Blakely replaces Richard Clover, who announced his plan to step down as SPHIS dean in January 2012 after helping establish and lead the school for 10 years.
“Our state, region and nation face significant health issues. Dr. Blakely’s expertise in bioinformatics and policy development will be invaluable as we tackle issues like obesity, access to care, disease management and much more,” said David L. Dunn, executive vice president for health affairs at UofL. “Dr. Blakely will lead our challenge to expand academic programs, build community partnerships and promote the growth of new knowledge to improve public health in an increasingly complex and interconnected world.”
“I thank Dr. Clover for agreeing to remain as dean during the search process,” Dunn said. “Under his leadership, our School of Public Health and Information Sciences has a solid foundation to build upon.
“I commend the search committee, led by Kathy Baumgartner for the breadth of candidates it reviewed and for bringing forward a final candidate so well matched with UofL’s goals for leading the public health mission within our commonwealth and beyond.”
“Craig brings a unique skill set to advance the mission of the school, and we are excited to watch it flourish to new levels,” said Provost Shirley Willihnganz. “In concert with our faculty, staff and students and Craig’s leadership, we will be well-positioned as a much-needed resource to address the major health care issues we face.”
Blakely joined Texas A&M University in 1987 as the associate director of the Public Policy Research Institute with an academic appointment in the Department of Psychology. He served as professor and head of the Department of Health Policy and Management at the School of Rural Public Health from 1998 to 2007. He was named assistant dean of research from 2001 to 2009 and simultaneously served as associate dean for academic affairs from 2007 to 2009. In 2009 Blakely was named dean for the School of Rural Public Health.
After earning a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Illinois, Blakely obtained a Master of Arts degree from Southern Illinois University, a doctorate from Michigan State University and a Master of Public Health degree from the University of Texas Health Science Center in Houston.
Blakely has researched and published extensively regarding access to care for underserved expectant mothers, juvenile delinquents, substance abuse and rural health. Over the course of his career, he has served as principal investigator for grants totaling more than $13 million. He has been a reviewer for numerous journals and sits on the editorial board of the Journal of Primary Prevention.
Blakely is a member of the Nigeria Center for Disease Control International Advisory Group, the Texas Public Health Funding and Policy Committee, the Texas Medicaid Executive Waiver Advisory Committee and serves on the Board of Directors for the Brazos Valley Council on Alcohol and Substance Abuse.