Dr. Katherine Nugent, director of the School of Nursing at The University of Southern Mississippi, will see her title elevated to dean when the school officially returns to college status on July 1.
The Mississippi Board of Trustees of State Institutions of Higher Learning (IHL) approved the title change during its regular monthly meeting today in Jackson. Nugent has served as the School of Nursing’s director since 2004.
“I am honored to serve as dean of the College of Nursing at Southern Miss and to have an opportunity to be a part of the exciting future here,” said Nugent. “Assuming the deanship is professionally rewarding but the true gratification comes with the return of the School of Nursing to a College of Nursing; a status that reflects the contribution of nursing to the university, the community and the state.”
Previously classified as a college, the program was changed to School of Nursing in 2003 by then-President Shelby Thames as part of a major reorganization plan. In April of this year the IHL Board approved a return to college status for the program which joins Arts & Letters, Business, Education and Psychology, Health, and Science and Technology as the university’s degree-granting colleges.
With the official change on July 1, the College of Nursing will no longer be included as part of the College of Health, reporting instead to the provost’s office.
“Dr. Nugent has provided strong leadership in her current role as director, including development of new programs and recruiting outstanding faculty,” said Southern Miss Provost Dr. Denis Wiesenburg. “We look forward to her continuing to lead our College of Nursing programs toward a bright future.”
The Southern Miss nursing program saw 145 students – including undergraduate, master’s and doctoral candidates -- receive their degrees during spring commencement ceremonies in May. Nursing officials expect approximately 500 students to be enrolled for the fall semester.
For more information about the College or Nursing, call 601.266.5454 or visit: http://www.usm.edu/nursing