The University of Southern Mississippi (USM) is seeking a visionary leader to serve as its next Dean of the College of Nursing. The successful candidate will assume leadership of a successful college housed in a new premier state of the art 81,000 square foot facility to accommodate future growth of its programs. The next Dean will play an integral role in ensuring the college’s mission of enhancing the health and well-being of the people of the state of Mississippi. The College of Nursing seeks to prepare graduates at the baccalaureate, masters, and doctoral level of education who are ready to advance the profession of nursing through education, scholarship, and service.


Founded in 1910, The University of Southern Mississippi is a comprehensive doctoral and research-driven university with a proud history and a promising future.  In just 100 years, USM has grown from a small teachers’ college into a premier research university. USM takes pride in being classified as a RU/H: Research University (higher research activity) by the Carnegie Foundation for the advancement of teaching among doctorate-granting universities and has an annual external funding portfolio of approximately $70 million.

USM has a diverse student body of approximately 15,000 students from all 50 states and 70 foreign countries, and more than 180 undergraduate and graduate degree programs across six degree-granting colleges (Arts and Letters, Business, Education and Psychology, Health, Nursing, and Science and Technology). USM also boasts the sixth oldest public Honors College in the nation. As a dual-campus university, USM serves students on campuses in Hattiesburg and Long Beach. The Hattiesburg campus sits on 300 acres in the heart of the Pine Belt. More than 180 buildings dot a landscape that has been transformed into a pedestrian-friendly environment for students, employees and visitors. On the Gulf coast, the Gulf Park campus’ main location is in Long Beach with beachfront views sitting among historic oak trees.  The Gulf Park campus also offers several additional teaching and research sites bringing higher education to the three coastal counties of Mississippi. As the state’s designated marine research university, USM operates one of the largest coastal and ocean research enterprises in the Gulf and is poised for further growth on the coast.


With programs offered in Hattiesburg and Long Beach, the College of Nursing has provided quality educational programs for over five decades which are fully accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education. At USM, we combine innovation, diversity and inspiration to provide a rich, dynamic educational environment fostering student success. The College of Nursing administrators and faculty are visionary and committed to preparing our graduates to practice safely and compassionately. Modes of instructions for delivery of our programs include online, hybrid, traditional and executive format, meeting the needs of the students and providing accessibility for higher education. In the fall of 2016, the College of Nursing’s enrollment totaled 1,364 students which included 1,116 undergraduate and 248 graduate students with approximately 41 full-time faculty members.

The College of Nursing currently admits students to the following undergraduate and graduate programs:

  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN)
  • Veterans’ Bachelor of Science in Nursing (VBSN)
  • Master’s of Science in Nursing (MSN)
  • Nurse Practitioner Post-Graduate Certificate Programs
  • Nurse Anesthesia Program (BSN-DNP)
  • Leadership in Nursing (BSN-DNP)
  • Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)
  • Doctor of Philosophy


As the senior academic and administrative officer of the College, the Dean is responsible for all matters related to academic leadership and administration, including curriculum, budgeting, facilities, external development, faculty, staff and students. The Dean works closely with the Provost to provide strategic vision and operational leadership for all aspects of the College. The following are among the most important responsibilities of the Dean:

  • Promote an understanding, both internally and externally, of the College, its purposes, and objectives
  • An understanding of the functioning of a multi-campus university
  • Guide the College of Nursing in conjunction with the University’s strategic plan
  • Facilitate high quality, relevant, and innovative curricula
  • Provide mentorship to faculty, staff and students
  • Promote undergraduate and graduate research, scholarship, and creative activity among the faculty
  • Enhance the undergraduate research experience by promoting and supporting student-faculty research collaborations through the Drapeau Center for Undergraduate Research Center
  • Promote student learning and retention through quality recruiting, counseling, internships, advising, and placement
  • Foster new partnerships, existing relationships, and articulate a vision that generates investment and support from the community, private donors, and alumni


The successful candidate will hold a terminal research degree in nursing with academic credentials commensurate with an appointment at the rank of Full Professor. In addition, it is preferred that candidates possess the following skills and characteristics:

  • The ability to attain a license to practice nursing in Mississippi
  • At least three years of academic administrative experience working with undergraduate and graduate nursing programs
  • Experience with curriculum development and assessment, including online course delivery, engaged learning, simulation, and use of instructional technology
  • The ability to build upon strengths to help realign mission and relevance in the region
  • Experience promoting the growth of research and scholarship amongst the faculty
  • The financial acumen to aid the University in matching aspirations with finite resources to move things forward
  • Evidence of promoting diversity amongst faculty, administration, staff, and students
  • Excellent communication and interpersonal skills
  • Commitment to leading in a shared governance environment
  • A working knowledge of national trends in nursing education and higher education
  • Previous experience or familiarity with private and public fundraising


The Search Committee invites letters of nominations, applications (letter of interest, complete CV, and list of five references), or expressions of interest to be submitted to the search firm assisting The University of Southern Mississippi.  Confidential review of materials will begin immediately and continue until final candidates for the appointment are identified.  It is preferred, however that all nominations and applications be submitted prior to February 3, 2017.  Applications received after this date may be considered at the discretion of the Committee and/or hiring authority. Please send materials to the following:

Porsha Williams, Vice President
Mitchel Bonds, Associate ||
Phone:  770-804-1996 x109     Fax: 770-804-1917

As an Affirmative Action/Equal Employment Opportunity employer/Americans with Disabilities Act institution, The University of Southern Mississippi encourages minorities, women, veterans and persons with disabilities to apply.

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