health needs of Hoosiers, particularly those living in rural communities.

"I would like to extend my heartfelt thanks to Provost Robel for her unwavering support of our School of Public Health-Bloomington, and President McRobbie, whose steadfast and visionary leadership has continued to inspire us all. Likewise, I would like to thank all members of the search committee for their service to our school," Torabi said. "It is an honor and privilege for me to assume this leadership position for our highly respected school.

"While much has been accomplished at the School of Public Health-Bloomington, much remains to be done. I'm confident that our world-renowned faculty, dedicated staff and loyal alums will continue working toward expansion of our mission of preventing disease, promoting health and quality of life, and health care cost containment for the citizens of Indiana and global community. This can be achieved through outstanding research, teaching and public health community engagement."

Sarita Soni, vice provost for research at IU Bloomington, chaired the search and screen committee for the internal search.

"Under Sarita Soni's deft leadership, the search committee conducted a thorough internal search for the best candidate for the deanship," Robel said. "I am very grateful to Vice Provost Soni and to all of the members of the committee for their dedication and service."

Torabi's research focus is in the area of measurement and evaluation of school and public health education programs and factors associated with health behavior. His research extends into health promotion and key factors related to individuals' decisions in the prevention of drug abuse, cancer and HIV/AIDS infection.

He has received numerous honors for his research and teaching, both from professional associations and Indiana University. Torabi is the former president and a fellow of the American Academy of Health Behavior, which is a premier academy dedicated to advancing research in this field. He is a fellow and charter member of the North American Society of Health, Physical Education, Recreation, Sport, and Dance Professionals; charter fellow of the American Association of Health Education; fellow of the American School Health Association; and fellow of the Research Committee of the American Alliance for Health, Physical Education and Dance.