Oregon State names new dean of College of Public Health and Human Sciences

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CORVALLIS, Ore. – Dr. Brian Primack, a dean at the University of Arkansas with a 20-year career of advancing health and higher education initiatives, has been named dean of Oregon State University’s College of Public Health and Human Sciences. He will start June 30, 2022.

“I am honored and humbled to be joining such an outstanding team at OSU’s College of Public Health and Human Sciences,” Primack said. “During my visit to OSU, I met many passionate and talented students, staff, faculty and administrators. Despite the challenges of COVID-19, the university and college clearly remain committed to providing outstanding education, conducting research that truly matters in people’s lives, and serving the community. For these reasons, I’m thrilled to be joining Beaver Nation.”

Oregon State’s College of Public Health and Human Sciences was the first accredited school of public health in Oregon and uses science and community engagement to ensure the health and well-being for individuals, families and communities in Oregon and beyond.

The college enrolls nearly 2,400 students, has more than 65 tenure-track faculty members and received more than $18 million in research funding last fiscal year.

Primack will follow Javier Nieto, who has led the OSU college since 2016. Vicki Ebbeck, a professor in the college, will serve as interim dean until Primack’s appointment begins.

Primack is currently dean of the University of Arkansas’ College of Education and Health Professions, which has more than 5,400 undergraduate and graduate students and 500 faculty and staff members in areas such as public health, kinesiology, K-12 education, nursing, counseling, occupational therapy and athletic training.

The college has a $70 million annual budget and receives $20 million annually in research awards.

“Dr. Primack is a highly accomplished public health scholar and an experienced academic leader,” said Edward Feser, OSU provost and executive vice president. “As dean, he will advance OSU and the College of Public Health and Human Sciences’ goals to develop the next generation of health practitioners, produce leading-edge scholarship, and engage communities in Oregon and beyond in innovative ways to help improve the health and well-being of people at every stage of life.”

Prior to his role at the University of Arkansas, Primack was dean of the Honors College and a professor at the University of Pittsburgh.

He also served as assistant vice chancellor of Pitt Health Sciences and founding director of a multidisciplinary Center for Research on Media, Technology and Health.

Primack has more than 250 peer-reviewed publications in areas spanning public health, behavioral science, substance use, mental health and education.

He has been principal investigator on federal research projects totaling more than $10 million, including a current award from the National Cancer Institute related to cancer communication.

He is the author of a book “You Are What You Click: How Being Selective, Positive, and Creative Can Transform Your Social Media Experience,” which was published in September.

Primack earned undergraduate degrees in English and mathematics from Yale University; a master’s degree in human development from Harvard University; a medical degree from Emory Medical School; and a master’s degree and a doctoral degree, both focused on public health and translational science, from the University of Pittsburgh.

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