12:05 PM

Ohio State announces new dean of the College of Social Work

Jenkins joins from University of Louisville

David JenkinsOhio State University Executive Vice President and Provost Melissa L. Gilliam announced David A. Jenkins has accepted an offer to serve as dean of the College of Social Work. The hire is subject to approval by the Board of Trustees.

Jenkins’ appointment is effective July 1.

Jenkins joins Ohio State from the University of Louisville, where he has served as professor and dean of the Raymond A. Kent School of Social Work and Family Science since 2016. As dean, he advanced support for faculty research and teaching while strengthening efforts in diversity, equity, and inclusion within the Kent School and across the broader campus and communities. Before arriving at the University of Louisville, he served on the social work faculty of Texas Christian University for 25 years, including nine years as department chair.

“Please join me in extending a warm Ohio State welcome to our new colleague, David,” Gilliam said in a message to the university community.

His scholarship focuses on health disparities faced by marginalized individuals and families, seeking to better understand lived experiences of those underrepresented in academic and professional literature, Gilliam said. Most frequently, his research examines the lives and issues facing sexual minorities as individuals, couples, and families.

Jenkins earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration and MSW from Louisiana State University in addition to a PhD in social work from Florida State University. He also is certified as a licensed clinical social worker.

 “Through scholarship, teaching and service, the college is dedicated to enhancing individual and community well-being, celebrating difference, and promoting social and economic justice for vulnerable populations,” Gilliam said. “Under David’s leadership, the college will build on its longstanding work, envisioning new ways to address complex individual and social problems through innovation and compassion in service to local communities, the state, the nation, and the world.”

Gilliam thanked the search committee chaired by Dean Trevor Brown of the John Glenn College of Public Affairs. Gilliam thanked current dean Tom Gregoire for his 13 years of service. She said leadership will continue to be “an asset for the university as we engage the communities of which we are a part.”

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