Founding Dean of School of Health Sciences retires after 27 years at Liberty, 45 years in education and management »Liberty News
June 3, 2021: By the Office of Communications and Public Engagement
Almost 10 years after the founding of Liberty University School of Health Sciences and as Dean since, Dr. Ralph F. Linstra will retire, leaving a lasting legacy of his 27 years of dedication to Liberty students and faculty in different roles and concluding a 45-year career in teaching.
After graduating from King’s College in 1971, he received a scholarship from the Kellogg Foundation to attend the School of Education at the University of Massachusetts. Influenced by Dr Ken Blanchard, he obtained both his M.Ed. (1975) and Ed.D. (1976) degrees focused on the organization and administration of higher education university programs. After graduation, Dr. Linstra worked for 15 years in medical education management at the University of Ohio, the College of Osteopathic Medicine and the University of Massachusetts, College of Medicine. from the AHEC National Program as well as the Massachusetts Department of Mental Health. .
God led him to Liberty University in 1994 to teach community health education and serve as chairman of the new Department of Health Sciences. At the same time, from 2006 to 2010, he was Associate Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. In 2011, the School of Health Sciences was established and he was its founding dean. In 2014, nursing, counseling and psychology programs diversified into nursing and behavioral science schools.
Dr Linstra continued in his role as school dean for the departments of biology and chemistry, the allied health professions, and public and community health. In this role, he led the development of several new residential, online and coeducational study programs. His motivating leadership style has helped faculty create new specializations in biochemistry, biomedical (pre-medicine), biopsychology, chemistry, cell and molecular biology, environmental biology, forensic sciences, and zoology and wildlife in addition to a master’s degree in biomedical sciences. .
He also supported faculty in the development of a Masters in Athletic Training, a Masters in Exercise Science and a Masters in Public Health. The MPH program is one of the largest in the world with a continuing enrollment of over 600 students and is fully accredited by the CEPH.The School of Health Sciences offers eight fully accredited academic programs and provides students with a variety of options in which to they can find guidance from God for a career.
Dr. Stephen W. Eakin, associate professor and one of four physicians who left the practice of medicine to teach at the School of Health Sciences, said: “Dr. Ralph Linstra is a man of great faith. and integrity. Her leadership was exemplary and her thoughtful, loving, fun and supportive attitude meant a lot to the faculty serving LU. His work has been the basis of the success of our students. He will be sorely missed.
“Dr. Ralph Linstra’s many contributions to Liberty University have been invaluable,” said Professor Liberty Provost and Director of Studies, Dr. Scott Hicks. “His sincere love for his work was even more surpassed by his love for his students, His wisdom and guidance will be missed by all of us, and we wish him luck as he enters the next chapter that God has planned for him.