As you may have seen at Today@Brown, an announcement from Provost Doyle that Dr. Ira Wilson will be assuming a new role as the associate provost for academic space in the office of the Provost, effective September 1, 2023, after years of dedicated service as the Chair of the Department of Health Services, Policy, and Practice (HSPP) at the School of Public Health.
Ira’s leadership in this new role comes at a pivotal moment. The University is making important investments in growing its presence in the Jewelry District. Our school is creating a strategy for our future space and how best to use 121 South Main as well as 155 South Main Street (Packet Building). Brown University is reimagining the use of space post-pandemic to drive collaboration, learning, and culture. Ira will lead these discussions at the university, working closely with the Provost, other academic leaders, faculty, students, and staff from across the University.
Of course, given the scope and importance of this role, Ira has informed me that he will have to shed many of his key responsibilities, including as Chair of HSPP. As the Founding Chair of the Department, Ira has built it into one of the premier departments focused on policy and practice in the nation. Under his guidance, the department has flourished. While he will, of course, remain an invaluable senior professor in the department, his departure as Chair will be felt by all of us.
We will immediately launch a national search for Ira’s replacement, and I am pleased to say that during this transition, Dr. Scott Rivkees has agreed to step into the role of Interim Chair for HSPP. Dr. Rivkees brings a wealth of experience and expertise to this position, having served as Chair of Pediatrics at the University of Florida, Associate Chair of Pediatrics for Research at Yale University, and served as State Surgeon General and Secretary of Health in Florida. He helped develop and now directs the new Accelerated MPH program at Brown and plays a leadership role in the STAT network. I know Scott will continue to build on the department's academic excellence while we search for a permanent replacement.
On a personal note, I want to say how much I have relied on Ira’s wisdom and good humor to help me during my time at Brown. I will miss his leadership of HSPP, but I’m pleased that we will benefit from his engagement in this new role and that the rest of the university will benefit from his leadership and wisdom as well. Please join me in congratulating Ira on this exciting new role and welcoming Scott to his interim leadership position.
Ashish K. Jha, MD, MPH
Dean, School of Public Health
Professor of Health Services, Policy, and Practice