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School of Health Professions Dean Stepping Down; MU Provost Announces National Search for Replacement

October 29th, 2012

Story Contact: Christian Basi, 573-882-4430,

COLUMBIA, Mo. — School of Health Professions Dean Richard Oliver has announced his intent to step down as dean effective at the end of the 2013 spring semester, University of Missouri Provost Brian Foster announced today. Oliver, who has spent his entire academic career at MU, is the founding dean of the School of Health Professions.

“Rich Oliver has helped make Mizzou the world-class institution that it is today,” Foster said. “He has devoted his entire career to making MU a better place for our students, faculty and employees. His dedication has been crucial as we have educated students who now care for thousands of people across the state and the nation in many health fields, including physical therapy, occupational therapy, respiratory therapy and speech therapy. We are indebted to him for his service here at MU.”

Prior to his academic appointment as dean, Oliver served as director of the School of Health Related Professions beginning in 1986. Later, he was named the first dean of the School of Health Professions. He is certified as a medical technologist by the American Society of Clinical Pathologists and was the program director of MU’s Clinical Laboratory Science Program from 1978 until 1986. He received his bachelor’s degree, master’s degree and doctorate from MU.

“I have enjoyed a nearly 40-year career with Mizzou, which has been unbelievably rewarding,” Oliver said. “It has been an honor and a privilege to have been entrusted with the opportunity to serve as both the director of the School of Health Related Professions and the founding dean of the School of Health Professions. We have enjoyed tremendous growth and established important partnerships; I am, and will continue to be, exceedingly proud of what we have accomplished.”

Oliver is a founding member of the Missouri Health Professions Consortium, the Allied Health Research Institute and has led the school’s participation in the exchange program with the University of Western Cape in South Africa. He also was recently elected president-elect of the Association of Schools of Allied Health Professions and will begin a two-year term as president in October 2013.

“Dean Oliver leaves a legacy that goes far beyond teaching, research and service,” said Hal Williamson, vice chancellor for health sciences at MU. “Though Oliver’s role as dean nears its end, his leadership in health professions will continue well into the future.”