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Dharamsi Named Dean of Health Sciences

Shafik Dharamsi

Shafik Dharamsi, Ph.D., has been named Dean of the College of Health Sciences and Professor of Public Health Sciences at the University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP). Dr. Dharamsi is currently the Founding Associate Dean of Social Accountability, Professionalism and Community & Global Engagement for the School of Osteopathic Medicine at the University of the Incarnate Word in San Antonio, Texas. He received his Ph.D. in 2003 from the University of British Columbia, where he then went on to teach and earn tenure in the Faculty of Medicine. His research is primarily in the domain of public health, with a focus on social accountability and medical education. His work has been published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, Academic Medicine, Medical Education, and Social Science & Medicine, and has been funded through prominent foundations and the Canadian government. He has extensive education, research, and community development experience in Asia and Africa, as well as in Canada and the U.S.

“Dr. Dharamsi’s administrative experience, his international profile, and his uniquely relevant scholarship position him well to build on the past successes of the College of Health Sciences,” said Dr. Howard Daudistel, Interim Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs. “He is committed to UTEP’s mission and to the College’s vision for addressing issues of health equity and social justice through engaged scholarship.” President Diana Natalicio welcomed the new Dean to UTEP, saying “We look forward to the new perspectives that Dr. Dharamsi will bring to the College of Health Sciences, the UTEP campus and the surrounding community. His record of transformational leadership and socially responsive engagement is well aligned with the path UTEP has forged in the changing landscape of U.S. higher education.”

Dr. Dharamsi expressed enthusiasm about the new role, stating, “I am delighted and honored to be given the opportunity to serve UTEP's College of Health Sciences. I am drawn to the transformative impact UTEP is having through interdisciplinary teaching, research and service on improving the quality of life of the entire region. How to better prepare the healthcare workforce to be responsive to the health of underserved populations and to effectively address health inequities is one of the most pressing and challenging issues facing the health professions today. I look forward to working with the faculty, staff, students, alumni, civil society and our communities to prepare the next generation of health and human service professionals to provide outstanding care with compassion, ethical sensitivity and competence.”

Dr. Dharamsi will assume leadership of the College on July 1 from Interim Dean Osama Mikhail. “We are immensely grateful to Dr. Mikhail for steering the College of Health Sciences through the past transition year,” noted Dr. Daudistel. “His thoughtful, collaborative, and open approach to governance and strategic planning has helped prepare UTEP for a very positive trajectory in the health sciences as we move forward under new leadership. His colleagues at both UTEP and UTHealth have benefited greatly from the time he has spent with us in El Paso.”