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EIU Media Relations

EIU names new College of Health and Human Services dean; Özlem Ersin’s higher education, international business expertise to benefit EIU, regional community


Photo: Dr. Özlem H. Ersin will begin her role as dean of Eastern Illinois University’s newly realigned College of Health and Human Services Monday, July 1. (Credit: Josh See)

(Charleston, IL) – Eastern Illinois University has named Dr. Özlem H. Ersin as dean of its newly realigned College of Health and Human Services.

“I am deeply honored to have been invited by President Glassman and Provost Gatrell to join Eastern Illinois University at a crucial moment in the history of this impressive and respected institution, “said Dr. Ersin. “Regional universities are intellectual and cultural centers that ensure the continuing vibrancy of their respective communities. Together with our dedicated faculty and staff, motivated students, and engaged alumni and supporters, we have the opportunity to reimagine possibilities in public and individual health, and equip learners of all ages with the practical skills, ethical reasoning, social connections, and civic-mindedness required of individuals in our connected world.”

Dr. Ersin brings a cornucopia of experience and expertise to the top public regional university in Illinois, refined by her various endeavors in international higher education and business.

“Özlem’s extensive experience across the human services and health sciences field with expertise in interprofessional education will be especially valuable to Eastern Illinois University as we focus on areas important to the region—including rural health, workforce development and student learning outcomes that reflect the robust educational tradition we have here at EIU,” said Dr. Jay Gatrell, Eastern’s provost and vice president of academic affairs. “The faculty, staff and campus community appreciated Dr. Ersin’s vision for the newly realigned College, and I am especially excited about the unique energy, excitement and influence she is prepared to bring to the College of Health and Human Services as the new dean.”

A self-described entrepreneur, Dr. Ersin’s professional highlights include establishing consulting operations in Europe and in the Middle East for a major international IT firm, as well as leading the creation of the first accredited online business program in Turkey.

She has served several dynamic functions in the higher education arena, including administrative roles as the founding department head for the Department of Health Professions and associate dean of the College of Health and Behavioral Studies at James Madison University in Virginia, and founding assistant department chair of Pharmaceutical Sciences at Manchester University in Indiana. She has earned tenure at both institutions. In addition, she was a founding faculty member of the first master’s program in pharmacogenomics in the U.S., and an adjunct member of the Minneapolis Community and Technical College’s computer careers faculty.

Ersin has earned several advanced degrees, including a Ph.D. in social and administrative pharmacy (2012), a master of biological sciences (2010) and a master of education (2009) from the University of Minnesota. For her many contributions to higher education, she was recognized as a College of Education and Human Development 2017 Rising Alumna. She also has earned a master of business administration in management (2001) from the University of St. Thomas (Minnesota); and a bachelor of arts in economics and international studies (1994) from Macalester College (Minnesota).

Outside her many contributions to academics, Ersin has lent her expertise and service to several local, state and federal entities as a member of the board of directors for a community health center in Virginia, a member of the Minnesota Health Literacy Council, and as a scientific advisor for children’s health initiatives in Allen County, Indiana.

Dr. Ersin attributes her passion for learning and civic engagement to parents and early mentors who presented education and public service as non-negotiable expectations. Her commitments in this regard are evident, as she’s worked alongside a variety of health- and wellness-driven organizations, including the Indiana Prescription Drug Abuse Prevention Taskforce, rural integrated behavioral health clinics, a Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC), and a faith-based free clinic. Ersin also was a founding member of the Fort Wayne Interprofessional Education Alliance, and an American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy delegate to the Pharmacy e-Health Information Technology Collaborative.

“I envision great possibilities as EIU continues to contribute to the growth and development of the east central Illinois region and beyond,” Ersin said. “My family and I are excited to call Coles County our new home.”

Dr. Ersin will begin her new role as EIU’s College of Health and Human Services dean Monday, July 1.

For more information about EIU, or to learn more about its various programs and services, visit the EIU website at, or call EIU’s public information office at (217) 581-7400.



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Media Relations
Josh Reinhart, Public Information Coordinator

2142 Old Main
Eastern Illinois University
600 Lincoln Ave.
Charleston, IL 61920
Fax: 217-581-8444

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