Brian Kaatz named dean of Health Sciences

Brian Kaatz named dean of Health Sciences
The University of South Dakota announced today that Brian L. Kaatz will be dean of the School of Health Sciences. Ronald Lindahl, executive dean of the Sanford School of Medicine at USD and dean of Basic Biomedical Sciences at USD, served as acting dean of School of Health Sciences.

Kaatz will begin his duties at The University of South Dakota this summer after serving as dean of the College of Pharmacy at South Dakota State University for more than five years. While at SDSU, Kaatz was responsible for the continued growth of the century-old pharmaceutical program. He oversaw the campaign to construct a new on-campus facility, the Avera Health and Science Center, which is scheduled to be completed in 2010. Prior to becoming dean of the College of Pharmacy, Kaatz was a professor and head of the department of clinical pharmacy at South Dakota State for more than a dozen years. Before working at SDSU, Kaatz served as an administrative pharmacist for hospitals in Sioux Falls, Rochester, MN, and Minneapolis, MN.

"I've known Brian for a very long time and his professionalism along with his work ethic provides the School of Health Sciences at USD with a dedicated leader, one who is devoted to making our programs and our students extraordinary in their pursuit of excellence," stated Dr. Rodney Parry, dean of the Sanford School of Medicine at The University of South Dakota.


USD's School of Health Sciences has eight programs offering bachelor's degrees in alcohol and abuse studies, medical technology, dental hygiene, and social work; associate's degrees in dental hygiene and nursing; master's degrees in occupational therapy and physician's studies; and a doctorate in physical therapy. The new Lee Medical Sciences Building, which is scheduled for completion later this spring and will house a majority of the School of Health Sciences offerings, also appealed to Kaatz in his decision to become USD's newest dean.

"USD has eight quality programs that I hope to make even stronger as dean of the School of Health Sciences," noted Kaatz, who received a B.S. in pharmacy from South Dakota State University and a doctor of pharmacy degree from the University of Minnesota. "And I was extraordinarily impressed by the beauty and breadth of that building when I first saw it. What a great asset to the programs at USD."

Additionally, Kaatz brings his administrative expertise to USD as the Sanford School of Medicine and School of Health Sciences collaborates with South Dakota State University's College of Pharmacy and College of Nursing in a "Health Sciences Alliance" that was announced in December. The healthcare education partnership, the first ever formal multi-college collaboration between the two universities, allows the state's largest institutions to share resources during a time when the nation and the state of South Dakota face a critical shortage of healthcare providers in all disciplines.

"I'm excited about the alliance," Kaatz admitted. "Some very real and significant things will be happening with the collaboration, lots of interdisciplinary education that will expand the opportunities for students seeking careers in the healthcare industry."

A native of Minnesota, Kaatz and his wife, Joyce, a parish nurse, presently reside in Sioux Falls. The couple have two grown children currently residing in Minneapolis.

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