News Release

CHICAGO – Gerald P. Koocher, professor of psychology and associate provost at Simmons College in Boston, was selected by DePaul University to be dean of the College of Science and Health. Koocher, a pediatric psychologist, served as president of the American Psychological Association in 2006. He also is a senior lecturer at the Harvard Medical School.

Koocher will assume his new role July 1, replacing Jerry Cleland, who has been serving as interim dean since the college was established in 2011.

Koocher has an extensive and distinguished career as a clinical psychologist and is a widely published researcher. In addition to his teaching duties at Simmons and Harvard, he is a clinician on staff at Boston Children’s Hospital. Koocher is a fellow of the American Psychological Association and the American Association for the Advancement of Science. He also serves on review panels for the National Institutes of Health and National Institute of Mental Health.

“DePaul’s College of Science and Health has seen significant growth over the past two years, reflecting the tremendous changes taking place in the scientific and health care delivery fields,” said Koocher. “I am excited to be joining DePaul’s outstanding faculty and leadership to further accelerate the tremendous work to educate the science and health professionals of the future.”

A native of Cambridge, Mass., Koocher received his bachelor’s degree in psychology from Boston University and his master’s degree in psychology and doctoral degree in clinical and developmental psychology from the University of Missouri, Columbia. In 2011, he completed the Institute for Management and Leadership in Education program at the Harvard University Graduate School of Education.

Koocher’s areas of research include adaptation to chronic medical illness and bereavement; ethical and public policy issues in delivery of mental health services; and the functioning of institutional review boards and ethics committees. He led early academic efforts to leverage online resources for the creation of new advanced degrees in the health science fields.

“I am confident that Gerry’s leadership in both higher education and the field of psychology, in addition to his work as a scholar, teacher and practitioner, position him well for building the future for the College of Science and Health. The DePaul community will be enriched by his presence,” said the Rev. Dennis H. Holtschneider, C.M., president of DePaul.

Interim Provost Patricia O’Donoghue thanked Cleland for his leadership as interim dean the past two years. “Jerry worked tirelessly to build a strong foundation on which the college can grow. He led efforts to define college policies and procedures and articulated the vision and mission of the college. He has positioned the college for future greatness.”

DePaul’s College of Science and Health was established to better meet the rapidly growing and evolving fields in scientific and health care education. Since its inception, its undergraduate and graduate enrollments have grown by a combined 27 percent, and it now serves more than 3,200 students. Enrollment growth has been especially strong for the college’s recently created health sciences degree, which prepares undergraduate students for a wide array of professions in the emerging team-oriented approach to health care delivery.

In 2012, DePaul established the Alliance for Health Sciences with Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science in North Chicago, Ill., to expand student access to educational programs in the medical field, encourage joint research initiatives and grow selected programs.

About DePaul University

With approximately 25,000 students, DePaul is the largest Catholic university in the United States and the largest private, nonprofit university in the Midwest. The university offers approximately 275 graduate and undergraduate programs of study on three Chicago and two suburban campuses. Founded in 1898, DePaul remains committed to providing a quality education through personal attention to students from a wide range of backgrounds. For more information, visit

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