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Interim dean named to College of Health

Rick Settersten to build on college’s momentum

Scholar and author Rick Settersten was named interim dean of the College of Health on May 17. Rick is University Distinguished Professor of Life Course and Human Development, and he previously served the College of Health as head of the School of Social and Behavioral Health Sciences. Prior to that, he served as the founding director of the Hallie E. Ford Center for Healthy Children and Families. Rick is particularly known for making connections and collaborating across fields and disciplines to understand health and well-being across the whole life course.

In his new role, Rick says he is committed to building on the momentum faculty and staff have built over the last year. “I am deeply honored to step into this role and feel a profound sense of responsibility and commitment in accepting it,” he says. “This is a time to come together, advance the great work already under way, and continue to dream big dreams for our college.” 

Since August 2021, Rick served as vice provost for faculty affairs, a role in which he was responsible for leading efforts to guide and support academic units in building and supporting an outstanding and diverse academic faculty; stewarding the University’s promotion and tenure process; overseeing the development, approval and tracking of university policies and standards; leading efforts to develop and support academic leaders; and stewarding shared governance practices.

Rick first joined Oregon State and the college in 2006 as a professor in Human Development and Family Sciences. Learn more about him, his books, accolades, research and more.

Career brief

  • Before OSU, Rick was professor of sociology at Case Western Reserve University.
  • He has held fellowships at the Max Planck Institute for Human Development and Education in Berlin, the Institute for Policy Research at Northwestern, and the Spencer Foundation in Chicago.
  • He is author or editor of numerous scientific articles and books, including most recently “Living on the Edge: An American Generation’s Journey Through the Twentieth Century;” “Doing Transitions in the Life Course;” “Aging, Society, and the Life Course (6th edition);” and “Precarity and Ageing,” as well a special issue of Advances in Life Course Research: “Networked Lives: The Influence of Social Networks on the Life Course.”
  • Between 2015 and 2021, he co-led the Oregon Family Impact Seminars, a series of nonpartisan workshops designed to bring the best possible scientific evidence to state legislators, agency heads and other leaders to guide policy decisions.
  • At OSU, he has received the university’s Impact Award for Outstanding Scholarship, as well as the college’s Faculty Excellence Award and the Excellence in Teaching and Mentoring Award.
  • His scholarship has twice been recognized with the Richard Kalish Innovative Publication Award of the Gerontological Society of America, as well as the Outstanding Publication Award and the Matilda White Riley Distinguished Scholar Award of the Section on Aging and the Life Course of the American Sociological Association.
  • In 2022, he received an honorary doctorate from the University of Lausanne, Switzerland.