College mourns passing of Linda Stallings

Linda Stallings and deans
Linda Stallings (center) at the college’s 50th anniversary gala in 2008 with Dean Howard Suzuki, Dean Richard Gutekunst, Dean Robert G. Frank and Dean Michael G. Perri.

Linda Stallings, former associate director for medical/health administration for the College of Public Health and Health Professions, passed away last month. Before her retirement in 2008, Linda worked alongside every dean in the college’s history during her 36-year career at UF.

“She provided each with unwavering support and sage advice, and she played a vital but often unseen role in advancing the mission of the college,” said Michael G. Perri, Ph.D., dean of the college.

Linda accepted a position as Founding Dean Darrel J. Mase’s secretary in 1972 and helped with the grant-funded Florida Manpower Study to determine workforce needs for health professionals. After his retirement from the health science center, she joined Dean Howard Suzuki’s staff. With each subsequent dean, she saw her responsibilities expand.

“I always said I didn’t have to leave the college for new positions as each dean provided enough change (and challenges) to make it interesting,” Linda said in a 2017 interview.

In the 1980s, the challenges included learning how to use computers with no training or outside assistance, and supporting Dean Richard Gutekunst during a time of tough budget cuts. In the 1990s and 2000s, the college continued a push for increased research funding and received approval to add public health programs.

Linda was involved in many important decisions in the college’s history and she was known for her graciousness, warm manner and encyclopedic knowledge of the college and university.

“Linda was a gentle, calm, conscientious, and caring person,” Perri said. “She treated everyone she encountered — faculty, staff, students, and visitors — with the greatest respect.”