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From the Top

New leadership falls into place for University transition.

Interim Provost Darrell P. Wheeler. (Photo by Paul Miller) 

ALBANY, N.Y. (September 20, 2016) — As Provost James Stellar prepares to step into his new role as interim president, other key roles are being filled during the University’s transition.

On Monday, Stellar named Darrell P. Wheeler, dean of the School of Social Welfare (SSW), as interim provost. Wheeler, in turn, named Lynn A. Warner as the interim dean of the School.

All three new roles begin Sept. 24, the day after President Robert Jones leaves the University for a new position at the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana, and will last until a new president is chosen to lead the University.

Wheeler received his undergraduate degree from Cornell College in Iowa, a master’s from Howard University in Washington, and both a master’s and Ph.D. from the University of Pittsburgh. In addition to leading the School of Social Work, he is Vice Provost for Public Engagement at the University and is president of the board of directors of the National Association of Social Workers.

An active scholar, his work includes HIV prevention and intervention among African-American gay, bisexual and transgender communities. He was previously dean and professor of the School of Social Work at Loyola University Chicago, and before that taught at Hunter College, Columbia University, the University of California, San Francisco, and the University of North Carolina.

Stellar praised Wheeler’s “scholarship, his clear qualities of leadership, and his fit to our overall interest in engaging with the community as a public university” in a message to the campus community. “In his time at UAlbany, Darrell has demonstrated not only those qualities but also a strategic vision and a capacity to drive the mission of the institution that is critical to us in this time of leadership transition.”

Wheeler thanked Stellar and Jones for the “honor and privilege” of being named interim provost, and praised the University as a “great resource for the Capital Region, the state of New York and the nation.”

“My hope is to build on the work done this past year to assure academic excellence, attention to a diverse and inclusive faculty and staff, fiscal accountability and community engagement,” he said. “Having the opportunity to work with and serve in this capacity such an outstanding collective of administrators, faculty, staff, students and alumni is more than I could have imagined when I came to the University last year. I look forward to engaging with my colleagues to assure that we continue to grow and highlight our many strengths and opportunities.”

Wheeler said that his choice of Warner as interim dean at the School of Social Welfare “assures solid leadership with meticulous attention to academic excellence and practice integration during this University leadership transition.”

Warner SSW

Interim School of Social Welfare Dean Lynn A. Warner. (Photo by Mark Schmidt) 

Premier Researcher Takes Reins of SSW

Warner, who holds a dual Ph.D in sociology and social work from the University of Michigan, joined the School of Social Welfare in 2005 after being recruited from the Rutgers University School of Social Work. Her research is focused on reducing sociodemographic disparities in behavioral health services. She has been published in premier journals in the fields of addiction, psychiatry and social work, and her research has been supported by more than $1 million in foundation and federal government grants.

“Dr. Warner is more than an accomplished instructor and scholar. She is a colleague who consistently goes that extra mile to ensure that students are both challenged and supported in their pursuit of academic excellence,” Wheeler said. “As an administrator, she is known for her strategic approach and ability to take on difficult situations with integrity and acumen.”

Warner said she was honored by the appointment. “It is a privilege to work, together with our outstanding faculty and staff, to deepen the impact of our research, provide transformational educational programs, and advance the school’s long-standing leadership in diversity, inclusion and community engagement,” she said.

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