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New College of Public Health dean to bring ‘outside the box’ approach

William Martin II will become the dean of OSU College of Public Health Aug. 19, pending approval by the Board of Trustees.

Courtesy of OSU

There will be an addition to the Ohio State faculty and staff this fall – a new dean for the OSU College of Public Health.

William Martin II is the associate director for Disease Prevention and Health Promotion for the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development at the National Institute of Health. His appointment at OSU is effective Aug.19, pending approval by the OSU Board of Trustees.

Martin is replacing Stanley Lemeshow, who has been the dean since 2003 and will continue at OSU as a biostatistics professor.

Lemeshow said he felt it was time to move on from the position.

“I have had it for 10 years and I think that there is a sort of period of time I think a dean can make changes and progress and then it is time for someone else to take over,” Lemeshow said.

Lemeshow has met Martin twice and said he’s pleased with OSU’s choice because Martin has an international understanding of public health.

“I think he will move the college in the right direction,” Lemeshow said.

Martin will be moving to Columbus at the beginning of August, though the move was previously unexpected, he said.

“I received a call from Ohio State and I was not looking for a job, but I like a five to 10 year period of time to do a certain type of activity and after, it is best to move on and accept new challenges,” Martin said. “This is an extraordinary period of growth for me.”

Martin has worked for the NIH since 2006. Prior to that, he served roles at a variety of colleges, including as an assistant professor at the Mayo Clinic, as the Indiana University School of Medicine executive dean for clinical affairs and as dean of the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine.

Joanna Groden, associate dean of the OSU College of Medicine and an OSU professor, worked as an associate dean for the College of Medicine at the University of Cincinnati during Martin’s time there.

Groden said Martin’s personality is what she remembers most about him.

“When I think of Dr. Martin, I think of his great joy and enthusiasm in taking on big projects and also communicating with students and faculty,” Groden said.

Mary Ellen Wewers, a professor at the OSU College of Public Health who served on the Board of Directors at the American Thoracic Society with Martin, described him as a “natural leader.”

The director of the OSU Asthma Center, John Mastronarde, has also worked with Martin previously for three years in the Division of Pulmonary, Allergy, Critical Care and Occupational Medicine at Indiana University School of Medicine. Mastronarde said Martin is “one of those guys that can think outside the box.”

Martin said he’s excited about the possibilities his new position presents.

“Public health is absolutely essential to solving many of the most important domestic and global health problems that currently exist and Ohio State is a perfect forum to accomplish those goals,” Martin said.

An OSU spokesperson was not able to provide the salary for Martin’s new position.

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