Executive Vice Provost and Chief International Officer
Ron Strauss is University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s executive vice provost and chief international officer. He holds joint appointments in three schools, as Dental Friends Distinguished Professor in the School of Dentistry’s Department of Dental Ecology, professor in the School of Medicine’s Department of Social Medicine and clinical professor in the Gillings School of Global Public Health’s Department of Epidemiology.
Since he came to Chapel Hill in 1974, Strauss has sought to help dental and medical professionals understand and address the social factors that influence health and the provision of healthcare. For twelve years he served as chair of the Department of Dental Ecology in the UNC School of Dentistry.
His education includes a bachelor’s degree in biology from Queens College, a D.M.D. from the University of Pennsylvania and a subsequent master’s degree and Ph.D. in sociology, also from the University of Pennsylvania. Strauss is a trained ethnographer and has used qualitative and survey research methods in numerous social research projects, and he serves as the director of the Office of Community Outreach, Dissemination and Education (CODE) of the UNC Center for AIDS Research (CFAR). His global work has included teaching as a visiting professor in Brazil and Israel, and conducting social research in Thailand, Moldova and China.
Strauss’s research has focused on the social impacts of chronic health problems, especially oral conditions, craniofacial anomalies and HIV/AIDS. His work combines his clinical, social science, ethical and health policy interests as they relate to craniofacial care, research participation, HIV/AIDS, stigma, prenatal diagnosis and access to healthcare. Strauss continues to work as a clinician on the UNC Craniofacial Center team that provides care for cleft lip/palate and other craniofacial conditions in children and adults
As executive vice provost, he works closely with the dean’s council in overseeing many of the University’s core functions, particularly those involving academic personnel and interdisciplinary initiatives. He is the liaison to the Appointment, Promotion and Tenure Committee and is chair for the Health Sciences Advisory Committee, Enrollment Policy Advisory Committee, Commencement Speaker Selection and Commencement Committee, among others. As chief international officer, he provides leadership to the global programs and partnerships of the University.
Throughout his tenure at Carolina, Strauss has been extremely active in public service and engagement, both locally and globally. He is the lead faculty member on the UNC Faculty Engaged Scholars Program of the Carolina Center for Public Service. In recognition of the scope and impact of his work, dental alumni endowed the Dr. Ronald P. Strauss Community and International Health Award to support students’ understanding of the social and cultural influences on health care.
Strauss served as president of the American Cleft Palate-Craniofacial Association and received both its Distinguished Service Award and the Honors of the Association. He is also a member of the American Public Health Association, American Sociological Association, American Dental Education Association and the American and international dental research associations, among many other professional organizations.