Robert H. Gifford, M.D., H.S. '67, who has served as associate dean for medical education and student affairs for the past 12 years, became the School of Medicine's first deputy dean for education on July 1.

The appointment was announced by Dean David A. Kessler, M.D., who said the new position stresses the importance of education among the school's three core missions. Deputy dean positions for research and patient care were created in 1995. “There should be no doubt that the teaching and educational mission of the school is certainly on a par with both clinical affairs and scientific affairs,” Dean Kessler said. “Nor is there doubt in anyone's mind that Bob Gifford is the person to move that mission forward.”

Dr. Gifford, who is delaying his retirement for a second time, will serve in the new position for a year. During that year he will establish a framework for the post while a nationwide search is conducted for a successor. He will also set and prioritize goals and evaluate the school's needs in the area of education. Dr. Gifford's previous responsibilities, education and student affairs, will be divided under the new plan and an internal search has already been launched to fill the associate dean position.

Dr. Gifford had planned to retire in June 1997 to begin a new career as a biology teacher in an inner-city school district. Dr. Kessler, however, asked him to remain during the 1997-98 academic year to ease the transition to a new administration. This spring Dr. Gifford decided to stay on for one more year as deputy dean.

He received his medical degree from Tufts University School of Medicine in 1961. He interned at Boston City Hospital and was a senior assistant resident at Yale-New Haven Hospital from 1966 to 1967. In 1969, he was appointed assistant professor of medicine at Yale. Three years later he was appointed associate professor of clinical medicine and in 1976 became a professor of medicine. In 1985 he was named associate dean for education and student affairs.

Neurobiologist selected to lead graduate school

Susan Hockfield, Ph.D., professor of neurobiology at the School of Medicine, has been appointed dean of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, Yale President Richard C. Levin has announced.

The Graduate School of Arts and Sciences is the largest of Yale's 11 graduate and professional schools. As dean, Dr. Hockfield will oversee academic and administrative policies for the school and its 2,300 students. She succeeds Thomas Appelquist, the Eugene Higgins Professor of Physics, who returned to his teaching and research responsibilities on July 1.

Dr. Hockfield served as director of graduate studies for the section of neurobiology from 1986 to 1994, and has been involved with improving graduate training in the biological and biomedical sciences throughout her tenure at Yale. She has served on the executive committee of the graduate school and on a committee to improve linkages among the biomedical sciences. She has also had a role in the development of the new Biological and Biomedical Sciences Graduate Program, a collaboration among most of the biological science departments of the University.

Dr. Hockfield, who joined Yale as an assistant professor in 1985, said, “I am deeply honored to be entrusted with the challenge of guiding one of the world's finest graduate schools. Yale awarded the nation's first doctoral degree more than a century ago, and I am eager to work with our gifted students and dedicated faculty toward more 'firsts' for graduate education at Yale.”