Paul Cleary to step down as dean at Yale School of Public Health

Paul Cleary, who has been dean of Yale School of Public Health (YSPH) for nine years, will leave that post when his current term expires on June 30, 2016, or as soon as a successor is appointed, announced President Peter Salovey in a message to the campus.

Paul Cleary

Salovey praised Cleary for his “outstanding tenure as dean,” adding: “Under his leadership, the school’s doctoral program has been recognized as one of the top three in the country. Its M.S. and M.P.H. programs are among the most selective in the country, and their reputation is growing rapidly. Yale was named as one of U.S. News & World Report’s top 10 ‘Best Global Universities for Social Sciences and Public Health,’ and many of the school’s departments have achieved national recognition. In addition, the school has built its endowment substantially and made numerous strategic changes that will reinforce its place among the world’s leading public health institutions as it marks its centennial this year and looks to the future.”

In an email to the YSPH community, Cleary said he was very proud of the progress the school had made, adding, “Our recent achievements would not have been possible without your help and support, and for those I am deeply grateful.”

Cleary will stay on at YSPH as the Anna M. R. Lauder Professor in the Health Policy and Management Department and as director of the Center for Interdisciplinary Research on AIDS.

A health care sociologist, Cleary focuses his research on individuals infected with HIV. He has investigated the ways in which the infection affects people’s lives and the factors affecting the quality of medical care for those with the infection. He is also interested in developing better methods for using patient reports about their care and health status to elevate the quality of medical care, and has studied the relationships between clinician and organizational characteristics and the quality of medical care, as well as factors related to organizational change. 

Cleary earned his B.S., M.S. and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Wisconsin. He taught there and at Rutgers University before joining the faculty at Harvard Medical School, where he was a professor of medical sociology in the Departments of Health Care Policy and Social Medicine. He received Harvard University’s A. Clifford Barger Award for Excellence in Mentoring in 1997. He joined the Yale faculty in 2006. He is also affiliated with Yale’s Department of Sociology and the Institute for Social and Policy Studies.

This photo, a favorite of Cleary’s, shows the dean being doused during the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge.

He is a member of the Institute of Medicine and the Connecticut Academy for Science and Engineering, and a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. In 1996, he was selected as a distinguished fellow of the Association for Health Services Research, and in 2002, received the Distinguished Investigator Award from the academy for Health Services Research and Health Policy. In 2010, he was awarded the Picker Award for Excellence in the Advancement of Patient-Centered Care by the Picker Institute.

A national search for Cleary’s replacement will begin immediately.

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