FAMU alumna a finalist for nursing dean

The entrance to the School of Nursing. Photo by Tanzania Ralph

FAMU’s School of Nursing dean search committee is one step closer to narrowing its choices to present to the provost. Monday afternoon the third of four candidate presented to the search committee via Zoom, the same method the two previous candidates were interviewed.

The candidate, Versie Johnson-Mallard, is no stranger to FAMU. She received her bachelor’s in nursing from FAMU. Her graduate career also took place in Florida as she attended the University of South Florida and the University of Florida.

Johnson-Mallard received her leadership experience during her role as an associate dean in the College of Nursing and past department chair at UF.

According to Lisa Gardner, assistant professor in the School of Nursing at FAMU, Johnson-Mallard has a background in research funding, organization and managing. Johnson-Mallard has served as a primary investigator and she has  managed more than half a million dollars in cancer research.

As co-investigator and co-lead she has managed more than $700 million in research funding,  Gardner said.

Johnson-Mallard told the search committee that she has a history at FAMU. While it was a while ago, she said she thought that it was important for someone leading the School of Nursing to know the landscape. She indicated her familiarity with the School of Nursing and how it has influenced her vision for improving NCLEX scores.

Most of her presentation was about what she would do to bring NCLEX scores up. She broke down what she perceived to be the current strategy for improving scores and what she felt could change under her leadership.

My vision for student success is to Increase national ratings rankings, faculty and staff development, faculty and staff strategic hiring and partnership building,” Johnson-Mallardsaid.

Johnson-Mallard also used statistics to back up her approach to increasing NCLEX scores compared to the most recent NCLEX scores of the school’s students g. She asked the committee members to hear her out even if they find that some of her strategies are similar or the same to what is already in place.

After almost running out of time she was advised to wrap up her presentation so that members of the committee and students could ask questions. Committee member Locye Hill was one of the few who asked a question. She wanted to know if Johnson-Mallard had been offered the dean position before for the School of Nursing.

Did you apply for the dean of nursing position a few years ago? If the answer is no, What sparked the interest this time?” Hill said.

Johnson-Mallard said that she had never applied to be the dean of the School of Nursing but that she had been recruited. She admitted that although she was recruited by headhunters working for FAMU, she wasnt ready to be the dean at that time.

I was recruited by the headhunters. However I made it clear that I wasn’t ready,”Johnson-Mallard said.

The final candidate was scheduled to be interviewed  Tuesday.