Apprey Vows to Set Bar Higher for African-American Students as Dean of U.Va.'s Office of African-American Affairs

June 1, 2007 -- University of Virginia Vice President and Chief Student Affairs Officer Patricia Lampkin today removed the “interim” designation and has named Maurice Apprey as the permanent dean of the Office of African-American Affairs.

Apprey, a 59-year-old professor of psychiatric medicine and the School of Medicine's former associate dean for diversity, was appointed to lead the OAAA as interim dean in July 2006. He joined the University in 1980 and was involved in the successful recruitment and retention of minority students in the Medical School along with teaching undergraduate and medical students, residents in psychiatry and psychology and hospital chaplains, among others.

“Maurice has been a strong leader as interim dean,” Lampkin said. “Not only has he maintained the office’s strengths, but he has identified new goals, particularly in the area of student support, and taken many positive steps toward attaining them.

“His background in international negotiation has served him well, in that he accurately assesses the dynamics of a situation, solves problems and moves forward. As important, he possesses an abiding passion for the University and a deep commitment to its students.”

Among Apprey’s announced goals is setting higher expectations for minority students. While the University celebrates its No. 1 graduate rate for African-American students among public universities, it is time to “reframe that as a baseline, not a ceiling,” and seek new indices of success, he said. “We want to transfer our high energy from outputs to outcomes.”

Specifically, he will work to push African-American students to achieve at a higher level academically. He would like to see more African-American students in distinguished positions that include honors programs and living on the Lawn — a privilege reserved for top student leaders — and send greater numbers on to graduate and professional schools, he said. He also plans to work across the University to provide a healthier internal climate for African-American students, he said.

Even before taking over leadership at the OAAA, Apprey was no stranger to the undergraduate experience at U.Va. and has long been a contributing member of the broader University community. He has assisted Lampkin on a number of difficult Student Affairs issues, including leading mediation sessions between student groups regarding hate crimes. Two presidents have called upon him to serve on University-wide task forces charged with examining issues of diversity and equity.

As associate dean of diversity and student support in the Medical School — a post he held until 2004 — Apprey set up the federally funded Medical Academic Advancement Programs to provide student academic support and professional counseling to medical and pre-medical students. As a result, the school experienced a 13-year run of 100 percent retention of minority and disadvantaged students and significant increases in the number of minority students in entering classes.

In 1982, Apprey was appointed assistant dean of student affairs at the Medical School, a position he held for 10 years. He then went on to serve as associate dean of diversity for 11 years before being named associate dean of student support.

Apprey continues to serve in the Division of Outpatient Psychiatry and the Division of Child and Family Psychiatry.

Academically, his research interests lie in three interrelated areas: conflict resolution and social change management; modern French and German philosophy; and child, adolescent and adult psychoanalysis. He is one of a handful of students trained in London by Anna Freud at the Hampstead Clinic, where he graduated in 1979. He went on to receive his adult training in psychoanalysis at the New York Freudian Society.

He was a member of the University's team from the former Center for the Study of Mind and Human Interaction that managed the transition step from Sovietization to the restoration of independence of Estonia in Eastern Europe from 1994 to 1999.

In May 2006, he received his second doctorate in executive management from the Weatherhead School of Management at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland. This gave him, he said, the opportunity to study leadership, conflict management and non-profit management research.

Apprey received his B.S. in psychology, philosophy and religion in 1974 from the College of Emporia in Kansas.