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Wichita State health dean to step down in 2013

  • The Wichita Eagle
  • Published Monday, Oct. 8, 2012, at 10:04 a.m.
  • Updated Monday, Oct. 8, 2012, at 10:21 p.m.

Peter Cohen, for 15 years the dean of Wichita State University’s College of Health Professions, will step down next June, Cohen said Monday.

He will stay at WSU teaching courses after he leaves his current job June 30, 2013, he said.

There are so many changes going on in the health professions right now “that it can make your head spin,” he said. But he said WSU is “providing the best health care that it can in our region.”

The college produces about 300 graduates in various health fields every spring semester, and another 100 or so in the fall.

There are many challenges ahead, he said. For example, at WSU and nationally, it is difficult to find faculty members to teach all the applicants wanting to get into the university to study health care.

“Our graduates in the health field make a lot of money,” he said.

This makes finding faculty a competitive challenge; most health care professionals can make much more in the private sector. This is an interesting challenge to confront, he said, because the college has doubled in size in the last 10 years.

“But the people working in our faculty are so committed to being here,” he said. “They are not doing it because they are paid a lot of money but because they are committed to the purpose and mission of our college.”

Despite that challenge, the college has been successful in getting good people to work there, he said. And under the university’s new president that success will continue, he said.

John Bardo, who took over as WSU president in the summer, has brought considerable energy and new ideas to WSU about how to meet challenges of the future, Cohen said.

Cohen, 61, has a doctorate in psychology and education. He teaches leadership courses at WSU and also works with the Kansas Leadership Center. He hopes to continue teaching for at least another five years, he said.

University officials said a national search will begin to find Cohen’s successor by the time he steps down.

Reach Roy Wenzl at 316-268-6219 or rwenzl@wichitaeagle.com.

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