Charles J. Gulas, PhD, dean of the Myrtle E. and Earl E. Walker College of Health Professions and professor of physical therapy at Maryville University, will retire effective at the end of the academic year. In his 20 years of service to Maryville, including 14 years as dean, Gulas led steady growth in enrollment, programs and facilities, and oversaw the formation of the state-of-the-art Myrtle E. and Earl E. Walker Hall which houses the university’s health profession programs.
“Chuck did an exceptional job of growing one of the very best colleges for the health professions in the U.S.,” said President Mark Lombardi, PhD. “Equally important, he has been an outstanding manager and leader of an array of high-quality health programs that will serve as a flagship for Maryville in the decades to come. We are deeply appreciative of his service.”
Under Gulas’ leadership, enrollment for the Walker College of Health Professions doubled, reaching nearly 5,000 students. This growth includes the addition of new academic programs as well as significant expansion of the Catherine McAuley School of Nursing for online study. Today, Walker College represents more than half of Maryville’s total enrollment.
“I am honored to have shaped the future of many health professionals locally and through our online programs,” Gulas said. “Maryville always made it possible for me to take risks when developing new programs and introducing new teaching methods. I am grateful for the University’s continued support of the health professions.”
The Walker College of Health Professions prepares students for careers in communication disorders, speech-language pathology, exercise science, healthcare management, nursing, music therapy, occupational therapy, physical therapy and rehabilitation counseling. The Walker Scottish Rite Clinic for young children with speech and language disorders and Kids Rock Cancer music therapy program are two of the Walker College community outreach programs.
Gulas’ involvement in the planning and development of the Myrtle E. and Earl E. Walker Hall, the home of the Walker College of Health Professions, was instrumental. The 70,000-square-foot building includes state-of-the-art classrooms, meeting spaces, laboratories and offices. Students and faculty utilize spaces such as the nursing simulation lab, featuring computerized mannequins mimicking real-life situations, to the human performance lab, featuring conditioning and strength testing equipment used by professional athletes and their trainers.
Additionally, during his tenure as dean, Gulas built partnerships and secured funds to provide educational opportunities for Maryville students. These include a three-year $4.8 million grant from the Department of Labor for the Catherine McAuley School of Nursing which provided tuition support for students and funded construction of computer labs and classrooms at a partner hospital.
Michelle Jenkins-Unterberg, DHS, will move into the role of dean following Gulas’ retirement. Jenkins-Unterberg has served as assistant dean for the Walker College of Health Professions since 2015. She also serves as director of the physical therapy program and as a professor of physical therapy.
About Maryville University
Founded in 1872, Maryville University is a comprehensive and nationally ranked private institution with an enrollment of 9,200 students. Maryville offers more than 90 programs at the undergraduate, master’s and doctoral levels to students from 50 states and 55 countries. Among recent graduates, 97 percent are employed or attending graduate school. More than 17,000 Maryville alumni work and live in the St. Louis region.