The College of Social Work’s dean, Martell Teasley, became the University of Utah’s interim senior vice president for academic affairs (SVPAA), effective Jan. 3, 2022. He replaces Dan Reed, who stepped down at the end of 2021.
In this role, Teasley will lead the academic affairs of the institution—which includes oversight of academic colleges and programs, as well as student admission and retention—while the U conducts a national search for a permanent senior vice president for academic affairs (provost).
“SVPAA Dan Reed has worked tirelessly to support academic units across campus,” said Teasley of his predecessor. “His strong leadership during the COVID-19 pandemic will not be forgotten.”
Teasley has served as associate provost and special assistant to the senior vice president for academic affairs since October 2021, while maintaining his role as dean of the College of Social Work. Since becoming dean in 2017, Teasley implemented steps to improve the quality and rigor of the social work curriculum, advance research output, recruit and retain more diverse faculty and students and increase service to the local and regional community. On the national stage, he recently began his second term as president of the National Association of Deans and Directors of Schools of Social Work, and co-leads the Grand Challenge to Eliminate Racism, part of the national Grand Challenges for Social Work initiative.
“I am truly honored to serve our University in this role,” said Teasley. “I hope my background as a researcher, a social worker, a practical nurse and a veteran will help me to provide meaningful support to our talented colleagues across campus, and to make significant contributions to the success and advancement of the institution as a whole.”
He added, “I am confident that the College of Social Work’s new leadership team will keep us headed in the right direction during my absence.”
Philip Osteen, the College of Social Work’s interim associate dean for academic affairs, will assume the role of interim dean. He is a nationally recognized researcher in mental health and suicide intervention/prevention and recently presented his research on the relationship between flexible workplace policies and employee health and mental health to the World Economic Forum. His current work includes helping the International Refugee Committee in evaluating culturally adapted interventions for trauma, as well as working with the Utah Division of Substance Abuse and Mental Health in evaluating the state’s efforts in suicide prevention in community-based mental health services.
Osteen joined the U in 2018 to serve as director of the College’s Social Research Institute. He earned master’s degrees and doctorates in both social work and quantitative research methods from the University of Denver.
“Thanks to Dean Teasley’s leadership, our programs and our college are on a trajectory to be one of the leading social work institutions in the country, across all measures,” said Osteen. “My primary goal as interim dean is to ensure the college continues to progress along this path.”
BSW Program Director Jason Castillo will step into the role of interim associate dean for academic affairs. Castillo has served as BSW Program director since 2016 and was set to end his second term in that role in January. His research interests include disadvantaged children and families (with an emphasis on fathers), social welfare policy and macro social work practice, as well as substance use disorder counselor education and training. Over the last four years, Castillo helped secure $3.9 million in federal funding from the Health Resources and Services Administration to support education for substance use disorder counselors, facilitating student support and growth of the college’s Substance Use Disorder Treatment Training Certificate Program.
Castillo joined the College of Social Work’s faculty in 2007, after earning his MSW from the University of Wyoming and his doctorate from the Arizona State University School of Social Work.
“Dean Teasley leaves the College of Social Work poised for continued growth and student success,” said Castillo. “I look forward to this opportunity to help strengthen our programs and our relationships with our community in new ways.”
Jennifer Nozawapublic relations specialist, University of Utah College of Social Work