UCLA Office of the Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost
Jody Heymann, dean of the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health, informed me early this summer that she has decided to step down as dean on September 1, 2018, and return to focusing on health and social policy and teaching.
Dean Heymann has worked tirelessly to increase student scholarships, to support innovative community-based training and educational programs, and to expand the Fielding School’s national and global impact with a focus on addressing health disparities and improving population health at scale.
Increasing the accessibility and affordability of a UCLA education have been top priorities for Dean Heymann. Financial support to public health students grew 32% during her deanship. In addition to lowering financial barriers to the School and increasing the number of students able to attend regardless of financial need, the rising aid has reduced the average student debt burden, with federal student loans decreasing 30%.
Dean Heymann helped to raise $70 million in the FSPH fundraising campaign with the overwhelming majority of funds going to ensuring world class research is translated into public health impact and to student scholarships.
Dean Heymann has grown the School’s high-impact collaborations. The School established the Training Future Public Health Professionals to be Effective Agents of Change program to provide funding for students to work during the academic year and over the summer in the Los Angeles community, to receive individualized mentorship, and to provide support to community-based programs. Dean Heymann supported the development of a series of training programs for public health leaders globally and built a wide range of partnerships with universities around the world and global public institutions. Dean Heymann successfully recruited a series of world class scholars focused on the best ways to improve public health at a national and global scale.
She substantially expanded the School’s scholarship on health equity by launching a new center focused on addressing health disparities caused by racism and related forms of discrimination, raising funds for a junior faculty chair dedicated to increasing health equity, and successfully recruiting a group of new faculty in this area.
Dean Heymann developed and disseminated new publicly accessible data tools and led the creation of a novel public use data portal to provide ready public access to the data generated by faculty at the Fielding School.
To support faculty excellence in teaching, Dean Heymann launched a training workshop for new faculty and chairs, a new course for all teaching assistants, a funding program to support teaching innovation by faculty, and increased staff support for faculty developing training grants. At the same time, Dean Heymann supported increased alumni engagement including a student mentoring program which involved over 100 alumni per year and reached 439 students over 3 years.
Dean Heymann oversaw the development of a management information system that provides longitudinal comparative information on financial aid, admissions, grants and course evaluations among other features that can be used to improve student funding, recruitment, teaching, and research.
Throughout her tenure, Dean Heymann has remained active in her service to national and global institutions. She has served in a National Academy of Medicine, met with state policymakers working on family and labor policy, and worked with UNICEF, UNDESA, the World Health Organization, the World Bank, and a wide range of national and global civil society organizations on increasing equal opportunity and reducing health and educational disparities.
Chancellor Block and I wish to thank Dean Heymann for her service as dean and we look forward to her ongoing contributions to UCLA and FSPH through her outstanding scholarship and teaching.
Soon, I will announce a process for selecting an interim dean, and I will keep you informed as we initiate the search for a permanent dean.
Scott L. Waugh
Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost