GVSU College of Health Professionals names new dean

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Dr. Ning Zhang. Courtesy Grand Valley State University

A local university appointed a new dean to its college of health professions. 

Grand Valley State University (GVSU) named Dr. Ning “Jackie” Zhang as its next dean of the College of Health Professions. Zhang comes to GVSU from the School of Health and Medical Sciences at Seton Hall University in New Jersey, where he currently serves as the associate dean for academic affairs. 

Zhang is slated to begin his position at GVSU in July. He will replace acting dean Teresa Beck. 

“I am thrilled and honored to serve as the next dean of the College of Health Professions at GVSU,” Zhang said. “I look forward to joining an exceptional team of administrators, faculty, staff, students and the entire Laker community to carry forward the strong tradition and achievements of the college. Together, we will improve academic excellence, diversity and partnerships to positively impact the health care and health of the West Michigan community and surrounding region.”

Zhang was chosen after a nationwide search chaired by Ed Aboufadel, associate vice president for academic affairs, and a committee of 11 staff members. 

“We are looking forward to having Dr. Zhang join the Grand Valley community,” Aboufadel said. “He is energetic and optimistic, with an expansive view of how the College of Health Professions can evolve. To his new role, he will bring valuable experiences working in administration, obtaining grants and collaborating with external partners.”

Zhang earned a doctorate in health administration from Virginia Commonwealth University and his MD and master’s degree in public health from Shandong University in China. He has published over 80 scholarly papers and serves as the editor-in-chief for the International Journal of Computational Medicine and Health. 

During his time at Seton Hall University, Zhang oversaw the establishment of new master’s, bachelor’s and certificate programs as well as the successful re-accreditations of multiple departments. 

He has been a grant reviewer for the National Institute of Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and received over $4 million in research funding from federal and state government agencies.

“Dr. Zhang is an experienced academic and administrator who is deeply committed to supporting a strong educational journey for our learners,” said Chris Plouff, GVSU interim provost. “We look forward to his leadership at the College of Health Professions.”

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