Ongoing Challenges in the College of Nursing

On June 7, the USFA Executive requested a meeting with the President, the Vice-President of Finance and Resources, and the Provost regarding the College of Nursing to work toward tangible solutions that can be clearly stated and achieved. The request was reiterated multiple times and a date for the meeting was finally set late last week.

The vote of non-confidence in college leadership, supported by more than 50 faculty in March, had an important impact on the direction of the College of Nursing. College leadership is changing and collegial process meetings are happening on time. The dean speaks about workload, several new faculty searches are underway, and faculty are working to improve governance processes. Faculty in the College of Nursing are to be commended on these positive results and we encourage them not to back down or back away. 

While there has been movement on these matters of concern to college faculty and the USFA, many challenges remain. There are significant concerns related to the lack of transparency about how the College will manage the increases and redistribution of program seats with a shortage of nurses and a lack of suitable clinical placements for students, which might result in future accreditation issues. To date, faculty have received little opportunity to help address current challenges and members of the Nursing faculty still have unanswered questions concerning a clear plan for the future. More concerning is that the dean continues to tightly regulate communication in the College. She has created a new Dean’s Advisory Committee and College Forum, but discussions have been actively discouraged at Faculty Council, and staff criticize faculty inquiries at College Forum. Unhealthy divisions are being nurtured between staff and faculty. Faculty have a right and a responsibility to participate in collegial governance, to raise concerns and ask questions, and the USFA is here to support members in exercising that right. 

Stand your ground and continue to seek responses to hard questions.