Dean Julie Johnson said she had a plan to make the College of Nursing run more efficiently when she assumed her role as dean in January.
Part of that plan was to have a consultant come in March to evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of the college and provide suggestions to move it forward, Johnson said. The consultant filed a report after her visit, which the Stater recently obtained.
When the report was first requested, the College of Nursing would not give out the information, citing the report was private. After filing a public records request, the Stater obtained a copy from university counsel. Some of the highlights of the consultant’s report are below.
Strengths of the College of Nursing:
Staff is well qualified, experienced and interested in helping the program and each other. Dean is seeking opportunities for external funding for scholarship, program development, etc. The director of the Center for Nursing Research sees opportunities for external funding through research grants, program development, etc.
Challenges the College of Nursing faces:
Students are concerned about the extended waiting period for admission without information about their chances for admission to the nursing program. Undergraduate students would like to have advisers in the later stages of the program. Graduate students would like more access to wireless Internet connections. Some faculty members are concerned about their job security.
Consultant’s suggestions based upon interviews with staff, faculty administrators and students:
Faculty salaries need to be competitive with other nursing programs. Ratio of non-tenure-track faculty to tenure-track faculty should be reversed. Currently, non-tenure-track faculty account for 60 percent, and tenure-track faculty account for 40 percent. Regional programs should be more closely aligned with the Kent campus. Faculty and students would like to increase the online course offerings. Group all student services into one, and use graduate assistants to do so, which would assist in funding its operations.
The consultant was paid $2,500. Before the college decides if it will take the consultant’s recommendations, Johnson said she must get faculty and staff input. A retreat is scheduled next week for the College of Nursing faculty and staff, at which time those at the retreat will continue examining how to restructure the college, Johnson said.
Contact medicine reporter Kim Thompson at [email protected]