Leona Rubin named interim Graduate School dean

Tuesday, May 21, 2013 | 2:26 p.m. CDT; updated 4:56 p.m. CDT, Tuesday, May 21, 2013

COLUMBIA — Longtime MU professor Leona Rubin has been appointed interim dean of the Graduate School.

Rubin, currently a professor in the Department of Biomedical Sciences in the College of Veterinary Medicine, will begin serving as dean June 1, according to a news release. She has been teaching at the university since 1989.

Rubin said she is excited and honored to have the opportunity but isn't planning any radical shake-ups in the school. 

"As interim dean, I'm not here to walk in and make any giant changes," Rubin said  Tuesday. "(Current dean) George Justice has done a great job developing the school, so I'm going to help continue that work and value the faculty to the best of their ability."

Justice has been dean of the graduate school since 2010 but will be leaving to serve as dean of humanities in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at Arizona State University, according to the graduate school website. His resignation will be effective June 1.

With degrees from Temple University, Rutgers University and the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center, Rubin has done extensive research on cellular pathways. She also served as an American Council on Education Fellow at the University of Iowa this past year, studying predictive analytics.

Rubin is also a member of the MU doctoral faculty where she has served as a mentor to graduate students, postdoctoral fellows and professional students.

In addition to teaching, Rubin is a member of the Center for Gender Physiology and Environmental Adaptation at MU, as well as a research investigator for the Dalton Cardiovascular Research Center. Rubin was a member of MU Faculty Council from 2006 to 2011. In 2009 and 2010, she served as chairwoman of the MU Faculty Council on University Policy, according to the release.

MU Provost Brian Foster said in the release that this leadership experience, in addition to Rubin's ability to train professional students, demonstrated she was a perfect fit for the job.

"The roles and duties of the graduate dean are different than those of other schools and colleges because the graduate dean is dealing with the campus broadly," Foster said. "It's a campus-wide position and it requires productive relationships with all other deans and faculty."

It is not known how long Rubin will serve in her interim role, but according to the release, MU officials will begin searching for a permanent dean soon.

Supervising editor is Kate Moritz.

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