October 2, 2020
Dr. James Leeper, who retired June 1 from the College of Community Health Sciences faculty after 43 years, has received designation as Professor Emeritus by The University of Alabama Board of Trustees.
Leeper was professor of community medicine and population health and director of Education and Evaluation for the College’s Rural Programs. With the Professor Emeritus designation, he will complete his remaining nine dissertation committee obligations and continue to assist Rural Programs.
At CCHS, Leeper helped grow the College’s Rural Health Leaders Pipeline, a series of programs to recruit, educate and train rural Alabama students interested in becoming physicians and other health-care professionals in the state’s rural communities. He held many leadership positions within the College, including chair of the Department of Behavioral and Community Medicine, later renamed the Department of Community and Rural Medicine, for 15 years. He also was director of the CCHS Research Consulting Laboratory and continued that role as it transitioned into the Health Research Consulting Service. Today, that entity is the College’s Institute for Rural Health Research, which focuses on research to improve health care in rural communities and last year was awarded more than $4 million in grant funding.