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TODAY news for Thursday, August 24, 2006

School of Public Health news

Interim dean named to lead School of Public Health

David Dyjack, DrPH
David Dyjack, DrPH
The interim dean for the School of Public Health plans to forge straight ahead with the School’s business while the search is conducted for a new dean.

David Dyjack, DrPH, began serving as interim dean in July. He reaffirms the School’s dedication to distinction.

“We’re not satisfied with average or the middle of the road,” Dr. Dyjack says. “We are committed to excellence, and in this interim period we will continue to invest our efforts in that.”

Until Loma Linda University appoints a new dean, Dr. Dyjack will perform dual roles, working both as interim dean and in his regular capacity as the School’s associate dean for public health practice.

Former dean James Kyle II, MD, MDiv, resigned from LLU earlier this summer to pursue other professional opportunities.

Upon being named interim dean, Dr. Dyjack contacted the School of Public Health’s department chairs and internal and external supporters to let them know he is available to help.

“We are being somewhat conservative, but make no mistake, we are plowing ahead,” he says.

Dr. Dyjack is focusing on continuity and a successful academic year. Any initiatives and activities that were already in place under Dr. Kyle will continue, he says.

For example, the School is  planning a world-class Healthy People 2007, focusing on pandemic disease. Mark Horton, MD, MSPH, state public health  officer for California, will be one of the keynotes speakers. The annual Healthy People conference draws guests from the world over.

Dr. Dyjack says he feels privileged to have the trust of the faculty to take on this role, and he hopes to honor their trust.

“We have committed, engaged, relevant faculty,” he says. “We want to do everything we can to help them be successful so that our students, who are our major customers, will also be successful.”

Since 2004, Dr. Dyjack has served as the School of Public Health’s associate dean for public health practice. From 1992 to 2004, he was chair of the School’s department of environmental and occupational health.

Before joining the faculty at Loma Linda University, Dr. Dyjack worked in positions including visiting scholar at Beijing Medical University in the People’s Republic of China; industrial hygienist intern at Exxon; environmental scientist at Dames and Moore in Washington, D.C.; and project manager at Biospherics Inc. in Beltsville, Maryland.

He received a DrPH from the University of Michigan in 1996 and an MSPH from the University of Utah in 1992.

By Heather Reifsnyder

TODAY news for Thursday, August 24, 2006