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Email from Nursing Dean Dorrie Fontaine

June 12, 2012 — As you learned in the email that Rector Helen Dragas sent to the University community on Sunday, President Teresa Sullivan will step down on August 15, 2012.

President Sullivan has been a strong advocate for our School of Nursing, and I will greatly miss working with her.  I have valued her leadership and friendship.  She has demonstrated the values of compassion, thoughtfulness, and respect that we cherish in the field of nursing and the SON community.

Rector Dragas spoke to the vice presidents and deans about significant challenges faced by the University, including financial pressures and faculty recruitment during a wave of retirements.  The Board of Visitors has stated that the pace of change needs to quicken to meet these complex challenges.

As we honor our values and traditions, the School of Nursing is also in a transformational mode.  A rise in rankings, major federal and foundation grants that raise our profile nationally, the successful completion of the McLeod renovation campaign, and six exceptional new faculty hires show that we are on the right track.  We are responding to critical and complex needs in health care by broadening the impact of our nursing science and compassionate practice on the lives of patients, families, and communities.

Nurses cultivate a spirit of resilience and calm presence that is important in times of change.  The School of Nursing will respond to the changes here at UVA and continue to show how we contribute to the strength of the University.  Our alumni and friends play vital roles within the SON community.  I am proud of your accomplishments and grateful for your support.

Sincerely,
Dorrie Fontaine, RN, PhD, FAAN
Sadie Heath Cabaniss Professor of Nursing and Dean

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