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Social Work Dean to Step Down in July

Under the leadership of Gary Bowen ’76 (MSW), the School of Social Work increased federal contracts and research funding, recruited the most diverse student body in its history and has been a leader in hiring and retaining notable and diverse faculty. (File photo)

Gary Bowen ’76 (MSW), dean of the School of Social Work since 2016, plans to return to his full-time faculty role on July 1.

Gary Bowen ’76 (MSW)

Bowen joined the UNC faculty in 1985. As dean, he led the development of a major comprehensive strategic plan for the school and helped foster new initiatives in anti-racism and social justice. He enhanced opportunities for research and innovation within the school, including the creation of the Social Innovation and Entrepreneurship Lab, the Global Social Development Innovations research center and the revitalization of the Jordan Institute for Families.

Under Bowen’s leadership, the school increased federal contracts and research funding, recruited the most diverse student body in its history and has been a leader in hiring and retaining notable and diverse faculty. In 2017, the school was ranked as the fourth-most influential school of social work in the world by the Center for World University Rankings, reflecting the quality of research articles authored by its faculty and published in academic journals.

In 2019, the school advanced to No. 3 from No. 7 in the U.S. News & World Report national ranking of schools of social work, its highest ranking ever. Also in 2019, Bowen was named among the nation’s top 50 Most Influential Contemporary Social Work Faculty by the Journal of Social Service Review.

Bowen has published extensively on the social environmental antecedents of school engagement and academic success of middle and high school students as well as on the nature of the work and family interface in branches of the U.S. military.

Following a research leave, Bowen plans to return to the school full time as Kenan Distinguished Professor.

A national search for the next dean will begin early this year.


 

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