Provost stepping down after 40 years at UNTHSC

Thomas Yorio


Glaucoma researcher Thomas Yorio, PhD, who was instrumental in the transformation of UNT Health Science Center from a medical college into a graduate university with multiple schools, is stepping down as Provost and Executive Vice President of Academic Affairs effective Friday, Oct. 21.

Claire Peel
Claire Peel, PhD, PT

UNTHSC will conduct a national search to fill Dr. Yorio’s position. Claire Peel, PhD, PT, currently Vice Provost of Academic Resources and Dean of the School of Health Professions, will serve as Interim Provost.

Nicoleta Bugnariu, PhD, PT, Associate Dean of the School of Health Professions, will become the school’s Interim Dean.

“In his 40 years of service, Tom Yorio helped make the Health Science Center what it is today,” said Dr. Michael R. Williams, President of UNTHSC. “He is an outstanding researcher and has provided invaluable guidance to students and faculty as our chief academic leader.”

Dr. Yorio joined UNT Health Science Center as an eye researcher and Assistant Professor in 1977, just seven years after the university was founded as the Texas College of Osteopathic Medicine.

He guided the expansion of TCOM into a full-fledged health science center by serving as founding Dean of the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, which opened in 1993. He also was Interim Dean of the School of Public Health, the third college to open at UNT Health Science Center.

Dr. Yorio is an internationally recognized expert in glaucoma pharmacology. He is a Fellow of the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology, where he served as a Trustee and Vice President and received its Distinguished Service Award. In 2014, he received the Ernst H. Barany Prize from the International Society for Eye Research in recognition of his outstanding contributions to ocular pharmacology. He also is Editor-in-Chief of Investigative Ophthalmology and Visual Science.

Dr. Peel joined UNTHSC in 2013 after serving six years as Associate Dean for the School of Health Professions and four years as Associate Provost for Faculty Development and Faculty Affairs at the University of Alabama-Birmingham.

“Dr. Peel has been an effective leader for the School of Health Professions and has years of experience in academic leadership,” Dr. Williams said. “She was an early adopter of our values-based culture and continues to develop her people to achieve high results. I have tremendous confidence that she will be successful in the interim role.”

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