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University of Florida

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Job No: 526899
Work Type: Faculty Admin Title
Location: Main Campus (Gainesville, FL)
Categories: Nursing
Department: 31010100 - NR-DEAN-ADMINISTRATION

Job Description

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Job Description:


The University of Florida (UF) welcomes applications and nominations for the position of Dean and Chief Academic Officer (Dean) of the College of Nursing (UFCON). UF is the flagship and land-grant university among the 12-member State University System of Florida and the only member of the Association of American Universities in the state. With a main campus in Gainesville and a rapidly growing campus in Jacksonville, UF has 16 colleges, the Southeast's largest academic health center, a championship-winning athletic program, and, in keeping with its land-grant mission, one of the nation's most comprehensive agriculture and natural resources programs.

The past decade has been a particularly exciting chapter in UF's history that has been punctuated by success and achievement. The University concluded its transformational, $4.6 billion Go Greater Campaign in 2022 and recently welcomed Dr. Ben Sasse, a former U.S. Senator, as UF's 13th president in February 2023. Over the past several years, UF made a substantial investment in faculty, adding more than 500 new positions supported by the state legislature. Another 100 new faculty have been hired through a signature, long-term artificial intelligence initiative that is transforming the curriculum and research at UF. UF is now ranked the No. 5 public university in the nation and has 28 graduate programs ranked in the top 25 nationally. UF's research enterprise includes more than 180 research centers and institutes, and 2022 research expenditures exceeded $1 billion.

Founded in 1956, the UFCON has a long tradition of innovation and excellence and is one of six health-related colleges within UF Health. U.S. News & World Report ranked its BSN and DNP programs No. 1 in Florida in 2022, and the UFCON was in the top 15 for NIH funding to public universities. Recent UFCON accolades and honors include being designated as a National League for Nursing Center of Excellence in 2021 in recognition of its role as a national leader in nursing education and teaching, followed by the NLN's Certification Star Award in 2022 in recognition of its efforts to create a transformational academic environment. The UFCON and UF Health Nursing were awarded the 2022 New Era for Academic Nursing Award by the American Association of Colleges of Nursing for their innovative and sustained collaboration across practice, research, and education.

The Dean of UFCON provides strategic leadership over the College's vibrant and dynamic academic community to ensure its future growth and success as it strives to transform health through innovative teaching, clinical practice, research, and community service. The University seeks in its next Dean an outstanding leader and scholar who will articulate and implement a bold vision and long-term strategy for UFCON that capitalizes on UF's strengths including its comprehensive academic health science center, world-class research and academic programs, innovative AI initiatives, commitment to addressing health equity and disparities, and service to the state. Ideal candidates will have a proven record of administrative leadership and distinguished academic, research, practice, and service achievement in a research-intensive university and qualify for appointment as a tenured full professor at the UFCON. Candidates must be a registered nurse (RN) with a graduate degree in nursing and an earned doctorate, and have a current or be eligible for RN licensure in Florida. They will also have a demonstrated personal and professional commitment to fostering a welcoming, equitable, and inclusive culture.

The University of Florida has retained the national executive search firm Isaacson, Miller to assist in this important recruitment. Confidential inquiries, nominations, and applications may be directed to the firm as indicated at the end of this document.

Role of the Dean and Chief Academic Officer

The Dean provides strategic leadership for all aspects of UFCON and will partner with key constituents, including UF Health leadership, UFCON administration, faculty, staff, students, donors, and alumni, to develop a compelling vision and implement a comprehensive strategic plan. The Dean will be a leader in addressing the significant nursing shortage, health disparities, and other key challenges and priorities in higher education and healthcare. Moreover, the Dean will be a champion for UFCON and uphold its values, advance its mission, and position the College for growth and sustainable success.

The Dean holds the endowed Linda Harman Aiken Chair, reports jointly to the Senior Vice President/Health Affairs and the Provost, and is an active member of the Health Science Center and the University Deans groups. The Dean's leadership team comprises 11 direct reports. An organizational chart for the leadership team can be found at the end of this document.

The Dean represents the College and serves as a recognized leader in nursing and nursing education across UF and externally with clinical partners, alumni, donors, community members, and relevant state, regional, and national accrediting agencies, professional boards, and organizations. The Dean partners with the Department Chairs to recruit and retain qualified faculty members and encourages and facilitates the professional development of faculty members, administrators, and staff. As a university leader, the Dean is charged with building and sustaining an inclusive, collaborative, and collegial environment that supports excellence in teaching, research, practice, and service.

Key Opportunities and Challenges

Ensure the long-term sustainability of the College

The Dean will utilize their strong administrative skills and financial prowess to ensure the College has an operating model that balances achieving mission success with sustained financial health. The Dean will be comfortable operating with a Responsibility Centered Management (RCM) budget model and optimizing resources under this model. The Dean will not only be an excellent steward of current resources but think creatively about how to expand resources. There is, for example, great potential to increase philanthropic support from UFCON's base of more than 11,000 generous alumni and other supporters. Further opportunities exist with academic, practice, and research programs.

Advance the portfolio of research and scholarship

UFCON's research portfolio and infrastructure have grown significantly over the last decade, rising to over $5 million in external funding in FY2022. Building upon this success, the Dean will expand high-impact, innovative research and scholarship that inform nursing practice and policy. The Dean will work with College faculty to build on areas of strength and interest, and align those priorities with key public health issues and funding priorities from the NIH and other funders. Equally important will be efforts to increase faculty involvement in interprofessional and translational research collaborations across UF Health, the larger university, and in the community, as well as student participation in research. Further developing the UFCON's research portfolio, and aligning mentors with student areas of interest, will also enable the College to sustain a robust doctoral program.

Foster excellence and innovation in education programs

UFCON already has very strong academic programs but is driven to ensure its programs remain excellent and promote innovation, including leveraging technology, integrating artificial intelligence, and building out interprofessional education and practice. Considering the impact of the pandemic and nursing shortage on education and practice, the Dean must lead the College's efforts to utilize creative strategies to recruit, enroll, and educate more students who will be prepared to quickly transition to practice and meet healthcare needs. The Dean will also work with faculty and clinical partners to enhance lifelong learning initiatives to meet the needs of practicing nurses. The Dean will also continue to advance the transition to a competency-based curriculum in accordance with the AACN Essentials requirements.

Build and strengthen critical relationships across UF Health, the University, and the community

The Dean will be a committed, visible member of UF Health, the broader University, and the surrounding community. As the public face of the UFCON, the Dean will strengthen the College's profile and advocate for nursing. Success will depend on the Dean's ability to build strong relationships and strategic partnerships with UFCON administrators, faculty, staff, and students on both the Gainesville and Jacksonville campuses; other deans within UF Health and the University; state nursing organizations and boards; clinical, education, and research partners; alumni and current and prospective donors; and key professional, academic, and community/clinical organizations. In particular, the Dean must build deep and effective relationships with the chief nursing officers and UF Health leaders to expand and strengthen their innovative academic/practice partnership, which promotes intentional cross-engagement, co-design, and commitment across nursing practice, research, and education in order to serve diverse communities, improve population health outcomes, and achieve health equity.


UF Health includes two academic health science campuses in Gainesville and Jacksonville. The Gainesville campus is the country's only academic health center with six health-related colleges and nine major health-related research centers and institutes that are co-located on a single, contiguous campus. Its six colleges include Dentistry, Medicine, Nursing, Pharmacy, Public Health and Health Professions, and Veterinary Medicine. The Jacksonville campus is home to the UF College of Medicine - Jacksonville and also offers degree programs in the colleges of Nursing and Pharmacy. UF Health's research centers and institutes include UF Diabetes Institute, Evelyn and William L. McKnight Brain Institute, Norman Fixel Institute for Neurological Diseases at UF Health, UF Clinical and Translational Science Institute, UF Emerging Pathogens Institute, UF Health Cancer Center, UF Genetics Institute, UF Institute for Child Health Policy, UF Institute on Aging, and UF Research and Academic Center at Lake Nona. A world leader in interdisciplinary research, UF Health generated 50 percent of UF's total research awards during fiscal year 2022.

The UF Health clinical enterprise encompasses the Shands family of hospitals, including the academic hospitals UF Health Shands, with 1,095 beds in Gainesville and North Central Florida, and UF Health Jacksonville, with 695 beds in Jacksonville, as well as a broad network of healthcare practices. The UF Health system stretches across the state, manages more than three million inpatient and outpatient visits each year, and serves patients from all 67 Florida counties, from around the nation, and from more than 25 countries.


Academic Programs

UFCON currently offers three degree programs: Bachelor of Science in nursing (BSN), Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP), and PhD in nursing science.

The BSN program is ranked #1 in Florida and in the top 25 nationally, according to U.S. News & World Report. There are three unique tracks leading to the BSN:
  • Traditional BSN - intended for individuals who have not earned a 4-year degree in another field
  • Accelerated BSN - intended for those who have a 4-year degree in another field
  • RN-to-BSN program - currently the top-ranked online RN-BSN program in the U.S. (U.S. News & World Report), this fully online track is intended for registered nurses with an associate degree in nursing

As a leading-edge innovator in graduate nursing education, UFCON offered Florida's first nurse practitioner and first PhD in Nursing Science programs, and was an early adopter of the DNP program, which is currently ranked #1 in the state of Florida and #25 nationally (2023 U.S. News & World Report).

The PhD program prepares nurse-scholars to develop and conduct scientific research that advances the foundations of nursing practice and health care delivery, and is also the gateway to a career in nursing education. UFCON's PhD program offers comprehensive research preparation with one of the strongest cores of nursing research faculty in Florida. A BSN or an MSN degree are prerequisites for entry.

The DNP program is an advanced practice, non-research-focused terminal degree program designed to improve patient and health outcomes. All classes are offered through UF Online, with periodic required meetings on campus. Available to post-baccalaureate and post-master's degree individuals, the DNP program prepares advanced practice nurses in five clinical specialty areas:
  • Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner
  • Family Nurse Practitioner
  • Pediatric Acute Care Nurse Practitioner
  • Pediatric Primary Care Nurse Practitioner
  • Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner

Total Fall 2022 enrollment was 972 students, including 583 in the BSN program, 362 in the DNP program, and 27 in the PhD program.

The Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education granted UFCON a full, 10-year re-accreditation in the spring of 2022.

Kirbo Innovation and Learning Lab

UFCON students and faculty can now hone their skills using the latest technology in patient safety and learning assessment following an extensive renovation of teaching space to build a leading-edge simulation and learning center. High-fidelity simulation provides a lifelike learning experience in a safe environment, minimizing risks to patients and students. With a total cost of $2.9 million for construction and state-of-the-art equipment, the recently completed Kirbo Innovation and Learning Lab was made possible through lead gifts from the Thomas M. and Irene B. Kirbo Charitable Foundation, The Frederick A. DeLuca Foundation, and Mark and Sally Rosser. As the demand for clinical experience continues to grow, the role of simulation in nursing education is increasingly crucial, and the Kirbo Innovation and Learning Lab will ensure that the demand for clinical nursing experience is met.


UFCON is a leader in state-of-the-art research, with focal areas including biobehavioral mechanisms of symptom science and palliative care, reducing health disparities in health outcomes and services among at-risk populations, and translational research to enhance quality of life and healthy aging. In fiscal year 2022, the UFCON received over $5 million in federal research funding, ranking in the top 25 in the United States for schools of nursing (#15 in public schools).

Renowned faculty researchers, including six endowed professors, are leading efforts to build robust research teams within the College and across campus and the nation. As part of the UF AI initiative, the UFCON now has seven nurse informatics researchers, including an internationally known artificial intelligence scientist, who bring in-depth knowledge and experience in capturing, transforming, and analyzing nursing and patient data from electronic health records.

In an effort to strengthen the academic/practice collaboration between nurses at the bedside and nursing research faculty and to foster research and innovation in the clinical setting, the leadership of UFCON and UF Health Nursing launched its first cohort of joint demonstration projects to design and evaluate improved approaches to healthcare access and delivery at UF Health in 2022. More than 20 teams and 100 nurses submitted proposals for these year-long projects. In total, 12 projects were funded on a wide variety of topics, including COVID-19 discoveries, telemedicine for persons with HIV, and stroke care. Another cohort of demonstration projects will be awarded in 2023.

Florida Blue Center for Health Care Quality

The Florida Blue Center for Health Care Quality brings together experts from a variety of disciplines at UF, including health services administration, nursing, health policy, medicine, pharmacy, public health, and sociology, to design and evaluate improved approaches to health care access and delivery. It is housed within the College of Nursing and the College of Public Health and Health Professions.

Center for Palliative Care Research and Education

Led by faculty from the UFCON on behalf of the health sciences colleges and welcoming participation from colleges campus-wide, the Center for Palliative Care Research and Education focuses on research and education to improve palliative care for persons and animals throughout Florida, across the nation, and all around the world. The palliative care philosophy values, respects, and supports individual dignity and autonomy, as well as recognizes the need for informed decision-making to achieve comfort and relieve stress during and after a serious illness.

Faculty Practice

UFCON established the first nursing faculty practice plan in Florida, which laid the groundwork for the development and long-term sustainability of its nurse-led health center, Archer Family Health Care (AFHC). The practice provides integrated primary care and behavioral health services to underserved individuals in rural Alachua County and the surrounding area. Serving approximately 1,600 patients with over 5,000 annual visits, AFHC functions as a clinical training site for baccalaureate and doctoral students. Through strong academic partnerships, students gain valuable clinical experience across all programs.

Faculty and Staff

Currently, there are 75 faculty (25 of whom are tenured or on a tenure track, including six endowed chair and professor positions) and 45 staff in the UFCON. Through the State of Florida's Prepping Institutions, Programs, Employers and Learners through Incentives for Nursing Education (PIPELINE) funding mechanism, the College was allocated $3.6 million to hire 22 additional tenure-track, clinical faculty, support staff and provide student educational support.


UF recently transitioned to a modified Responsibility Centered Management (RCM) budget model. A majority of UFCON's $24.3 million Fiscal Year 2023 budget is from tuition-based state allocation (66%) and grants and contracts (21%). The UF Foundation, UF Online, the faculty practice, and other sources contribute the remaining 12%.

Expected Salary:

Salary is competitive and commensurate with education and experience.

Minimum Requirements:

The Dean of the College of Nursing will be a proven academic leader with demonstrated ability to engage with faculty and staff constituencies to develop and execute a vision in support of the college's broad educational, research, clinical and public service missions. Candidates will possess a Ph.D. in Nursing or equivalent doctoral degree; be a registered nurse (RN) current or eligible for RN licensure in Florida; will have a distinguished record of academic achievement, research, practice, and service and be qualified for appointment as a tenured full professor at UFCON.

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Significant administrative and leadership experience

  • Experience building productive partnerships between clinical practice and academic constituents

  • Ability to recruit, mentor, and retain excellent faculty and staff, and ensure they have the resources and mentoring to achieve their professional goals

  • Decisive with a proven ability to translate ideas into action, take thoughtful risks, and achieve results

  • Imaginative, creative problem solver with excellent critical thinking and analytic skills

  • Sharp eye for operational efficiency, knowledge of budgets, and optimal use of resources

  • Demonstrated personal and professional commitment to fostering a welcoming, inclusive culture

  • Proven ability to build strong, collaborative, and enduring internal and external relationships

  • High degree of integrity, character, and emotional maturity; respect for individuals at every level of an organization

  • Exemplary interpersonal communications skills; clarity and crispness in writing and speaking; compelling, persuasive public speaker to a wide variety of audiences

    Special Instructions to Applicants:

    Nominations, inquiries, and applications, including a CV and a cover letter, should be sent via:

    Stephanie Fidel, Partner

    Amy Segal, Partner

    Jean Jacoby, Managing Associate

    Olivia Correll, Search Coordinator

    Isaacson, Miller

    The University of Florida is an Equal Opportunity Institution dedicated to building a culturally diverse and inclusive faculty and staff.

    The selection process will be conducted in accordance with the provisions of Florida's “Government in the Sunshine” and Public Records Laws. Search committee meetings and interviews will be open to the public, and all applications, resumes, and other documents related to the search will be available for public inspection. Please feel free to reach out to Isaacson, Miller with any questions before submitting a formal application.

    If an accommodation due to a disability is needed to apply for this position, please call (352) 392-2HRS or the Florida Relay System at (800) 955-8771 (TDD).

    Final candidate will be required to provide three (3) letters of recommendation and an official transcript to the hiring department upon hire. A transcript will not be considered "official" if a designation of "Issued to Student" is visible. Degrees earned from an education institution outside of the United States are required to be evaluated by a professional credentialing service provider approved by National Association of Credential Evaluation Services (NACES), which can be found at

    Health Assessment Required:

    Applications Close: Open until filled

    To apply, visit

    The University is committed to non-discrimination with respect to race, creed, color, religion, age, disability, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, marital status, national origin, political opinions or affiliations, genetic information and veteran status in all aspects of employment including recruitment, hiring, promotions, transfers, discipline, terminations, wage and salary administration, benefits, and training.

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