UC Berkeley News


Midanik appointed dean of School of Social Welfare

| 26 September 2007

Chancellor Robert Birgeneau has announced the appointment of Lorraine Midanik as dean of the campus's School of Social Welfare. The appointment was approved by the UC Regents on Sept. 19.

Lorraine Midanik (Jane Scherr photo)

Midanik has served as acting dean since July 2006; she was associate dean for academic affairs in the school from 2000 to 2003.

"I am honored to be the dean of the School of Social Welfare," Midanik says. "The excellence of the school is reflected in the quality of its faculty, student body, and staff, and it has long been ranked number one in faculty research productivity. My goal is to ensure that the school maintains its leadership position in the field and continues to serve our mission to prepare social-work students to work with the most vulnerable people in our society in publicly supported social services."

Midanik's teaching and scholarly work focus on drug- and alcohol-related problems in the United States, as well as methodological issues in alcohol research. She has written extensively on alcohol use, with scholarly articles that range from the subjective experience of drunkenness to national drinking trends and the reliability and validity of self-reported alcohol consumption. In her most recent book, Biomedicalization of Alcohol Studies: Ideological Shifts and Institutional Challenges (2006), she critically examines the process by which biomedicalization has emerged in the alcohol field and its effects on how alcohol issues are handled in the U.S. and internationally.

On campus, Midanik has chaired the Academic Senate's Committee on Committees and its Student Affairs Committee, and served as a senate representative to the Berkeley Divisional Council. Midanik was recognized in 2001 by the UC Berkeley Student Parents Association for her contributions to the well-being of student parents, and was part of the team that created the campus's 1998 Guide for Balancing Work and Family; she was given a distinguished-service team award for that project.

Midanik, who earned her Ph.D. in behavioral sciences from Johns Hopkins University, joined the Berkeley faculty in 1984 to direct the school's health concentration. She has been a consultant to the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the Centers for Disease Control, the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, Kaiser Permanente's Division of Research, and the Alcohol Research Group, and has held leadership positions with the American Public Health Association and other professional organizations. In 2004 she received a Fulbright Fellowship to study awareness, treatment, and prevention of alcohol problems in Sweden at Stockholm University. Since 2002 she has been on the editorial board of the International Journal of Social Welfare.

Midanik says her priorities as dean are "increasing our endowment to fund student fellowships and faculty research, and cultivating the diversity of our student body and faculty. This will position the school," she says, "to sustain its preeminence statewide, nationally, and internationally."

She succeeds James Midgley, who headed the school from 1997 to 2006.

"Professor Midanik is an outstanding leader in the areas of research, teaching, and service, and I know she has ambitious goals for the School of Social Welfare," says George Breslauer, executive vice chancellor and provost. "I look forward to working with her."

Details about compensation for all new administrators are available online at the regents' salaries and compensation website (www.universityofcalifornia.edu/news/compensation/salaryactions.html).