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University names new dean of Social Work (Released: 1/8/97)

by Renu Sehgal, Office of University Communications.

STORRS, Conn. -- Kay Davidson of Hunter College will take over as dean of the University of Connecticut School of Social Work, Mark Emmert, chancellor and provost for University affairs, announced today.

Davidson, who has been on the faculty of the Hunter College School of Social Work since 1984, will begin a five-year term as dean on Aug. 1. She replaces Mark Abrahamson, who has been serving as acting dean since September 1994 and was chairman of the yearlong search.

"I am impressed with Kay's experience, with her professional insights into how to improve the School of Social Work and with her optimism that she brings to the task," Emmert said. "The school is poised to move forward under her direction."

Davidson was director of Hunter's master of social work program from 1993 - 1995 and associate dean from 1991 - 1993. Hunter, the only public institution offering a master's of social work degree in New York City, is a large program enrolling more than 400 full-time students.

"I am committed to public education," Davidson said. "I am very excited about the appointment and moving to Connecticut. I hope to continue the school's pursuit of excellence in research and teaching by working closely with the highly respected faculty at the University of Connecticut."

From 1980 to 1984, Davidson was an assistant professor at the Columbia University School of Social Work. Davidson, who was born in England, has held a variety of positions in hospitals in Manchester, England, and in New York City between 1962 and 1978.

Davidson is co-editor of Social Work in Health Care (Haworth Press, 1990) and has authored or presented nearly 40 papers that mostly focused on the role of social workers in health care. She is the past president of the metropolitan New York Chapter of the Society of Social Work Administrators in Health Care and has been an active member of the Council on Social Work Education and the National Association of Social Workers.

Davidson earned a doctorate in social welfare from the City University of New York in 1983, a master's degree in social work from Columbia University in 1971 and a bachelor of arts degree with honors from the London School of Economics in 1961.