Dear Members of the UMBC Community,
Dr. Judah Ronch has shared with me his intention to step down as Dean of the Erickson School at the end of the Spring 2018 semester to return to teaching and scholarly work.
Dr. Ronch joined the Erickson School as Professor of the Practice in early 2007 after an almost 40-year distinguished career in academia, clinical practice and research. Dr. Ronch has consulted for aging services organization and state and Federal governments, served in executive roles with aging services providers, and published numerous publications that pioneered culture change and strengths-based approaches in aging services. He was instrumental in the development of UMBC’s M.A. degree in management of aging services and in teaching graduate and undergraduate courses. Dr. Ronch was appointed Interim Dean in 2009 and was named Dean in 2010. Under his leadership, the Erickson School became recognized as the leading school of its kind in the U.S., with a faculty acknowledged for its excellence in both the academic and practical aspects of management of aging services at the undergraduate, graduate, and professional education levels. During his tenure as Dean, Dr. Ronch maintained an extensive record of scholarship resulting in the publication of two edited books and numerous articles and textbook chapters on aging issues, culture change in aging services, innovations in pedagogy, and the convergence of technology and aging.
The Erickson School has become a national model for promoting developmental, strength-based models of service and care for elders through its integrative curricula, research collaborations, thought leadership, and community engagement. The School’s nearly 300 alumni and partners have been instrumental in identifying new opportunities for people to age better by leading change in numerous aging service organizations and developing innovative policy initiatives at the local, state, and federal levels. The Erickson School has convened numerous conferences, including the Memory Care Summit, an annual national meeting on dementias.
The Erickson School developed and implemented an innovative and interdisciplinary project which brought together students and faculty from across the disciplines to demonstrate what aging care would look like 50 years into the future. This institutional collaboration culminated in the launch of a long-term interdisciplinary approach focused on practical aging issues that include undergraduate research, interdisciplinary courses, and scholarship and community engagement. Among other accomplishments, this integrative approach led to the creation of the first specialized geriatric emergency department in the U.S. at Holy Cross Hospital in Silver Spring and, more recently, at St. Agnes Hospital. The Erickson School has also been offering instruction to UMBC employees through its information sessions offered as part of the Wellness in the Workplace series.
We would like to thank Dean Ronch for his steady leadership in advancing the mission of the Erickson School, and we look forward to his continued involvement in the UMBC community. We must now turn to the difficult task of recruiting a new Dean to build upon Dr. Ronch's legacy and that of all the faculty, staff and students who have worked so hard to create a national model of school of aging services. Very shortly, we will launch a national search for the new Dean of the Erickson School with the assistance of executive search consultants Storbeck/Pimentel & Associates.
Provost Philip Rous