YSPH’s Vermund to return to full-time teaching, research following deanship

Dr. Sten Vermund
Sten Vermund

Dr. Sten Vermund, dean of Yale School of Public Health (YSPH) and the Anna M.R. Lauder Professor of Public Health, plans to return to full-time teaching and research as a member of the faculty when his term ends on June 30, 2022, President Peter Salovey announced today.

In a message to the Yale community, Salovey lauded Vermund’s service to YSPH since his 2017 arrival, a period of growth for the school, and for his leadership throughout the COVID-19 crisis. 

I respect Sten’s decision, and I am grateful that the school and Yale will continue to benefit from his expertise and experience as an internationally recognized investigator and educator in public health,” Salovey wrote.

During his deanship, Vermund has helped YSPH add about two dozen faculty positions, increased funding from government agencies, and enhanced research productivity. The school has augmented multidisciplinary research programs and initiatives that address social and health disparities, systemic racism, and socioeconomic inequality. And it has been instrumental in guiding the university’s response to the pandemic.

Under Sten’s leadership, YSPH faculty played a major role in enabling the school to respond effectively and quickly to the COVID-19 pandemic when it emerged in 2019,” Salovey said. “The YSPH community immediately began shaping Yale’s — and the world’s — public health response.

YSPH experts in transmission, genetics, vaccines, social behaviors, modeling, health policy, and health equity have not only been at the forefront of scientific discovery, but they have made it a priority to inform institutional and government decision-making and public discourse.”

In addition to Vermund’s focus on research excellence, he has supported students, the next generation of public health investigators and practitioners, Salovey said. With YSPH faculty and staff, he revamped the school’s curriculum and guided the creation of new educational concentrations and tracks, including those in public health modeling, health informatics, climate change and health, U.S. health and justice, and maternal and child health promotion.

The success of YSPH’s collaboration with the Poorvu Center for Teaching and Learning was reflected in annual student ratings for 2020-2021, the highest to date.

Vermund also fostered the development of practice-based learning and public health practice education for students. As a result, the school has increased connections between students and local, state, and global public health experts, and has expanded student experiential learning opportunities and resources. During the pandemic, YSPH faculty extended practical training by recruiting students to help with contact tracing and to help those in homeless shelters and nursing homes.

For the past five years, even during a global health crisis, Sten has worked intently to enhance the academic environment of the school for faculty, students, and staff,” Salovey said.

Additionally, Vermund has also restructured and expanded YSPH’s offices of academic affairs; research; public relations; public health practice; and diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging to recruit and retain outstanding faculty, students, and staff from diverse backgrounds. He has appointed school leaders to conduct climate analyses and training and to develop pipeline and student engagement programs.

Under Dean Vermund’s leadership, the faculty, research portfolio, and educational programs of Yale School of Public Health have grown,” said Dr. Nancy Brown, the Jean and David W. Wallace Dean of the Yale School of Medicine (YSM). “Over the last 18 months, YSPH faculty have educated all of us as they developed novel approaches to diagnose and prevent COVID-19 and informed local, national, and international policy. YSM and YSPH enjoy remarkable partnerships addressing data science, social and health disparities, infectious diseases, and chronic diseases such as cancer. YSM is committed to nurturing these collaborations and to supporting actively YSPH and Sten’s successor.”

After completing his term as dean, Vermund will focus on professional passions that include graduate education, global epidemiology, and efforts to strengthen health systems, he wrote in a message to the YSPH community. He said he looks forward to continued collaboration with colleagues, future student leaders, and alumni.

In my final year as dean,” Vermund said, “I am whole-heartedly committed to continuing progress and achieving our collective goals and vision; to consolidate our new teaching programs and renew our accreditation as a world-class school of public health, to advance our unique research excellence and impact, to improve the diversity and sense of belonging within our community, to strengthen partnerships with the local and global communities that we serve, and to pursue our development priorities and transformative gifts to ensure an affordable public health education and long-term sustainability. YSPH seeks peace, justice, and sustainability. We commit to anti-racism and continuous quality improvement in our school. And we strive each day to protect and preserve the public’s health to ensure health for all.”

The search for Vermund’s successor will begin in the coming weeks, Salovey said.

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Media Contact

Karen N. Peart: karen.peart@yale.edu, 203-980-2222