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Memoir

David Neal
Regents' Proceedings 76

David L. Neal, assistant professor of social work in the Medical School, retired from active faculty status on June 30, 2004.

Professor Neal received his B.A. and M.S.W. degrees from Michigan State University in 1962 and 1964, respectively. He joined the University of Michigan as a clinical social worker in 1966, was promoted to chief social worker in 1968, and joined the faculty as an instructor in the Medical School, Department of Psychiatry, in 1971. He was promoted to assistant professor in 1973, and he served an additional appointment as a lecturer in the School of Social Work from 1976-86 and adjunct assistant professor from 1986-92.

In addition to serving as director of social work in the Department of Psychiatry for over 15 years, Professor Neal was appointed associate director of the Washtenaw Community Health Organization (WCHO) in 2002. The WCHO was created by the Board of Regents and the Washtenaw County Board of Commissioners in January 2000 to join the University's medical and psychiatric services with the county's mental health and substance abuse services. Professor Neal was instrumental in developing innovative programs to integrate these systems. Known for his leadership and advocacy regarding the rights of patients and families impacted by mental illness, Professor Neal served on the state's Mental Health Advisory Council for many years and was chair from 1985-87. He also chaired a state committee formed to establish a protection and advocacy program for the mentally ill, and he chaired the administrative and program subcommittee for the governor's mental health statute and program review commission.

Professor Neal will be remembered for his insightfulness, expertise, and contributions to the University and to the state. In 1972 and in 1983, he was nominated as Social Worker of the Year by the Huron Valley Unit of the National Association of Social Workers, and in 2003 he received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Department of Social Work.

The Regents now salute this distinguished faculty member for his dedicated service by naming David L. Neal assistant professor emeritus of social work.