General Summary of Position:
The University of Massachusetts Lowell invites nominations and applications for the position of the Dean of the Solomont School of Nursing and Vice Dean of the Zuckerberg College of Health Sciences. The Solomont School of Nursing (SSON) is recognized for its academic rigor, rich clinical experiences, and interdisciplinary collaborations. SSON proudly offers high quality, publically-supported, accredited baccalaureate and graduate degree programs in nursing. This deanship is an excellent opportunity for an innovative, collaborative, and strategic leader to guide SSON’s contributions to UMass Lowell’s ambitious plan to continue to influence health in our local and regional community, as well as at the national level.
SSON is on an exciting, upward trajectory. Over the past 10 years, the Zuckerberg College of Health Sciences (ZCHS), in which the Solomont School of Nursing is located, has rapidly increased its enrollment, added graduate programs, increased interdisciplinary research, and expanded its reach and reputation. SSON has 27 full-time faculty members and professional staff supporting approximately 400 undergraduates and 170 graduate students. In 2017-2018, SSON partnered with more than 100 healthcare organizations to support clinical and professional experiences for our students. SSON has a strong reputation for its expertise in health promotion across the lifespan. The graduates of the programs have demonstrated their high quality in the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX) pass rates. So far in 2018, 100% of students representing 44% of the 2018 Baccalaureate graduates have successfully passed the exam. In the Master’s program, the pass rate for both the family and adult tracks was 100% for 2016 and 2018, and 97% for 2017.
SSON/ZCHS seeks an outstanding leader to help direct the next stage of its development and leverage the unique opportunities for the SSON within the interdisciplinary support structure of the Zuckerberg College of Health Sciences. The dean is the school’s chief administrator with delegated authority from the ZCHS Dean to administer personnel, budgetary, educational, and operational matters related to SSON. The dean is expected to promote a clear, unifying, and actionable vision and strategic plan; recruit, develop, and inspire outstanding faculty and staff; foster an environment conducive to innovative teaching, research, service, and practice; support the growth of UMass Lowell’s and ZCHS’s interdisciplinary efforts; engage alumni and external organizations to support strategic initiatives; and lead the school in its efforts to promote access and diversity. The dean will also oversee program evaluation and accreditation, develop and manage budgets, and create effective policies and processes to promote access to care as well as a diverse workforce.
Candidates should have a research-focused doctorate in nursing, public health, or a related field; academic achievements commensurate with an appointment with tenure at the rank of professor, including a robust portfolio of research publications and grants, as well as an excellent record of teaching and service. Candidates should also demonstrate a record of innovative and collaborative leadership; experience generating and overseeing funded research; successful advocacy of diversity and cultural competence initiatives; and evidence of being a thought leader in varied, interprofessional spheres of the ZCHS’s areas of expertise.
THE UNIVERSITY OF MASSACHUSETTS LOWELL
The University of Massachusetts Lowell (also known as UMass Lowell) is a nationally ranked, public research institution committed to preparing students for work in the real world— solving real problems and helping real people— by providing an affordable, high-quality education. The campus is located 30 miles (48 km) northwest of Boston, MA along the Merrimack River. Located on a high-energy campus in the heart of a global community, the university offers more than 18,000 bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees in six colleges. The university is dedicated to transformational education that fosters student success, lifelong learning, and global awareness. UMass Lowell offers affordable, experience-based undergraduate and graduate academic programs taught by internationally recognized faculty who conduct research to expand the horizons of knowledge. The programs span and interconnect the disciplines of health, business, education, engineering, fine arts, humanities, sciences and social sciences. The university continues to build on its founding tradition of innovation, entrepreneurship and partnerships with industry and the community to address challenges facing the region and the world.
The University is part of the University of Massachusetts 5 campus system and has been regionally accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges since 1975. With over 1,150 faculty members and over 18,000 students, it is the largest university in the Merrimack Valley and the second-largest public institution in the state. The institution is known for serving a remarkably diverse student body where many students are the first in their families to earn college degrees.
UMass Lowell is known for having one of the highest returns on investment (ROI) in the country for its graduates. Forbes ranked UMass Lowell as the 10th best value among all universities and colleges nationwide for 2013 and fourth-best value among non-military academies; placing it in the top 1 percent in the United States for ROI. The 2015 edition of the Business Insider named UMass Lowell as the second-most underrated college in the U.S.
For more information about the University, please visit www.uml.edu.
THE ZUCKERBERG COLLEGE OF HEALTH SCIENCES
The Zuckerberg College of Health Sciences has more than 1,300 undergraduate students, 440 graduate students, 82 faculty members and five research centers. The college has four academic units: the Solomont School of Nursing and Departments of Biomedical and Nutritional Sciences, Public Health and Physical Therapy and Kinesiology. The college offers seven degree and certificate programs, including the only doctorate of physical therapy (DPT) degree program offered by a public institution in Massachusetts. The college has a faculty-led comprehensive Interprofessional Education program that incorporates all programs and spans from freshmen to graduate students.
The Zuckerberg College of Health Sciences has a long tradition of excellence in teaching, research and community service that reaches across disciplines, throughout Massachusetts and beyond. Students learn how to work effectively across disciplines in teams through interprofessional education, a backbone of the teaching practice at ZCHS and SSON. This excellence gives students an edge to solve today's urgent health problems that face the world. Our students are provided educational opportunities that allow them to learn while accomplishing health-oriented community service. We are proud of our focus on student success that results in high retention and graduation rates.
THE SOLOMONT SCHOOL OF NURSING
The Solomont School of Nursing, was elevated from a department to a school as of June 1, 2013. The Solomont School of Nursing benefits from state-of-the-art laboratory and simulation experiences in the Health & Social Sciences Building that officially opened on April 18, 2013. The new, high tech nursing labs help prepare students for the changing world of healthcare.
The mission of the Solomont School of Nursing is to “educate students, advance knowledge, and provide service to the university, the profession, and the community through excellence in the discovery, application, integration, and dissemination of knowledge. The school emphasizes health promotion needs of individuals, families, groups, and communities. We aim to provide an affordable education of high quality and to focus scholarship and public service on a global vision of health promotion. Our mission is operationalized in local, regional, national and global initiatives”. The SSON partners with health care organizations and facilities in the Merrimack Valley to provide culturally competent care and to conduct research related to the health and well being of a diverse community. In addition, faculty collaborate with multiple health care facilities and organizations throughout Boston and the state of Massachusetts.
The SSON has 13 tenured or tenure-track faculty, 10 full-time, clinical and teaching faculty and 4 professional staff who are involved in our simulation center and in clinical teaching. The faculty have published over 100 publications in the past 3 years.
We are proud that the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) has awarded the BS, RN-BS and MS nursing programs a full, 10-year reaccreditation through 2026. CCNE has also awarded a full five-year initial accreditation of our Doctorate of Nursing Practice (DNP) Program, through 2021. According to US news and world reports, the graduate nursing program is currently ranked No. 121 in the nation, moving up 10 points 2017 to 2018; while the DNP program, ranked for the first time in 2018 at No. 136.
The SSON has established clinical partnerships that enrich student experiences both at the undergraduate and graduate levels. The school offers clinical placements in Partners Health care System, Children’s Hospital of Boston, and Lowell General hospital to name just a few. The graduate students are placed in primary care offices and health clinics throughout Massachusetts. These partnerships afford students the opportunity to provide care to the underserved of all ages, and the older individual in long-term care and community settings.
The SSON has faculty that are actively engaged with The Center for Clinical and Translational Science at the University of Massachusetts Medical School in Worcester which was founded to engage researchers from across the five University of Massachusetts campuses and the Medical School hospital partners. In addition, faculty are engaged in the many Centers at UMass Lowell. Within the ZCHS, the Center for Population Health boasts significant federal funding to understand the prevalence and etiology of chronic disease in our communities. The Center includes a diverse team of researchers and partners with other institutions and community leaders. The Center for Gerontology Research and Partnerships fosters academic/community partnerships between gerontological researchers in the academic setting, and agencies serving the public health and individual health needs of the community of older adults. The Center for the Promotion of Health in the New England Workplace is a national Center for excellence, conducting research and education to advance worker health, safety, and well-being. Faculty and students also participate in the UMass Lowell DifferenceMaker® program, a campus-wide program that engages UMass Lowell students in creative problem solving, innovation and entrepreneurship. The School continues its support of entrepreneurial ventures through its representation and engagement at the M2D2- Massachusetts Medical Device Development Center.
These are just a few of the centers nursing faculty are actively involved in across the region.
THE ROLE OF THE DEAN
The inaugural Dean/Vice Dean will be responsible for leading activities of the SSON including, but not limited to, efforts that:
- Strengthen the Research Programs in the College. The Dean will lead and incentivize grant-related initiatives in the SSON. Oversight and leadership over the mentorship and development of faculty who can give the school national visibility in the research literature and produce well-prepared graduate students for research and practice careers will be an important aspect of the role.
- Strengthen the Academic Programs in the School. The Dean will be the visionary leader and innovator for the assessment and advancement of undergraduate and graduate nursing education.
- Promote Interprofessional Education (IPE) at the SSON, and ZCHS
- Exercise Sound Financial Decisions. The Dean will manage the financial complexities of staffing, grant procurement, academic programming, and infrastructure maintenance and development as aligned with the public university’s structure. This includes managing resources keenly, maintaining sound budgetary practices and allocating resources to the greatest benefit of the school.
- Foster External Partnerships. The Dean is expected to dedicate energy to raising funds and developing partnerships in order to yield new resources and opportunities for the school from private philanthropic sources, alumni, and public support.
- Recruit, Retain, and Inspire Nursing Faculty and staff. Ensures proper recruitment of strong, dedicated, and diverse faculty and administrative staff. As the programs at SSON continue to grow, it will be important for the dean to develop and mentor a group of tenure-track faculty and full- and part-time clinical and teaching faculty, structured to meet the strategic teaching, service, research, and community goals of the school.
- Implement all Personnel Decisions. These decisions include input in the promotion and tenure review process, re-appointment letters, determining merit increases and annual reappointments.
- Diversity Advocacy in the School. The Dean sets the tone for building a welcoming and inclusive environment that reinforces equal opportunity and social justice. The Dean will strengthen efforts to enhance or expand the diversity of the faculty, staff, and student body in persons and perspectives. The Dean is also expected to uphold diversity as central to the school’s research, teaching, and service mission.
- Achieve and Maintain National and State Accreditation. Oversee the University’s nursing programs in collaboration with the Program Directors and coordinators.
- Maintain Partnerships across the University. The SSON Dean/Vice Dean of the ZCHS is expected to continue to work collaboratively with academic leaders from other University of Massachusetts academic offices and community partners and clinics. The Dean of the SSON will maintain and foster strong working relationships, which provide clinical education, research collaboration, and multidisciplinary interactions. As Vice Dean at the College level, the SSON Dean will develop educational, research and service partnerships within the Zuckerberg College of Health Sciences in line with the School’s mission and vision.
- Develop Community Partnerships and Promote Advocacy. The Dean is expected to take the lead in the development of key partnerships with the SSON and ZCHS including teaching, research, clinical, and service connections. Moreover, it is expected that the Dean will engage legislators, community, and business leaders to facilitate collaboration.
- Participate and contribute to the Provost’s Academic Council and the Chancellor’s Senior Cabinet meetings, including decisions within the Department of Academic Affairs, as appropriate.
COMPETENCIES FOR SUCCESS
An effective Dean inspires confidence, motivates others for engagement and innovation, addresses conflict constructively and fairly, is visible to the student body, and assembles a strong internal leadership team. The Search Committee has identified the following as essential professional qualifications for the successful SSON Dean/ ZCHS Vice Dean candidate – referred to as “Dean” below:
• Academic Accomplishment. The Dean has distinguished academic accomplishments commensurate with an appointment at the rank of Tenured Professor. This includes an externally funded program of research, either past or present.
• Academic Leadership. The Dean has demonstrated success with the development of excellent educational and research programs. This includes having the expertise to work with accrediting agencies; using innovative strategies to improve on instruction, professional practice, undergraduate and graduate education, and executing a successful program of research. Leadership experience at the collegiate level, including strategic planning and shared governance.
• Fundraising Skills. The Dean has the willingness and disposition to serve as the primary fundraiser and the vision to conceive of new funding opportunities that benefit the College.
• Management Experience. The Dean has expertise and experience to manage the personnel and administrative complexities of a comprehensive school of nursing across its research, teaching, clinical, and service missions.
• Financial Expertise. The Dean has experience with and understanding of financial management with a focus on building strong academic programs, rewarding excellence, and providing the School with a sound financial foundation.
• Communication Skills. The Dean communicates persuasively and respectfully with faculty, staff and students and with the various constituencies of the School. The Dean serves as ambassador, and as such must articulate clearly the mission and accomplishments of the School to parties within and external to the University community.
• Diversity Advocacy. The Dean has experience addressing diversity and cultural competence initiatives that advance research, teaching, clinical, and service traditions of the School. The Dean should have the ability to work with diverse colleagues and populations across rank, discipline, and networks and be committed to support the continuous integration of diversity efforts that advance the awareness, attitude, knowledge, and skills of faculty, staff, students and alumni.
• Coalition Building. The Dean has expertise and experience in developing partnerships and outreach programs with academic institutions, health systems, businesses, and related entities. Such collaborations will advance the School in its research, teaching, clinical, and service missions.
• Innovative Administrator. The Dean promotes creative approaches, such as advanced technologies, interprofessional education, team science, and professional best practices, to address challenging problems.
Minimum Qualifications (Required):
- Eligible for licensure as a registered nurse in Massachusetts
- Researched-focused doctorate in nursing or related field
- Eligible for appointment to full Tenured Professor
- Demonstrated managerial competencies to oversee a comprehensive School of Nursing
- Clear communication competencies
- Successful record of securing external funding
- Demonstrated commitment to diversity
- Knowledgeable of challenges to 21st century healthcare and higher education
- Commitment to mentoring faculty in successful careers
- Evidence of innovative approaches to problem solving
- Commitment to engage both internal and external constituencies
- Commitment to shared governance
- Clinical practice experience
- Interprofessional Education experience
Special Instructions to Applicants:
Review of applications will begin immediately and continue until the position is filled. However, the position may close when an adequate number of qualified applications are received.
Application Materials Required:
- Curriculum Vitae
- Cover letter that should include a vision statement and strategic priorities of no more than 1500 words
- Names and contact information of three references will be required at the time of application.