Vimala Pillari, Ph.D., has been selected founding dean of Tarleton State University’s College of Health Sciences and Human Services.
Pillari will begin her duties Aug. 1, pending approval by the Texas A&M University System Board of Regents.
With its main campus in Stephenville, Tarleton has been a part of the Texas A&M University System since 1917.
Set to open this fall, Tarleton’s new college will house the Department of Nursing and the Department of Medical Laboratory Sciences and Public Health, located in Fort Worth’s medical district. Programs will be offered in Fort Worth, Waco and Midlothian as well as at Tarleton’s Stephenville campus and via its online Global Campus.
Pillari currently is dean of the Whitney M. Young Jr. School of Social Work at Clark Atlanta University in Georgia, where she has served since 2008. At Clark Atlanta, she has helped to establish a dual degree program in social work and public health, a new clinical doctorate and a research center focused on multicultural families and children.
An experienced researcher and writer, Pillari founded the School of Social Work at Newman University in Kansas and the Graduate School of Social Work at Dominican University in Illinois. She is actively involved with the National Council on Social Work Education, co-chairing its annual conference in Atlanta. She has worked with international groups from India and Qatar.
Pillari earned her bachelor’s degree in home science/economics, child psychology and sociology and her master’s degree in social work – with a specialization in families and children – from Madras University in India. She received her doctorate in social welfare from Columbia University in New York.
Also part of the new college, Tarleton’s Department of Counseling serves 150 students in Fort Worth and more than 50 in Waco in addition to those in Stephenville and online. Students enrolled at Tarleton-Fort Worth work with several Tarrant County mental health organizations to improve community access to quality counseling services for people of all ages.