Robbins College leadership transition

May 10, 2021

Dear Baylor Faculty and Staff,

I am writing today to inform you that Rodney G. Bowden, Ph.D., has decided to step down as dean of the Robbins College of Health and Human Sciences, effective May 31, 2021. He will continue to hold the Brown Foundation Endowed Chair. Following a sabbatical, Dr. Bowden will return to his faculty position in Robbins College.

A member of Baylor’s faculty since 2000, Dr. Bowden has capably guided Robbins College through significant growth in the four years since his appointment as dean in April 2017, having previously served 19 months as interim dean and one year as executive associate dean. His commitment to Baylor’s mission led to several significant accomplishments during his tenure as dean, including an increase in the number of undergraduate and graduate students that more than doubled the size of Robbins College since its creation in 2014. In addition, the transition of Robbins College undergraduate degrees to the Bachelor of Science occurred during his service as dean.

Graduate program growth under Dr. Bowden’s leadership included the launching of a new Ph.D. in Communications Sciences and Disorders as well as professional doctoral degrees in Physical Therapy, post-professional Occupational Therapy and entry-level Occupational Therapy. Additionally, new online and hybrid graduate degrees in Communication Sciences and Disorders and Public Health were created to complement existing residential programs, and the Army-Baylor health programs launched an additional doctoral program.

Dr. Bowden helped secure important philanthropic support for a range of projects, including a transformational gift for Communications Sciences and Disorders to create a 16,000-square-foot clinic that serves clients from around the nation and engages in research, as well as other gifts that enabled the rapid expansion of Robbins College programs. He also has continued to publish journal articles during his tenure as dean.  

The programs within Robbins College play an important role in Illuminate, Baylor’s strategic plan, by strengthening the University’s position in health, health science and wellness-related education, research and community engagement through its departments of Communication Sciences and Disorders; Human Sciences and Design; Health, Human Performance and Recreation; Public Health; Physical Therapy; Occupational Therapy; Army-Baylor health programs and the Division of Health Professions.

I will be meeting with the leadership in Robbins College over the next week to solicit their input, as well as feedback from the faculty and staff in selecting an interim dean. A national search for the next dean of Robbins College will commence in the fall.

Please join me in extending our appreciation to Dr. Bowden for his service as dean of Robbins College.


Nancy Brickhouse, Ph.D.

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