Dean, School of Nursing

Dean, School of Nursing

Position Description


The Search


The University of Connecticut (UConn), one of the nation’s leading public research universities, seeks a visionary and dynamic leader to serve in the management-exempt position of Dean of the School of Nursing. UConn seeks candidates with a comprehensive resume of success in academic and clinical leadership roles and who can demonstrate exceptional skills and experience that will enable them to provide strong leadership to a research and educational enterprise across multiple campuses.


The dean will provide strategic vision and operational leadership to all aspects of the academic and scholarly program, setting priorities for the School of Nursing, and guiding it towards strategic goals of enhancing scholarship, promoting research and outreach, and providing excellence in professional and graduate education in an academic setting with a diverse population of students, faculty, and staff. The dean is the School of Nursing’s chief advocate, promoting its goals and achievements, leading its development and fundraising activities, and speaking for its mission of excellence in scholarship, teaching, and public service. The dean will be the school’s public voice, promoting initiatives within UConn and across the state, and articulating the school’s contributions at the local, state, regional, national, and international levels. In pursuing these responsibilities, the dean, who reports to the provost, will work collaboratively with the provost and vice provosts, other deans, and senior leaders.


The successful candidate will be a nationally recognized, self-assured, entrepreneurial leader prepared to advance the initiatives and priorities of the university’s academic vision. Candidates will be expected to broaden participation among members of under-represented groups; demonstrate through research, teaching, and/or public engagement the commitment to, and support of, diversity in the learning experience; and provide leadership in developing initiatives designed to meet the needs of diverse learning styles and intellectual interests. In addition, the ideal candidate will be an independent thinker dedicated to collaborative governance, will possess a leadership style that values diversity and difference, will be a sophisticated administrator capable of building strong working relationships, committed to the search for new knowledge, and able to imagine new possibilities for the School of Nursing.


The University of Connecticut has retained the services of the executive search firm Parker Executive Search, to conduct this important search. Confidential inquiries, nominations, and applications may be directed to the search firm as indicated at the end of this document.






Founded in 1881, UConn is a Land Grant and Sea Grant institution and member of the Space Grant Consortium. The university has approximately 10,000 faculty and staff and 32,000 students, including nearly 24,000 undergraduates and over 8,000 graduate and professional students. UConn is a Carnegie Foundation R1 (highest research activity) institution, among the top public universities in the nation. Through research, teaching, service, and outreach, UConn embraces diversity and cultivates leadership, integrity, and engaged citizenship in its students, faculty, staff, and alumni. UConn promotes the health and well-being of citizens by enhancing the social, economic, cultural, and natural environments of the state and beyond. The university serves as a beacon of academic and research excellence as well as a center for innovation and social service to communities. UConn is a leader in many scholarly, research, and innovation areas. Today, the path forward includes exciting opportunities and notable challenges. Record numbers of undergraduate applications and support for student success have enabled the University to become extraordinarily selective.


The School of Nursing


UConn is the state’s flagship institution of higher education and includes a main campus in Storrs, CT; four regional campuses throughout the state in Avery Point, Hartford, Stamford, and Waterbury; and 13 Schools and Colleges, including the Law School in West Hartford, and Medical and Dental Schools at the UConn Health campus in Farmington.


UConn’s School of Nursing has a timeless commitment to wellness and works to provide the exceptional education needed to succeed in this rapidly evolving profession. For 80 years, UConn School of Nursing has led the way using high-tech simulation labs and technology-driven programs to prepare nurses to serve diverse populations in a variety of clinical settings.


The interprofessional curricula across the school’s five nursing programs emphasizes innovation, leadership, scholarship, evidence-based practice, and research. The school offers an undergraduate program, Certificate Entry into Nursing/BS, Master of Science, Doctor of Nursing Practice, and Doctor of Philosophy. The School’s online certificate programs in Holistic Nursing, Pain Management, Healthcare Innovations, Life Story Practice and Research, and the Long-term Healthcare Management Certificate provide other avenues for study and professional development. All programs are supported by highly qualified faculty, many of whom are internationally renowned experts in their areas of specialty. Adjunct faculty members from a variety of health care agencies within Connecticut serve as clinical experts who share firsthand knowledge of today’s medical challenges. Nearly all faculty members are either active in nursing practice, provide direct patient care, participate in service events, or participate in or lead a national professional organization.


All of UConn’s School of Nursing laboratory facilities provide undergraduate students a location to transfer knowledge from theory to practice, as well as an environment to practice advanced health assessment skills. These facilities, combined with expert faculty knowledge, secure UConn’s place as a forward-thinking, research-intensive university. The school has a growing network of over 300 clinical training partners across Connecticut and many others across the nation and maintains a high-tech Clinical Simulation Learning Center, where 15 simulation mannequins mimic a number of real-life human processes and represent diverse populations and generations. The School of Nursing enjoys a close clinical affiliation with UConn John Dempsey Hospital at the UConn Health campus in Farmington, which offers students the opportunity to interact with students from the School of Medicine and School of Dental Medicine, all within the UConn ecosystem.


The School of Nursing’s research program includes four research centers and laboratories – the Center for Advancement in Managing Pain, the International Center for Life Story Innovations and Practice, analytics and information management solutions, and biobehavioral laboratories. At the only public, research-intensive institution in the state, students have unrivaled opportunities to work with researchers in the areas of pain, maternal-child health, sleep, health disparities, aging, and chronic disease prevention and management, including exploration of the genetic basis for disease and the role of the microbiome. The school values and focuses not only on producing important nursing research, but also on preparing current nursing students for research careers.


The Leadership Opportunity


UConn will welcome a dean who thrives on innovation to develop, organize, and manage new initiatives. The faculty and staff at the School of Nursing are deeply committed to their students, their research, and to public service. The dean will articulate a vision for the school, defining its role in research and teaching within the university community, the state, and the nation. From that vision, the dean will shape the organization and, with the faculty and staff, configure, create, and grow programs and attract a student body to realize their success.


The dean will make critical contributions to the continued development of the School of Nursing. This is an extraordinary opportunity for an individual with the drive, skill, and experience to bring creative leadership to the organization and to play a meaningful role in shaping its future. The new dean will embrace these opportunities, helping to realize the potential of the school. The dean will build on a solid foundation to contribute to the school and its diverse constituents, as well as the university community at large, to address key challenges and pursue important opportunities.


Specific opportunities include:


  • Provide visionary and strategic leadership to the School of Nursing.
  • Hire, guide, and support excellent faculty and staff.
  • Oversee financial decisions and create clear and efficient processes, staffing, and structures.
  • Support and promote a diverse and inclusive culture.
  • Help to articulate the university-wide vision and to raise further resources.
  • Cultivate opportunities for development and fundraising.
  • Pursue strategies to sustain and grow enrollments.


The Position


Reporting to the Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs for all matters, the dean is the chief academic and administrative officer of the School of Nursing, responsible for providing strategic vision and operational leadership to all aspects of the academic and scholarly program.

Reporting to the dean are three associate deans (Associate Dean for Graduate Studies, Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, and Associate Dean for Research and Scholarship).






  • In partnership with senior university administrators, assure the campus environment appropriately enables and supports academic goals, objectives, and programs.
  • Partner with faculty, staff, and students to maintain a climate of civility and collegiality through effective communication and a strong commitment to enhancing the quality and diversity of the campus population.
  • Oversee academic departments, interdisciplinary centers, institutes, and programs, and other academic activities within the School of Nursing. Collaborate with faculty, academic department heads, and deans to identify instructional needs.
  • In support of university goals and priorities, promote the School of Nursing through communications and public relations efforts critical to the success of the school, including building relationships and partnerships with alumni, civic, youth, historical, financial services industry, museum, arts, and other groups and organizations. Assist the president and provost in representing the university on matters related to its core missions of research, education, and outreach. Partner with the UConn Foundation to assure robust fundraising and alumni relations.
  • Collaborate with the Vice President for Enrollment Management to recruit and retain high-caliber students. Develop and nurture relationships with K-12 schools, community colleges, and other educational institutions to recruit these quality students to UConn and increase enrollment of qualified students.
  • Collaborate with the Department of Public Safety, Facilities Operations and Building Services, University Information Technology Services, and Planning, Design and Construction Services to assure a safe, secure, productive working environment for the conduct of research and instructional activities.
  • Provide leadership, direction, and oversight to School of Nursing employees, including hiring, promotion, tenure and review, professional development, discipline, training, and promotion of all direct reports.
  • In consultation with university officials, the dean will appoint endowed faculty chairs and professorships and increase faculty awards and fellowships.
  • Represent the school in labor-related procedures.
  • Advance the scholarly activities of the faculty, including disciplinary opportunities, in support of the university’s research mission.
  • Ensure the School of Nursing offers a positive learning environment and students receive appropriate support services. Coordinate closely with university offices to enhance access to course offerings through online education, assure programs are available to meet the needs of various student groups, and assure the campus operates in accordance with university-wide policies and practices regarding student conduct, disability services, counseling and mental health services, behavioral threat assessment, and other important student affairs functions. Advance undergraduate education and, in partnership with the Dean of the Graduate School, graduate education within the School of Nursing.
  • Implement and uphold academic rules and regulations and promote academic integrity.
  • Effectively manage academic resources and prepare and manage the School of Nursing’s annual operating budget. Prioritize the allocation of resources to support the university’s academic mission and plan.
  • In support of university and campus priorities, develop capital improvement proposals. Assess the need for and make recommendations about equipment acquisitions and facilities renovations and upgrades.
  • Lead the School of Nursing to strategically address the challenges present in both healthcare and academia at this time.
  • Perform other duties as required.


Minimum Qualifications


  • Credentials that merit appointment for a tenure-track academic appointment at the rank of Professor or a current appointment at UConn at the rank of Professor in the School of Nursing, including a Ph.D. or terminal degree in a field relevant to leadership in academic affairs and the School of Nursing. Equivalent foreign degrees are acceptable.
  • At least 5 years of senior administrative experience in a progressively responsible leadership position at a higher education institution, demonstrating knowledge of core management functions and clear experience with managing strategic priorities, and familiarity with university policies, guidance, best practices, and procedures.
  • Eligibility for licensure in Connecticut as a Registered Nurse.


Preferred Qualifications


  • At least 10 years of experience in a progressively responsible leadership position at a higher education institution.
  • Background and experience pertinent to the unique programs and setting of the School of Nursing, including a clear understanding of the academic vision of the university, the land grant mission of the university, and the School of Nursing’s goals and opportunities to deliver quality undergraduate and graduate education.
  • Proven business and political acumen commensurate with the leadership needs of the School of Nursing, including the ability to navigate the organizational, political, and fiscal realities unique to a major public research university; demonstrable experience applying sound judgment; and an ability to manage change, resolve conflict, and build consensus.
  • Excellent interpersonal skills with the ability to develop, engage, and maintain constructive and professional relationships with senior administrators, faculty, staff, students, elected officials, and other individuals and organizations.
  • Demonstrated commitment to enhance the diversity of the university population, including assessing needs, developing initiatives, and applying best practices.
  • Demonstrated ability to analyze, understand, and interpret complex situations and problems, evaluate options, devise and propose solutions that align resources with goals, implement plans, and measure outcomes.
  • Demonstrated ability to communicate effectively in a diverse organization. Excellent written and oral communication skills and the ability to communicate needs, plans, and programs effectively.
  • Experience as an agent of innovation and change, achieving excellence across a complex organization.
  • Recent bedside/client-facing experience and activity as a practicing nursing professional.




Appointment Terms


This is a full-time, 12-month, management-exempt position with an anticipated start date of July 1, 2023. The successful candidate may be considered for a 9-month, tenure-track academic appointment in the School of Nursing.


Terms and Conditions of Employment


Employment of the successful candidate is contingent upon the successful completion of a pre-employment criminal background check. All employees are subject to adherence to the State Code of Ethics, which may be found at


To Apply


The University of Connecticut has retained the services of Parker Executive Search to conduct this important search. All inquiries, nominations/referrals, and applications will be held in the strictest confidence and should be submitted to Parker Executive Search.


  • A cover letter, articulating interest and responding to the position challenges and objectives outlined above. Cover letter should include a robust statement on the candidate’s familiarity and comfort with diversity, equity, and inclusion and examples of their leadership in those domains.
  • Curriculum vitae
  • Names and contact information for 3-4 professional references.


Evaluation of applicants will begin immediately. The Search Committee prefers that all nominations and applications be submitted to the search firm prior to January 17, 2023.


For more information, please visit the School of Nursing website:


Porsha Williams, Vice President
Jacob Anderson, Senior Principal
Jack McGrew, Executive Recruiting Coordinator
Parker Executive Search
Five Concourse Parkway, Suite 2875
Atlanta, GA 30328
(770) 804-1996 x 111 | |


All employees are subject to adherence to the State Code of Ethics which may be found at


The University of Connecticut is committed to building and supporting a multicultural and diverse community of students, faculty, and staff. The diversity of students, faculty and staff continues to increase, as does the number of honors students, valedictorians and salutatorians who consistently make UConn their top choice. More than 100 research centers and institutes serve the University’s teaching, research, diversity, and outreach missions, leading to UConn’s ranking as one of the nation’s top research universities. UConn’s faculty and staff are the critical link to fostering and expanding our vibrant, multicultural, and diverse University community. As an Affirmative Action/Equal Employment Opportunity employer, UConn encourages applications from women, veterans, people with disabilities and members of traditionally underrepresented populations.