Yan Searcy, associate dean in the School of Health and Human Services at Southern Connecticut State University, has been named dean of the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences at California State University, Northridge.
Searcy, who formally becomes dean on Aug. 20, replaces Stella Theodoulou, who left the post last year to become CSUN’s vice provost. Matthew Cahn, associate dean of the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences, has served as dean during the interim.
“It is an honor to be selected as the next dean of the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences at CSUN,” Searcy said. “I am particularly excited about the opportunity to contribute to the ongoing success of the college that has been steered to national distinction over the past 15 years by Stella Theodoulou.”
Theodoulou, currently serving as interim provost and vice president for academic affairs, said she was looking forward to working with Searcy.
“As former dean of the college, I couldn’t be more pleased with the appointment of Yan Searcy,” she said. “I was impressed with his command of the challenges and opportunities facing our student body, and the diverse set of experiences that he brings with him. I have every confidence he will build upon the college’s success of recent years, and bring our students, staff and faculty to even greater levels of achievement.”
Searcy said he was attracted to the position at CSUN, in part, because of the institution’s “dedication to student success and the mission of the university of transforming lives through education.
“The departments in the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences reflect the best in the tradition of liberal and professional education,” Searcy said. “Also attractive is the opportunity to deepen and expand existing community, national and international relationships. But, overwhelmingly, what makes CSUN and the college stellar in my particular case is its faculty and staff. They are student-centered, generative, dedicated and engaged. They are also friendly! I have felt welcomed from the moment I stepped onto campus.”
Searcy said he believes the role of a dean is “to move a college from what is merely tolerated to what is desired.”
“In order to move the college, I plan on actively listening,” he said. “Certainly, there are clear priorities that have been imparted as I come in, but I aim to pursue and achieve them collaboratively.”
Searcy said he will be listening in particular to the faculty.
“The faculty in the college are talented and I am interested in hearing what they have to share, what projects they would like to move forward and to explore what ways I can assist them,” he said.
Searcy adds that he is looking forward to working collaboratively with members of the community throughout Los Angeles.
“There are great opportunities for partners in the community to utilize the amazing talent that lies within the college,” he said. “I hope to help continue to build those bridges.”
Searcy earned bachelor’s degrees in psychology and American studies from the University of Notre Dame, a master’s in social work from the University of Wisconsin, Madison and his doctorate from the University of Chicago’s School of Social Service Administration. His areas of research, publication and scholarly interest include social work with adolescents; youth mentoring and student success; factors influencing exercise; race; social policy aimed at eliminating racial disparities; urban poverty; and urban economic development.