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Dean Colby January 31, 2014

Dear UH Students, Faculty, and Staff:

Dean Ira Colby has informed me of his intention to step down as Dean of the Graduate College of Social Work effective at the end of the current 2013-2014 academic year. With deepest regret, I have accepted his decision. 

During Ira’s 15-year tenure as Dean, the Graduate College of Social Work has implemented a variety of international, federal, state, and local programs; initiated dual degrees in business, law, and Public Health; increased enrollments by nearly 40 percent; increased the number of endowments from 4 to 30, with the value growing from $75,000 to $2.9 million; and has recruited distinguished faculty including the 1997 Nobel Peace prize recipient, making the Graduate College of Social Work the only social work program in the world to have a Nobel laureate on faculty.

Ira has authored over 70 publications, including seven texts and a popular introduction to a social work textbook. He has presented over 100 papers at national and international forums and received numerous awards recognizing his work. He is a former president of the Council on Social Work Education, the national educational association that represents over 70,000 undergraduate and graduate students enrolled in over 700 colleges/universities. Ira has also served on, chaired, and held elective positions in a number of national and international social work associations including the National Association of Deans and Directors of Schools of Social Work and the Institute for the Advancement for Social Work Research.

Please join me in expressing our deep appreciation for the extraordinary contributions that Ira has made to the University of Houston.

Immediately, I will be appointing a search committee to begin the process of recruiting Dean Colby’s successor.

Paula Myrick Short
Provost