Management professor named interim dean for College of Health

Anabel Martinez
Managing Editor

The University of La Verne has named Kathy Duncan, professor of management, as the interim dean for the University of La Verne College of Health and Community Well-Being. Duncan will take the helm on Jan. 1. 

As interim dean for the new College, Duncan will provide support to the College’s faculty staff and students, among other charges. 

“I’m very excited for this unique opportunity. It feels like everything I’ve been doing in my life up to this day has gotten me ready for a position like this,” Duncan said. “I’m also excited as we look to the future for the new (College of Health and Community Well-Being).”

The College of Health and Community Well-Being, launched this year, integrates existing undergraduate and graduate programs, including kinesiology, psychology and health administration, with the newly added registered nurse to bachelor of science in nursing program and more to come.

University President Devorah Lieberman said Duncan’s background in healthcare, leadership and higher education made her the clear choice for the interim position. 

“Dr. Duncan’s ascendency at the University of La Verne is a result of her ability to connect across all sectors: as a faculty member with students, as a faculty member with her peers, as an administrator, and as faculty-administrator with the Board of Trustees,” Lieberman wrote in an emailed statement.  “She is respected and admired for her commitment to student learning, to our academic programs, and to the long-term vision of the University of La Verne.”

Duncan worked as a registered nurse for over 20 years before becoming a professor at the University. As a nurse, she worked in clinical positions, management positions and as an administrator in hospitals, home health and the community.

During her time working in health care, Duncan said she saw the social determinants that caused issues and lack of health care. She will bring this experience and insight to the College and its programs, she said. 

“I saw people who were in and out of the hospital a lot of times because of what was happening in their home or their community, where they could not access the services that they really needed on a regular basis,” Duncan said.

At ULV, Duncan currently teaches organizational theory, research methods, and managing groups and teams, among other classes. She is also the faculty representative to the Board of Trustees.

She will be leaving her previous positions to take on the role of interim dean.

“I think it’s important for the dean of this College to have an understanding of both the clinical and the non-clinical that are all still related to health and community well-being,” Duncan said. 

“We’re going to be starting a public health masters,” she added. “I also think understanding management, having a doctorate in organizational leadership (and) management experience … has given me the skills to be able to facilitate the operations, to be able to build the teams that are necessary.”

As interim dean, Duncan will lead the College of Health alongside other faculty members involved in the development of the College. Since this is a new college, fundraising will be one of many emphases.

Duncan said Vice Provost for Strategic Initiatives Brian Clocksin has already begun the coordination needed for the College to continue to expand, which she said will involve faculty input via working groups. 

“I’m hoping to build on that, make sure it’s working, and help the faculty with any other visions they have for growing… strengthening their programs and also integrating that whole concept of well-being,” Duncan said. “Particularly health disparities and some of the social determinants of health – we need to integrate those into all of the programs.”

Paul Alvarez, professor of kinesiology and president of the Faculty Senate, said he sees Duncan as a leader who will advocate for all.

“I see her being very inclusive, very direct and able to move us forward where we’ve maybe not felt quite so comfortable doing so up to this point,” Alvarez said.

Duncan said being in this leadership position during the College of Health’s early stages is an exciting opportunity.

“Dr. Brian Clocksin demonstrated significant leadership (in) creating and implementing the vision for this College and its launch on July 1, 2022,” Lieberman wrote in the email. “Dr. Duncan will continue to further the vision and the College along with continuing leadership with Dr. Clocksin. I am enthusiastic about the next steps with this College and Dr. Duncan as we further our work throughout the region and, in particular, the Ontario Education and Innovation Corridor.”

Anabel Martinez can be reached at anabel.martinez2@laverne.edu

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Anabel Martinez is a senior digital media major with a concentration in film and television, and a journalism minor. She serves as the managing editor overseeing all of the Campus Times sections and was previously editor-in-chief in Spring 2022.

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