August 10, 2005

Lautar heads School of Allied Health

by Pete Rosenbery


CARBONDALE, Ill. -- Associate professor Charla J. Lautar, interim director of Southern Illinois University Carbondale's School of Allied Health for the past two and one-half years, is the new permanent director.

Lautar's appointment, which was effective Aug. 1, is subject to ratification by the SIU Board of Trustees.

"This is an exciting time to be in the midst of what is going on in health care," Lautar said.

The School of Allied Health is part of the College of Applied Sciences and Arts.

"We are delighted that she accepted the position," Dean Paul D. Sarvela said. "Charla brings a wonderful set of skills and experiences to the job. She did a fine job as the interim school director and we know she will do a superb job as director of the School of Allied Health."

The School of Allied Health has nearly 50 full- and part-time faculty, an enrollment of about 500 students on campus, and another 300 health care management students participating through military and off-campus academic programs – making it one of the largest units on campus. Sarvela noted SIUC's Community Dental Center saw more than 600 patients last year and provided services ranging from teeth cleaning to providing full dentures.

Lautar "is working with excellent faculty and staff who not only do a terrific job in the classroom, but have been involved in many innovative research projects," Sarvela said. "Community service is a shining star in the unit as well."

Lautar notes the school is successful and competitive in teaching, service and research – which fit into the goals of Southern@150.

Radiologic sciences will be offering a post-baccalaureate certificate program in medical dosimetry, physician assistant program graduates continue to exceed national averages for passing national certification, and faculty are obtaining research grants from the American Cancer Society and other organizations.

"Every program has found its niche and is working on that," she said. "Many of our programs are the only baccalaureate programs in Illinois."

Lautar joined SIUC as an assistant professor in 1995, earning a promotion to associate professor in 2001. Prior to her work at SIUC, Lautar was a faculty member at the University of Alberta, John Abbott College and McGill University.

She received her bachelor's degree in 1973 from The Ohio State University, a master's degree in 1984 from St. Michael's College in Burlington, Vt., and her doctorate in 1993 from the University of Calgary in Alberta, Canada. She co-authored the 2003 book, "Ethics, Jurisprudence, and Practice Management in Dental Hygiene," which will soon be in a second edition.

Lautar said she also enjoys the work environment and receives good support from faculty and staff.

"We have amazing potential here and we are definitely reaching that potential," she said.

Lautar and her husband, Mohamed Elsamahi, live in Marion.

Retaining high-quality faculty is among the goals of Southern at 150: Building Excellence Through Commitment, the blueprint for the development of the University by the time it celebrates its 150th anniversary in 2019.