Harold Jones GraduationHarold Jones, Ph.D., dean of the School of Health Professions, has announced that he will be stepping down from his role as dean, pending arrival of his successor. Jones became dean of what then was known as the School of Health-Related Professions in April 2001, when it had a total of approximately 800 students. Today, it has more than 2,200 students.

Undergraduate enrollment has tripled under Jones’ leadership, with the addition of new programs such as the bachelor of science degree in biomedical sciences. This program prepares students for health-related graduate and professional study or for entry into the health care industry.

“Harold has skillfully guided his school to serve the needs of students and the health care industry, while at the same time helping UAB meet its strategic goals to deliver world-class, interdisciplinary academic programs,” Provost Pam Benoit said in announcing his decision. The U.S. News & World Report rankings for its graduate programs are at the highest levels ever — all in the top 25. These programs include health care management, physical therapy, occupational therapy and physician assistant studies. The doctoral program in nutrition science also is recognized among the 10 best in the country.

External funding for research has grown rapidly during Jones’ tenure. The school has established four federally funded research centers related to obesity, diabetes and disability. Jones has spearheaded the UAB/Lakeshore Research Collaborative with the Lakeshore Foundation to conduct and promote comprehensive rehabilitative science research to seek new ways to improve the quality of life for individuals of all ages with physically disabling conditions. “This venture is an example of Jones’ and UAB’s shared desire to discover new knowledge and translate that knowledge into real-world practice,” Benoit said.

“Harold has skillfully guided his school to serve the needs of students and the health care industry, while at the same time helping UAB meet its strategic goals to deliver world-class, interdisciplinary academic programs.”

Jones also led the planning, fundraising and construction of a major addition to the school’s facilities, anchoring a pedestrian plaza on University Boulevard that soon will be flanked by a new School of Nursing building.

Jones has had a stellar academic career since obtaining his doctorate in biochemistry from Duke University. He started his career as an instructor of biochemistry at the College of Medicine at the University of South Alabama, where he rose to be associate dean and director of Graduate Studies in the College of Health Professions. He came to UAB after serving as dean of the School of Allied Health Sciences at East Carolina University.

UAB shortly will begin a national search for a new dean and will work with Parker Executive Search, Benoit said.