Mary Dekker Nettleman named USD Vice President for Health Affairs and Dean of the Sanford School of

VERMILLION, S.D. -- The University of South Dakota announced today that Mary Dekker Nettleman, M.D., M.S., M.A.C.P., has been named Vice President for Health Affairs and Dean of the Sanford School of Medicine effective April 2, 2012. Her appointment is subject to confirmation by the South Dakota Board of Regents.

Nettleman, a nationally-recognized expert in several areas, including epidemiologic and health outcomes research, has served as Chair of the Department of Medicine at Michigan State University College of Human Medicine since 2003. Previously, she served as Associate Dean for Primary Care and Division Chief for General Internal Medicine at Virginia Commonwealth University, and prior to that, she was a member of the faculty at the University of Iowa College of Medicine.

“Dr. Nettleman’s qualifications and experience in health care and health education guarantees the tradition of excellence at the Sanford School of Medicine and School of Health Sciences will continue,” stated James W. Abbott, USD President.

A Master of the American College of Physicians, a member of the Alpha Omega Alpha honorary medical society, and a recipient of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Shepard Award for Excellence in Scientific Achievement, Nettleman has repeatedly been listed among the “Best Doctors in America.” Her primary research focus is women’s health and she is currently the principal investigator on a multimillion dollar National Institute of Health grant, “Building Interdisciplinary Research in Women’s Health.” She also serves on the Board of the Association of Professors of Medicine.

Nettleman, a graduate of Vanderbilt Medical School, completed a residency in internal medicine and a fellowship in infectious diseases at Indiana University. Nettleman earned her master's degree in preventive medicine/epidemiology from the University of Iowa.

“I am excited to be joining USD as Vice President of Health Affairs and Dean of the Sanford School of Medicine,” Nettleman said. “I especially look forward to working with the excellent faculty and students who have given the program a reputation for excellence.”

Nettleman becomes the 14th dean of the medical school, succeeding Rodney R. Parry, who has served as dean on an interim basis since retiring from the position last June. During Parry’s tenure, the medical school developed a new pediatrics residency program, the School of Health Sciences was created, the state-of-the-art Lee Medical Building was built in Vermillion and a Clinical Skills and Simulation Center on the Sioux Falls Medical School campus is scheduled for completion in 2012.

A photo of Dr. Nettleman is available for download at


USD's Sanford School of Medicine is nationally known for excellence. With its award-winning curriculum, the school prepares medical students to practice in all fields of medicine and is particularly recognized and ranked for its reputation in family medicine and rural medicine. In addition to the M.D., it offers graduate degrees in basic biomedical science, sustains a vibrant and forward-looking research agenda, and is home to the interdisciplinary Center for Brain and Behavioral Research.


Founded in 1862 and the first university in the Dakotas, the University of South Dakota is the only public liberal arts university in the state, with 198 undergraduate and 79 graduate programs in the College of Arts & Sciences, School of Education, School of Law, Sanford School of Medicine, School of Health Sciences, Beacom School of Business and College of Fine Arts. With an enrollment of more than 10,000 students and more than 400 faculty, USD has a 16:1 student/faculty ratio, and it ranks among the best in academics and affordability. USD’s 18 athletic programs compete at the NCAA Division I level.

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Hailie Warren
USD News