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Rubin Named Interim Dean of Graduate School, MU Provost Announces

May 21st, 2013

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

By Jerett Rion

COLUMBIA, Mo. – University of Missouri Provost Brian Foster has announced that Leona Rubin, professor in the Department of Biomedical Sciences in the College of Veterinary Medicine, has been named interim dean of the MU Graduate School. Rubin, who has been a professor at MU since 1989, will begin serving as interim dean effective June 1. MU officials will begin a search for a permanent dean soon.

“Leona displayed extraordinary leadership in her two years with the Faculty Council at MU and helped create a culture of openness and constructive dialogue between faculty and administration,” Foster said.

Rubin received a bachelor’s degree in biology from Temple University, a master’s degree in zoology from Rutgers University and a doctoral degree in cell biology from the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center. Her research focuses on understanding cellular pathways that regulate cardiovascular function. She is a member of the MU doctoral faculty and has mentored numerous graduate students, postdoctoral fellows and professional students.

“The roles and duties of the graduate dean are different than those of other schools and colleges because the graduate dean is dealing with the campus broadly,” Foster said. “It’s a campus-wide position and it requires productive relationships with all other deans and faculty. As her leadership with the Faculty Council, her success in obtaining external funding and publishing her research, and her ability to train professional students in the art of research demonstrates, Leona is perfect for this position.”

Rubin is a member of the Center for Gender Physiology and Environmental Adaptation at MU and is a research investigator for the Dalton Cardiovascular Research Center at MU. She also was chair of the University of Missouri Faculty Council on University Policy in 2009 and 2010, and named a fellow of the University of Missouri President’s Academic Leadership Institute in 2008. Rubin also is a Wakonse Teaching Fellow and an honorary member of Phi Zeta, an honorary veterinary society.

“Given what is happening on campus with Mizzou Advantage and building interdisciplinary graduate programs, it’s an exciting time for the Graduate School,” said Rubin. In the 2012 – 2013 academic year, Rubin was an American Council on Education Fellow at the University of Iowa where she studied predictive analytics. Using predictive analytics, educators can assess the probability of success based on students who have graduated and make recommendations to current students about their academic paths.

“In Iowa, I’ve spent the last year learning about student success initiatives,” Rubin said. “I’m really excited to come back to my home institution and bring lessons that I’ve learned about higher education. I look forward to contributing to the success of our graduate students.”

She currently teaches histology and cardiovascular physiology at MU.

Rubin replaces George Justice who served as the Graduate School dean since 2010. Earlier, Justice announced he would be leaving the position effective June 1 to take the position of Dean for Humanities in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at Arizona State University.