Dear Loyola Community,
Father Garanzini and I wish to share the good news that Darrell P. Wheeler, PhD, MPH, of Hunter College School of Social Work, has been named the new dean of the School of Social Work (SSW). Dr. Wheeler succeeds Jack Wall, PhD, who returned to the faculty last year.
The President and I wish to extend our sincere appreciation to the search committee that was chaired by Dean Sam Attoh (The Graduate School) for its excellent work in identifying such qualified candidates. Members of the committee included: Maria Vidal de Haymes, Philip Hong, and James Fogerty of the SSW; Janet Sisler, Gannon Center; Anne Reilly, Provost’s Office; and Thomas Golebiewski (BA ’74, MSW ’77), SSW Alumni Board. In collaboration with Dennis Barden, a consultant with Witt/Kieffer, the group identified many qualified individuals that Dr. Wheeler emerged from.
Dr. Wheeler currently serves as the associate dean for research and community partnerships at Hunter College, which is located in New York City. His core responsibility has been to develop and advance faculty scholarship and community-engaged evaluation, practice, and programming. In his five years as the inaugural associate dean, the school realized a 45 percent increase in faculty-grant submissions and an annual increase in funding within the school. Dr. Wheeler created an environment which supports and nurtures faculty, staff, students, and community-engaged scholarship that has been instrumental in obtaining these results. In addition to his administrative roles within the school, he is a member of the doctoral faculty of Social Welfare and Public Health and is a member of the Center for Study of Gene Structure and Function within the biology department. Previously he served as assistant professor of social work at Columbia University in New York City and the University of North Carolina-Greensboro.
Dr. Wheeler is very interested in advancing cross-disciplinary scholarship and advancing ethical and socially responsible practice. At Loyola, he hopes to support the University’s and SSW’s commitment to social justice, ethical behavior, and ameliorating root causes of inequity. We believe he has a well rounded and rich understanding of academic, community, and institutional practices that facilitate individual faculty and organizational growth and that his strength and vision will advance the school in the Jesuit tradition.
Dr. Wheeler earned both his PhD in social work and an MPH at the University of Pittsburgh. His MSW was completed at Howard University and his BA in sociology is from Cornell College. Dr. Wheeler is a native of Chicago, Illinois and he will officially start on August 15.
Please join me in welcoming Darrell Wheeler to his new leadership role at Loyola University Chicago.
John Pelissero, PhD