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A History of the Creation of the Department of (Allied) Health Sciences at UNC-Chapel Hill: Timelines (summaries)

This guide details the winding history of the creation of the Department of Allied Health Sciences at UNC-Chapel Hill, as determined by archival research. It reveals the people and processes involved along the way.

Created by Health Science Librarians

Late 1960s: Stirring the Allied Health Pot

November 3, 1966 - Congress passes Public Law 89-751, allocating money for the "development of training programs for allied professional groups relating to medical and health services."

January 6, 1967 - Dr. C. Arden Miller, Vice Chancellor for Health Affairs (1966-1970) calls a meeting of department heads from the various medical schools to discuss the implications of PL 89-751. Represented are the School of Medicine, School of Dentistry, School of Nursing, School of Public Health, and School of Pharmacy.

February 8, 1967 - One month later, this group meets again, this time to establish the "University's Allied Health Professions Committee." The purpose of this group is to submit a grant proposal for PL 89-751 funds and to come up with "ways of coordinating and expanding the training of allied health professional personnel" at UNC.

February 13, 1967 - Dr. C. Arden Miller, Vice Chancellor for Health Affairs (1966-1970) invites several people to serve on the "University's Allied Health Professions Committee." Those invited are Dr. Weir (chairman; Medicine), Louise Ward, Alberta Beat (Dental Hygiene), Dr. Scatliff (Radiology), Virginia Lambe, Ruby Barnes (Nursing), Dr. Mattocks (Pharmacy), Dr. Barton (Dentistry), Dr. Chamberlin (Pediatrics), Janice Westaby (Public Health), Margaret Moore (Physical Therapy), and Robert Lassiter (Medicine).

February 17, 1967 - In a quick turnaround from the previous meeting - the grant had most likely already been in development, Dr. C. Arden Miller submits the grant request to "develop an Allied Health Professions Training Center."

Major Gap in Archival Record

Academic Fall 1968 - Dr. C. Arden Miller, Vice Chancellor for Health Affairs Division, asks Dr. Harvey Smith to take a planning review of "the structure of the Division's educational program for the allied health professions." As a result, the Health Sciences Divisional Planning Board is established with Dr. Harvey Smith as chairman. Underneath this planning board, a new "Committee on Allied Health Professions" is established. 

1969-1971: A School of Allied Health Sciences?

January 3, 1969 - Dr. Harvey Smith, Chairman of the Division Planning Board for the Health Sciences Division, recruits Dr. Boatman (School of Public Health) to serve as chairman on the committee for allied health. This committee is different from the previous committee created in 1967, but it has a similar purpose.

April 15, 1969 - Dr. Boatman disperses a memo detailing the establishment of the committee to study allied health programs, including the committee's charge and members. Over the course of the next couple of years, this committee will be referred to by a few different names in the archival record. For now, it is the "Allied Health Committee," and its purpose is to assess the current allied health training programs and advise the Planning Board on how to move forward in restructuring and expanding those programs.

April 16, 1969 - First mention of a potential School of Allied Health Sciences comes in a letter from Vice Chancellor Miller to Dr. Harvey Smith.

May, 1969 - Various opinions about the importance of improving allied health science programs at UNC and in the state of North Carolina expressed to the Allied Health Professions Committee. Statements from Dr. Margaret Moore (head of allied health) and Miss Florence Bearden (occupational therapy) among others, focused specifically on the limitations of the current Physical Therapy division, the need for graduate physical therapy education, the potential implications of increased dental auxiliary training, and the need for an occupational therapy program in the state of North Carolina.

June 6, 1969 - The Rehabilitation Counseling Area faculty express support for a School of Allied Health because its organization could help them improve communications with other schools, although they believe that they should stay where they are in the School of Education.

September 1969 - Report of Allied Health Professions Committee is written.

October 13, 1969 - Report of the Allied Health Professions Committee sent to Dr. Harvey Smith of the Health Sciences Planning Board. It contains a few different options, but the Committee official recommends that UNC establish a School of Allied Health Professions in the Health Sciences Division. 

January 21, 1970 - The Physical Therapy faculty express their interest in a School of Allied Health through a letter sent to Chancellor Sitterson from Dr. Margaret Moore.

February 2, 1970  - The Dean's Cabinet of the School of Public Health takes action in favor of a School of Allied Health Sciences. 

June 11, 1970 - Committee on Allied Health, in an update on the School of Allied Health, recommends that Dr. Miller "initiate action which is necessary for University to consider whether or not it wishes to establish a School of Allied Health Sciences in the Health Science Division."

August 1, 1970 - The Office of Allied Health Sciences is created as an interim step in the process of improvement. Dr. Cecil Sheps replaces Dr. Miller as Vice Chancellor for the Health Sciences Division. 

October 1970 - Proposal for a School of Allied Health drafted for discussion only.

October 16, 1970 - Dr. Boatman informs the UNC Faculty Council that he anticipates that the proposal for the new School of Allied Health Sciences will be ready to submit at the start of the new year.

March, 1971 - School of Allied Health Proposal is moving forward - progress report indicates that meetings have taken place with various groups on campus and information has been passed on to Dr. Cecil Sheps, the new Vice Chancellor for Health Sciences.

April 1971 - The School of Allied Health is officially proposed. 

April 9, 1971 - The School of Medicine decides not to support a new school but instead a Department of Allied Health Professions Programs located in the School of Medicine.

May 6, 1971 - Vice Chancellor Sheps delivers proposal for School of Allied Health to Chancellor Sitterson.

May 20, 1971 - The School of Medicine, via Dean Isaac Taylor, issues statement to Vice Chancellor Sheps indicating that the members of the Advisory Committee of the School of Medicine do not endorse a School of Allied Health.

May 24, 1971 - Vice Chancellor Sheps writes back to Dean Taylor expressing his concern and confusion over this development.

June 1971 - Vice Chancellor Sheps informs Dean Taylor, School of Medicine that the current Chancellor, Chancellor Sitterson, does not want to make a decision about the School of Allied Health, is leaving it up to the next chancellor to make the decision.

Early 1970s: Slowly but Surely, the DAHS Emerges

September 14, 1971 - The directors of the Allied Health Professions Programs discuss that the School of Medicine has moved to make a department of allied health instead of a school of allied health. They are in talks with the new Dean of the School of Medicine, Christopher C. Fordham III. If this plan passes, it will require an amendment to the constitution of the School of Medicine.

November 30, 1971 - School of Medicine sets forth plans which would lead to adopting a separate department for Allied Health Professions in that school.

December 1971 - Discussion about a potential department of allied health continues with input from Dean Mayes, School of Public Health, and Daniel Okun, Head of the Department of Environmental Sciences and Engineering.

January 24, 1972 - The medical faculty of the School of Medicine vote to develop a Department of Medical Allied Health Professions and request administrative approval to proceed with the development of that department. 

March 15, 1972 - Exchange between Lyle Jones, Dean of the Graduate School, and Dr. Margaret Moore, Director of Medical Allied Health Programs reveals that the new Department of Medical Allied Health Professions has not yet been approved by the chancellor, meaning that graduate degrees for occupational therapy, physical therapy, and hospital administration cannot move forward in activation. The expectation is that there are delays which will prevent programs from being established before the calendar year 1973, and probably not before the academic year 1973-1974.

March 21, 1972 - The new Chancellor, N. Ferebee Taylor, approves the establishment of a Department of Medical Allied Health Professions in the School of Medicine.

August - December 1972 - Planning continues for new Department of Medical Allied Health Professions (DMAHP).

September 12, 1972 - Search for Chairman of the new Allied Health Department is underway. It is reported that every program now considered Allied Health is a potential member of the new department.

January 1973 - The Department of Medical Allied Health Professions is still in development.

June 1973 - Now that the planning period for a new department/school is over, the University Committee on Allied Health is created to oversee Allied Health education at UNC. Dr. Robert Crounse, the new Department Chairman of the DMAHP is added to the committee, which is chaired by Dr. Margaret Moore.

August 1973 - Courses for the fall semester of the academic year 1973-1974 are offered for the first time under the new Department of Medical Allied Health Professions.

Relevant Administrators, 1966-1974

Over the course of the journey to improve the Allied Health programs at UNC, the occupants of major positions relevant to the important decision-making changed a few times. Listed below are the highest relevant positions with service time for each executive. The deans for each school reported to the Vice Chancellor for the Health Affairs Division, who in turn reported to the UNC Chancellor. Briefly, when Dr. Cecil George Sheps replaced Dr. C. Arden Miller in July 1970, the division was renamed the Health Sciences Division, but it returned to being called the Health Affairs Division in 1976.

UNC Chancellors

  • J. Carlyle Sitterson (1966 - January 1972)
  • N. Ferebee Taylor (January 1972 - 1980)

Vice Chancellor of Health Affairs

  • Dr. C. Arden Miller (July 1966 - June 1970)
  • Dr. Cecil George Sheps (July 1970 - December 1976) (as Vice Chancellor for Health Sciences)

Deans, School of Medicine 

  • Dr. Isaac M. Taylor (1964 - 1971)
  • Dr. Christopher C. Fordham III (1971 - 1979)

Deans, School of Public Health

  • Dr. Fred Mayes (1963 - 1972)
  • Dr. Bernard Greenberg (1972 - 1982)

Deans, School of Dentistry

  • Dr. James Wyatt Bawden (June 1966 - June 1974)