Dean Anita Molzahn
What exactly does a dean do? What does your role encompass?
When my kids were young, I used to explain the role as kind of like being principal of a school.
I think that what most people don’t realize is just how much of my role is external. In addition to providing overall leadership for all of the things that go on within the Faculty of Nursing, I spend around 60% to 70% of my time focusing on external activities. As the sort of voice and face of the Faculty of Nursing, I represent us externally to other constituencies, whether it’s international audiences and meeting with international visitors, talking about the Faculty, fundraising, or alumni relations.
The provost, Dr. Carl Amrhein, describes role of dean as CEO of the faculty. It’s a business metaphor, but in some ways it’s accurate. As dean you have to ensure that you have the money to fund your operations, the operations run smoothly, and that most of the day to day work is managed by other people. We’re lucky at the Faculty to have great people who really help keep everything on track.
Finally, planning is a large part of the role as well. With strategic planning I am able to provide direction and point people in directions where we might want to go in the future.
How did you spend your summer?
One of the things that I did this last summer was attend an international nursing conference in Jerusalem. I had never been to Israel before so I tacked on an extra week of vacation and travelled around Israel and Jordan. I saw Petra and Wadi Rum in Jordan, which are absolutely amazing places!
What are you looking forward to this academic year?
I’m looking forward to engaging in a process of undergraduate program reviews and just thinking with our faculty and students and staff about what we can do to enhance the student experience. We know that enhancing the student experience is a key goal of the university, and it’s something that we want to continue to grow and improve as well. It’s going to be a very major undertaking in the next year and I look forward to the results.
What is the last non-work related book that you read?
I’m nearly finished reading 11/22/63 by Stephen King, which is about a time traveler who attempts to prevent the assassination of John F. Kennedy. After that I have a biography of Florence Nightingale to read.
Do you have any words of wisdom for the more than 1,400 undergraduate students in the nursing programs?
One of the things that I’ve learned over the years is that you’re not going to love every single area of nursing—you are going to run in to clinical areas or types of work that you don’t like. But one of great advantages of nursing is that there are so many career opportunities and so many areas that you can pursue. So if there’s something that you don’t like, just keep at it and find the niche that’s right for you, because there will be one!