Announcing College of Applied Health Sciences Dean Fernhall return to the faculty
Dear UIC community,
After over a decade of distinguished service as dean of the UIC College of Applied Health Sciences, Bo Fernhall has announced his intention to step down from this position and return to the faculty in the coming year. Dean Fernhall has been a tremendous leader and advocate for the mission of the college and UIC, and I am pleased he will continue as a member of our faculty. The Office of the Vice Chancellor for Health Affairs will soon launch a national search for this important position, and Dean Fernhall has agreed to remain in this role until a successor is named.
Bo Fernhall, PhD, has been a steadfast leader for the college since 2011, when he joined as dean and professor of kinesiology and nutrition. During his tenure as dean, he has worked closely with college leadership, faculty, staff and students to elevate the national reputation of the college’s programs and departments while expanding clinical care delivery among the health enterprise. Through these collaborative efforts, he has amplified the recognition and prominence of such AHS programs, including health information management (ranked No. 2 among all online bachelor’s programs by U.S. News & World Report), occupational therapy (ranked No. 3 by U.S. News & World Report and No. 1 among public universities), and biomedical visualization, which recently celebrated its centennial anniversary — among the college’s seven academic programs ranked in the top 20 nationally. The college is also recognized as a national leader in research and training on disabilities — with three large funded centers, including the Great Lakes ADA Center, Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental and Related Disabilities, and the University Center of Excellence in Developmental Disabilities.
Since 2012, AHS has experienced a 50% increase in student enrollment, and 23 tenure system faculty and 50 clinical faculty members have been recruited to the college. AHS has significantly expanded and invested in student success, most notably through its Academic Support and Achievement Program. Consequently, AHS has had the highest six-year graduation rate for undergraduate students at UIC for the past three years. The college also developed and instituted two new undergraduate degrees: a BS in Disability Studies and a BS in Rehabilitation Sciences. The college further developed and started two new PhD programs in rehabilitation sciences and in biomedical and health informatics. In 2015, he successfully developed and instituted the physical therapy faculty clinic in close partnership with the physical therapy department head. The AHS faculty clinics have expanded to include cardiac rehabilitation (in collaboration with the division of cardiology), occupational therapy, nutrition/dietetics, and the Developmental Disabilities Family Clinic.
Fernhall joined UIC from the College of Applied Health Sciences at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, where he was professor of kinesiology and community health, and where he served as associate dean for research and academic affairs from 2004-2008. Prior to his tenure at UIUC, he was professor and chair of the exercise science department at Syracuse University, and prior to that held academic and administrative appointments at institutions including the George Washington University Medical Center and the University of Rhode Island.
Fernhall is a recognized expert in the field of exercise physiology, especially for people with disabilities, with almost three decades of experience directing cardiac rehabilitation programs and conducting research on cardiovascular function and lifetime health. He is author or co-author of more than 370 refereed manuscripts, more than 500 research presentation abstracts and 16 books or book chapters. He has received over $20 million in external research support as principal investigator, co-principal investigator, site principal investigator or co-investigator. He is currently associate editor of Exercise and Sport Science Reviews and has previously served as associate editor of the journals Medicine and Science in Sport and Exercise and Adapted Physical Activity Quarterly, and on the editorial board of Journal of Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Rehabilitation. Among his honors and distinctions, he is a fellow of the National Academy of Kinesiology, American Heart Association, the American College of Sports Medicine, and the American Association of Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Rehabilitation. He is also currently serving as president-elect of the National Academy of Kinesiology.
The university and its academic health enterprise are immensely grateful for Dean Fernhall’s dedication and strategic approach to enhancing the awareness and programming of the academic, discovery and care delivery mission of the UIC College of Applied Health Sciences. Please join me in wishing Dean Fernhall continued success in the next chapter of his career at UIC.
Robert Barish, MD, MBA
Vice Chancellor for Health Affairs
For more information, please contact: