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From the President and Provost
January 27, 2009, Volume 55, No. 19

Reappointment of Afaf Meleis as Dean of the School of Nursing

We have received the report of the Consultative Review Committee on the Reappointment of Afaf Meleis as Dean of the School of Nursing (Almanac May 6, 2008), and we are delighted to recommend to the Trustees at their February meeting the reappointment of Dean Meleis for a second term, to run through June 30, 2014.

After a comprehensive review of her performance and the challenges and opportunities facing the School of Nursing, the Consultative Committee concluded, and we concur, that Dean Meleis has been an outstanding Dean—energetic, strategic, motivational, creative, and strongly dedicated to academic excellence. Under Afaf Meleis, Penn Nursing has positioned itself as one of the world’s pre-eminent schools of nursing and distinguished itself by its commitment to the training of the profession’s future leaders and to “nursing science”—a distinctive methodology and body of knowledge that is nursing’s alone—a vision now expressed in the School’s new “Penn Nursing Science” logo.

The Committee found many impressive strengths in the School of Nursing and Dean Meleis’ leadership over the past six years, particularly, the eminence of its faculty members in professional leadership and nursing research, the School’s strong financial condition, and the Dean’s unsurpassed record as a fundraiser and advocate. The praise for Dean Meleis’ leadership and accomplishments during her first term was widespread and strongly voiced.  She is highly regarded by all of the School’s constituencies and the wider University community. She has clearly advanced the mission of the School of Nursing and brought a renewed sense of mission, eminence, and leadership to the School’s constituencies. She has raised more money than any other nursing school dean in a similar period and greatly strengthened the School’s connections to its alumni. Indeed, Dean Meleis’ energetic advocacy for the profession of nursing, the School, and its mission, her high international profile, dynamic personality, and considerable accomplishments as a professional leader, have brought great visibility and recognition to the School and the University.

We are confident that Afaf Meleis is the ideal person to continue to lead Penn Nursing as the School seeks to maintain and strengthen its global eminence and professional leadership. She is ready to take on the challenges of institutionalizing the progress made during her first term, maintaining and strengthening the internal administration of the School, and focusing on the School’s critical strategic goals, carefully matched to the size and capacity of the School’s faculty. She has the strong support of the School’s faculty, staff, students, and alumni, as well as her fellow Deans and colleagues across the University—and our strong support as well. We are all fortunate, indeed, that she will accept a second term as Dean. We look forward to working with her in the years ahead to ensure that Penn Nursing extends its leadership as the world’s best school of nursing.

Amy Gutmann, President     
Ronald Daniels, Provost

Almanac - January 27, 2009, Volume 55, No. 19