Elizabeth “Beth” Dolan was named dean of the College of Health on June 1, 2023, after serving as interim dean for two years. Beth first came to Lehigh in 2001 and brings a non-traditional background in health to a college that is intentionally challenging its faculty and students to reimagine how they look at the world of health.
She earned her B.A. in English at Davidson College and her master’s and doctorate in English from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She later served as senior fellow in literature and medicine at the UNC School of Medicine. She researches the expression of suffering in narrative, focusing on the ways novel forms of expression intervene to address the social and political causes of emotional pain and ill health.
Beth continued her work in health and health-related fields by serving as founding director of the Health, Medicine and Society Program in the Lehigh College of Arts and Sciences, and successfully co-leading the effort to create a cluster hire in community health before the College of Health existed. She played a key role in designing the Grants for Experiential Learning in Health to fund student research and apprenticeship opportunities in the health arena. As the university's first deputy provost for graduate education, she worked to develop additional financial support and career opportunities for graduate students, and championed an industry-informed approach to doctoral education. Outside of Lehigh, she was the founding director of the board of the PA Medical Humanities Consortium, now folded into the National Health Humanities Consortium.