Dr. Rodney G. Bowden Appointed Dean of Robbins College of Health and Human Sciences at Baylor University

April 12, 2017
Rodney G. Bowden

Dr. Rodney G. Bowden has been appointed dean of Robbins College of Health and Human Sciences.

With Pro Futuris emphasis on health and wellness-related initiatives, Baylor’s newest academic unit is poised for “greater visibility and leadership”

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WACO, Texas (April 13, 2017) – Rodney G. Bowden, Ph.D., professor of health education and Brown Foundation Endowed Chair, has been appointed dean of Robbins College of Health and Human Sciences at Baylor University, as announced today by Executive Vice President and Provost L. Gregory Jones, Ph.D. Bowden’s appointment is effective immediately.

Bowden, who joined the Baylor faculty in 2000 and has served as interim chair of Robbins College since 2015, will continue his leadership of Baylor’s newest academic unit, which was established by the Board of Regents in May 2014. Later that year, it was named Robbins College in honor of William K. and Mary Jo Robbins of Houston, who provided a significant gift for the College.

As emphasized in the University’s strategic vision, Pro Futuris, Robbins College further strengthens Baylor’s position in health and wellness-related education, research and community engagement through its departments of Communication Sciences and Disorders (CSD), Family and Consumer Sciences (FCS) and Health, Human Performance and Recreation (HHPR). Each area shares a common purpose: improving the quality of life and well-being for individuals, families and communities through opportunities for interdisciplinary research, creative endeavors, clinical experiences and innovation.

“The Robbins College of Health and Human Sciences is strong and poised for even greater visibility and leadership at Baylor as we increasingly emphasize initiatives in health across the University,” Jones said. “Rodney Bowden has done an outstanding job over the last two years as interim dean. He has shown innovative leadership, strong capacities for collaboration and a wonderful commitment to strengthening Baylor as a University. After careful assessment, it is clear to us that he is the right person to appoint as the long-term dean to lead Robbins College to greater strength and fruitfulness.”

“I am excited about the opportunity to serve the students and faculty in Robbins College,” Bowden said. “As we advance Pro Futuris through research and teaching, we have the opportunity for many collaborative efforts with Baylor partners and work with external groups advancing health and quality of life. The great work of faculty and staff over Baylor’s nearly two centuries brings us to a unique time in the University’s history regarding health and health care. I am grateful for the opportunity to help lead during this unique and promising time.”

In addition, Robbins College soon will house U.S. Army-Baylor affiliated health programs in nutrition, occupational therapy, orthopaedic physical therapy, physical therapy and physician assistant studies, which will move from the Graduate School.

“As we transition the Army-Baylor Health programs over the coming year, Robbins and Dean Bowden will have even more opportunities to build on strengths and develop new opportunities. We are thrilled that Dean Bowden has agreed to serve Baylor in this role,” Jones said.

Bowden earned his Ph.D. in health education from Texas A&M University, where he focused his research on the prediction accuracy of dichotomous cholesterol measures.

Bowden has been in higher education for two decades, first serving on the faculty at Stephen F. Austin State University from 1995-2000, before joining the Baylor School of Education and the department of HHPR. He served for eight years as associate dean for graduate studies and research in the School of Education, where he was responsible for 16 graduate programs, research initiatives, research and outreach centers and leadership of the Graduate Education Advisory Council. He also served as a visiting scholar for six months at the University of Hawaii-Manoa in Honolulu, Hawaii. In 2014, he joined Robbins College as executive associate dean and began serving as interim dean in 2015.

Bowden has an extensive background in research, including grants, sponsored projects and publications in the areas of lipid metabolism, inflammation and clinical cardiovascular disease in chronic disease populations as well as other ancillary-related research areas. He has been awarded approximately $6 million in extramural funding as a principal or co-investigator. Additionally, he has published more than 70 peer-reviewed publications in various journals, such as the Journal of Renal Nutrition, Nephron Clinical Practice, Journal of Nephrology, Postgraduate Medicine, American Journal of Health Behavior, Clinical Lipidology and the American Journal of Health Education. Students have been included as a primary author or co-author on most publications.

Bowden has given more than 160 research- or practice-related presentations at discipline-specific scientific conferences with over 100 published abstracts in journals and conference proceedings, the majority of which included students as primary or co-authors.

Bowden has served the profession through numerous professional roles, including serving in leadership and/or as a conference reviewer for the American Academy of Health Behavior, American Association for Health Education and other professional organizations. He has served as an associate editor, journal reviewer or guest reviewer for over 25 journals.

Bowden is active member of the American Academy of Health Behavior, the American Public Health Association and the Council for Undergraduate Research.


Baylor University is a private Christian University and a nationally ranked research institution. The University provides a vibrant campus community for more than 16,000 students by blending interdisciplinary research with an international reputation for educational excellence and a faculty commitment to teaching and scholarship. Chartered in 1845 by the Republic of Texas through the efforts of Baptist pioneers, Baylor is the oldest continually operating University in Texas. Located in Waco, Baylor welcomes students from all 50 states and more than 80 countries to study a broad range of degrees among its 12 nationally recognized academic divisions.


After more than three years of evaluation and input from Baylor regents, deans, faculty and staff, and external entities, the Baylor Board of Regents approved the creation of Robbins College of Health and Human Sciences on May 16, 2014. This also was a direct result of identified priorities for strengthening the health sciences through Baylor’s strategic vision, Pro Futuris, which serves as a compass for the University’s future. The anchor academic units that form the new College – Communication Sciences and Disorders, Family and Consumer Sciences and Health, Human Performance and Recreation – share a common purpose: improving health and the quality of life. Robbins College is working to create curricula that will promote a team-based approach to patient care and will establish interdisciplinary research collaborations to advance solutions for improving the quality of life for individuals, families, and communities.