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Dean Robert Daniels, MD

Dean Robert Daniels, MD

Robert Daniels, MD, and his wife, Vikki Ashley, PhD, at the unveiling of his dean portrait in 1987.
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Publish Date: 10/31/13
Media Contact: Richard Puff, 513-558-0448
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Former College of Medicine Dean Robert Daniels, MD, Dies

Former College of Medicine Dean Robert Daniels, MD, died on Monday, Oct. 28. Daniels, who also was a Daniel Drake Medal recipient, was 86 and had been battling Parkinsonís disease.

A nationally known psychiatrist and medical educator, Daniels became the collegeís 43rd dean in 1973 when he was appointed interim dean following the resignation of Clifford Grulee Jr., MD. He was named permanent dean on Feb. 4, 1975, and served until 1986 making his deanship the fourth longest in the collegeís nearly 200-year history. Only Stanley Dorst, MD, (1939 Ė 1962), William Seely, MD, (1881 Ė 1900) and John Hutton, MD, (1987 Ė 2002) served longer terms.

Daniels led the college and UC Medical Center -- which at that time included the colleges of Medicine, Nursing and Pharmacy, the medical library and University Hospital -- during a period of extraordinary growth and change. The collegeís budget grew from $17 million to $90 million and new programs in family medicine, geriatrics, emergency medicine and primary care were established. New chairs were named in 20 of the 22 departments. Grants and contracts to the college quadrupled from $8.7 million to $33 million and the collegeís faculty more than doubled in size from 325 to 750. The medical schoolís yearly class size also increased tremendously from 120 to 192. Additionally, Daniels led the planning for the move in 1974 into the new Medical Sciences Building.

In 1981 he was named acting senior vice president of the UC Medical Center retaining his position as dean of the College of Medicine. He was appointed permanent senior vice president in October 1982 and remained in that position until 1985.

Daniels declared 1985 as "The Year of Daniel DrakeĒ to celebrate the bicentennial of the birth of the collegeís founder. The Drake Medal was created to honor nine living physicians in 1985 who made major lasting contributions to the college and who gained national or international reputations in their fields.  Daniels was among the second group of people honored with Drake Medals in 1987.

Born in Indianapolis, Daniels received his bachelorís degree from UCís College of Arts & Sciences in 1948. He graduated first in his class from the College of Medicine in 1951 and then completed his internship at Cincinnati General Hospital. Following his residency in psychiatry at UC, Daniels joined the faculty of the University of Chicago. He was acting chairman of the department of psychiatry at the University of Chicago from 1963 until 1966 and also served as associate dean for social and community medicine. In 1968 he graduated from the Chicago Institute for Psychoanalysis. Daniels returned to UC in 1971 as associate professor of psychiatry and chairman of the department of psychiatry following the retirement of Maurice Levine, MD, who he considered an important mentor.

Daniels resigned his dean position in 1986 to assume the deanship of the medical school at Louisiana State University in New Orleans. He remained there until his retirement in 1995.

Daniels is survived by his four children, Stephen--who was a faculty member in the UC Department of Pediatrics until 2006, when he became chair of pediatrics at the University of Colorado--Allen, Lynn and Judy, and seven grandchildren. His family is planning a memorial service in New Orleans in the spring. Gifts in memory of Daniels can be made to the UC College of Medicine and sent to UC Foundation, PO Box 19970 Cincinnati, OH 45219 or online at

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