The University of Indianapolis has just welcomed a new Dean of the College of Applied Behavioral Sciences. The Office of the Provost announced on June 13 that Dr. Torrey Wilson will be making his way into CABS as the dean starting the 2019-2020 academic year.
Wilson started his college education by attending Xavier University where he earned his Bachelor of Science in Psychology and a Master of Arts in Counseling. He continued on to earn his Doctorate of Philosophy in Counseling Psychology at Loyola University-Chicago.
Before coming to UIndy, Wilson served as an associate professor of clinical psychology at the Illinois School of Professional Psychology at Argosy University which was located in Orange, Calif. In his past position, Wilson was the chair of the curriculum committee, taught graduate courses and advised doctoral students, according to a press release from the Office of the Provost.
Wilson’s extensive academic qualifications, research background and broad professional service made him the ideal candidate to grow the programs in CABS and lead faculty as they prepare for future career opportunities, according to the press release.
In his past positions, Wilson ran a national adolescent preventive health program at the American Medical Association and served as president of the National Council of Schools and Programs of Professional Psychology. Wilson said that in many ways, his career and past positions have led him to this point in his career.
“Both roles provided… understanding of the importance of Integrative Healthcare and the future of healthcare,” Wilson said. “But, it suffices to say that every position that I have held has contributed to how and why I wanted to be a part of CABS and what is occurring in the Health Pavilion at UIndy.”
Associate Professor and Director of Psychological Sciences Erin Fekete served as the interim dean while the university was searching for a permanent replacement. According to Fekete, the committee spent several months looking for certain characteristics and qualities for the new dean to have.
“We reviewed applications and conducted phone interviews before deciding on who to bring to campus,” Fekete said. “It was very important that we find a dean who understood the diversity of programs in CABS and had a vision for the future of our college.”
Fekete said that Wilson was a clear fit with the college. The committee felt that he understood the college and presented a clear vision of integrating the programs, while still allowing them to have an individual identity, Fekete said. He was also very charismatic and approachable, which was something that everyone appreciated, according to Fekete.
In terms of the improvements and new ideas that Wilson will bring to UIndy with him, he said that there is much to learn. Wilson said that he fundamentally believes and operates from an approach that says, “I must listen and observe so that I have a meaningful understanding of what I am working with before I can implement change.”
“…I will support the doctoral program as it moves through the APA re-accreditation process this spring and continue its tradition of excellence. I also want to support the other programs in CABS in building upon a strong tradition of excellence,” Wilson said. “That said, how does CABS build on its accomplishments and the university’s academic master plan of interprofessional collaboration. This aligns with how we prepare our students for the future of practice. Setting the groundwork and operationalization of this is my preliminary focus.”
Overall, Wilson said he is very excited about contributing to CABS and UIndy’s overall mission of “Education for Service,’’ along with CABS’ mission “to transform lives through science, using principles from behavioral and psychological science to solve complex problems.”
“I would add two essential additions to those statements are to insure that our graduates are culturally competent and that they have an understanding and commitment to social justice,” Wilson said. “When we look at health disparities and specifically issues of access to care, along with the absence of culturally informed and competent treatment, we have a responsibility to educate and demonstrate our commitment to the public we serve.”
Wilson officially started his new position on Aug. 1.