Final interviews taking place for dean of nursing

The FAMU School of Nursing. Photo by Tanzania Ralph

Henry V. Talley, the dean of Florida A&M’s School of Nursing, resigned in August of 2019, leading to the appointment of Mary Ella Graham as interim dean.

A search committee hoping to agree on a candidate  to be the next permanent dean of the nursing program interviewed the first of four finalists on Tuesday. The search committee has scheduled four separate interviews during the next two weeks, giving each candidate about an hour to share their plans if chosen.

These presentations are takingplace via Zoom as the committeecomplies with social distancing guidelines. The candidates are asked to present ideas and goals for improving the School of Nursing.

The search committees goal is to offer one or more candidates to the provost later this month.

Nursing assistant professor Lisa Gardner introduced Shelley Johnson to the rest of he search committee.

She is dedicated to lifelong learning,” Gardner said.

Johnson’s educational background shows that she has four degrees that give her experience in nursing, business administration and educational leadership. Her highest degree is a Doctor of Education, which is a profession degree for those who seek educational leadership roles.

Prior to her current role as a faculty member at the Herzing University nursing program in Milwaukee, Johnson was the founding director of the nursing program at Lincoln University. At Lincoln, she also completed the CCNE accreditation. She was also the national program dean at the University of Phoenix, making her the dean over all BSN programs for the university.

Johnson started her presentation with a FAMU-colored PowerPoint, and orange and green graced every slide. Her personal profile consisted of information that would be necessary in her evaluation. Her values, skills, interests and more were presented. As she continued her presentation she made her interest in FAMU’s School of Nursing very clear.

My particular interest centers around leadership and nursing,” Johnsonsaid.

Johnson presented a 90-day plan for the School of Nursing. She gave a brief summary about the objective of the 90-day plan before going fin depth, breaking the 90 days into three 30-day stages. Each stage consisted of an internal agenda and external one.

Is this truly a learning culture, are we aiming to grow, are we a learning organization, do we understand the student journey and their needs, or do we understand the faculty experience?” Johnsonsaid.

She said she was interested in boosting student morale.

What is your plan to boost student morale?” Kymora Bryant asked.

Johnson responded by saying that she would first listen to the students and hear their concerns. Although she mentioned that there is nothing that she could say in that moment to help with what is going on right now, if given the job she will sit and learn and understand what the studentsneeds are.

The FAMU School of Nursing and the chair of its search committee, Cynthia Hughes-Harris, who is the dean of the School of Allied Health & Health Sciences, has three more candidates to interview. The next candidate to present will be Linda Washington-Brown.