Deborah Riebe named College of Health Sciences interim dean

Jan. 19, 2023

Dear URI Community,

I am pleased to share that Deborah Riebe, Ph.D., an international leader in the development of physical activity interventions to improve health, has been named interim dean of the University of Rhode Island College of Health Sciences.

A professor of kinesiology and associate dean of the college, Deb will assume the role next week as Dean Gary Liguori departs the University for his new role as provost at the University of West Florida.

Deb brings an extensive and impeccable level of leadership, teaching, research and outreach experience to the position. She is a Fellow of the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) and of the National Academy of Kinesiology. As a member of ACSM, she has served in several leadership roles, including Board of Trustees Member-at-Large representing education and allied health, chair of the Committee for Certification and Registry Boards, and chair of the International Health Fitness Summit Planning Committee. She is the current chair of the Exercise is Medicine Credentials Committee. In addition to her national service, Deb also served regionally as president of the New England Chapter of ACSM.

Her research focuses on the development of physical activity interventions for a variety of populations, including apparently healthy adults, older adults, and individuals with common chronic diseases. She works regularly with interdisciplinary teams focused on physical activity and exercise, nutrition, and behavior modification. She has received funding from the American Cancer Society, the National Institutes of Health, and the Champlin Foundation to support her research. Deb has authored more than 80 scientific articles and book chapters. Notably, she was the senior editor of ACSM’s Guidelines for Exercise Testing and Prescription, 10th Edition.

Deb is a URI alumna, having earned a Master of Science degree from the University. She earned a bachelor’s degree from Springfield College and a Ph.D. from the University of Connecticut.

Deb joined URI as an assistant professor of kinesiology in 1995. She was promoted to associate professor in 2001 and professor and chair of the Department of Kinesiology in 2005. In 2016, she was named associate dean of the College of Health Sciences.

Please join me in thanking Gary for the significant contributions he has made to the University as founding dean of the College of Health Sciences, and in welcoming Deb to her new role as interim dean.

Barbara E. Wolfe

Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs