Robert Goodman resigned his position as dean of IU’s School of Health, Physical Education, and Recreation on Tuesday.
Goodman, who has served as dean of HPER since 2007, will remain a part of the department as a professor, conducting his teaching and research in his area of specialty — applied health science — Provost and Executive Vice President Karen Hanson said.
Hanson said HPER made a lot of progress under Goodman’s leadership in the school’s time of reconfiguration.
“This change in leadership will not impede on the progress of the school toward its goal of becoming a school of public health,” Hanson said, adding that a meeting with HPER faculty and staff Wednesday showed further commitment to moving the school forward.
Hanson said she knew of Goodman’s intentions to resign ahead of time and has named Mohammad Torabi, chancellor’s professor and chairman of the Department of Applied Health Science, as the interim dean for the time being.
When asked whether or not there was controversy surrounding Goodman’s resignation, there was little comment about the subject from IU administration. When asked about such mentioned issues, Hanson and Torabi both had no comment.
“I don’t really think it’s appropriate to comment on that. The truth is if one is in one of these leadership positions, there will always be criticism,” Hanson said.
Torabi said Goodman’s resignation would not affect the progress and success of HPER, an established school of 70 years, and its various departments.
“That was his decision, his call,” Torabi said of Goodman’s resignation. “These are very individual decisions, and I’m not going to second guess his decisions.”
Torabi said he has no predetermined agenda as interim dean but plans to work closely with HPER faculty, staff and students to meet their needs and continue the school’s success.
“Right now I’m just going to listen,” Torabi said.
Torabi said his loyalty to IU will guide him in his new position.
“This is home to me. If they ask me to do something, I don’t question it, I do it and give it 120 percent of my energy and effort,” Torabi said.
Plans to replace the dean’s position permanently are unclear at this time.
“Because the school is in a transitional mode it’s really not a good time to convene a search and screen committee for a new dean,” Hanson said. “It’s difficult to advertise a job that may change over time.”