McLean to Retire as Chair of Allied Health Sciences

Lee K. McLean, PhD, will retire in the fall of 2013 after serving as Chair of the Department of Allied Health Sciences for 13 years and as Associate Dean of the School of Medicine since 2005.

McLean to Retire as Chair of Allied Health Sciences click to enlarge Lee K. McLean, PhD

“It has been an honor and a great pleasure to serve as chair of this wonderful, dynamic department,” said Dr. McLean.  “We have made great strides together, and I will always be grateful for the friendship and support of the Allied Health Sciences division directors, faculty, and staff, as well as my colleagues from throughout the School of Medicine.”

“Dr. McLean has been an outstanding leader for many years for the Department of Allied Health Sciences,” said William L. Roper, MD, MPH, Dean of the UNC School of Medicine. “I truly appreciate her service to the School of Medicine and the State of North Carolina.”

Under Dr. McLean’s leadership, the Department of Allied Health Sciences (DAHS) significantly expanded its academic offerings, enrollment numbers, and sources of external funding. The department added two new PhD programs in Occupational Science and Speech and Hearing Sciences, two clinical doctorate degrees in Physical Therapy and Audiology, and the Molecular Diagnostic Science and Radiologist Assistant masters programs. DAHS divisions have also developed distinguished continuing education and distance education programs, including the Transitional Doctor of Physical Therapy program and the FIRST YEARS Certificate in Auditory Learning. These new programs have helped enrollment in the Department grow from 337 students in 2000 to 453 students for the 2012-13 academic year.

In addition, all of the DAHS programs reviewed in the latest edition of the U.S. News and World Report’s America's Best Graduate Schools publication were highly ranked, with Audiology at #3 in the nation, Physical Therapy at #9, Occupational Therapy at #11, and Rehabilitation Counseling at #23 (2011 edition).

While maintaining a comparatively low operating budget, DAHS has cultivated a variety of funding sources. Grant income has grown from $696,292 in FY 2001-02 to $5,454,770 for FY 2011-12. Average annual private donations received by the department have also increased from $49,000 (1995 to 2000) prior to Dr. McLean’s tenure to $822,759 (2006 to 2012), enabling DAHS to expand and improve programs and to offer 72 new annual scholarships and awards to its students.  The two clinics housed in the department, University Physical Therapy and the UNC Hearing and Communication Center, have expanded their patient care offerings and improved their profit margins.

DAHS is now in the process of finalizing a new strategic plan that will guide the department’s development for the next several years.

“We are on the brink of an exciting new stage in the evolution of allied health here at UNC, as the department responds to the new opportunities presented by the SOM’s strategic planning vision, and the nation’s movement towards meaningful health care reform,” said Dr. McLean. “While I look forward to continuing the planning process in the coming months, I also believe this is a good time for the department to welcome a new leader who will oversee the implementation of this plan.”

Dr. McLean earned her PhD from the George Peabody College for Teachers (now the George Peabody College of Vanderbilt University) in 1977 with a major in Special Education/Mental Retardation and a Minor Developmental Psychology. She had previously earned a MEd from the University of Washington and a BS from Syracuse University. Before coming to UNC, Dr. McLean had served as a research associate at the University of Kansas and as director of the Pappanikou Center for Developmental Disabilities at the University of Connecticut.