Head shot image of Garry Cuddeback
Gary Cuddeback, Ph.D., serves as the VCU School of Social Work’s associate dean for research and interim associate dean for faculty affairs. (Courtesy Gary Cuddeback)

Gary Cuddeback named interim dean of VCU School of Social Work

Cuddeback, an associate dean for research and interim associate dean for faculty affairs, will begin his tenure on July 1.

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Gary S. Cuddeback, Ph.D., a professor and administrator at the Virginia Commonwealth University School of Social Work, will serve as the school’s interim dean, effective July 1.

Cuddeback joined the school as associate dean for research in September 2021 and has also been serving as interim associate dean for faculty affairs since May 2022.

Since arriving at VCU, Cuddeback has worked to develop the school's research support and infrastructure, support faculty's research interests, and create collaborations across the university and with local and state agencies.

Cuddeback’s research focuses on individuals living with severe mental illnesses, mental health services, the intersection of mental health and criminal legal systems, and evidence-based interventions. Before joining VCU, he spent over 18 years at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he was a professor and served in a variety of leadership positions, including the Berg-Beach Distinguished Professor of Community Social Work at the School of Social Work. Cuddeback was a research fellow at the Cecil G. Sheps Center for Health Services Research and a research professor with UNC’s Department of Psychiatry at the School of Medicine, where he was director of the Community Outcomes Research and Evaluation Center.

Cuddeback also directed the dual-degree program between UNC’s School of Social Work and the Gillings School of Public Health. He was on the university’s Faculty Council and Undergraduate Hearings Board, and he chaired the university’s Faculty Research Committee, Faculty Hearings Board and the non-biomedical Institutional Review Board committee. He also directed a program of research, which engaged faculty and doctoral and graduate students, and which was focused on developing evidence-based interventions for individuals living with mental illnesses. He holds a Ph.D. in social work from the University of Tennessee at Knoxville and an M.S.W. and M.P.H., both from the University of South Florida in Tampa, Florida.

Cuddeback will succeed Rebecca Gomez, Ph.D., who has served as interim dean since May 2022 and joined the VCU School of Social Work in August 2020 as associate dean for academic and student affairs. Gomez has accepted a position as associate dean for academic affairs of the Steve Hicks School of Social Work at the University of Texas at Austin.