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A Message From Dean Gloria Donnelly

June 28, 2016

Effective June 30, 2016, I am stepping out of the deanship of the College of Nursing and Health Professions to return to teaching and projects that strengthen the University’s online endeavors.  My tenure as Dean has been both challenging and rewarding.

In 1996, I left La Salle University to lead a new School of Nursing at Allegheny University of the Health Sciences. By 1998, Allegheny was in bankruptcy, and we all feared for the worse, that the University would “liquidate.”  In bankruptcy talk, that means the end of it all and in fact I was asked to write a liquidation plan that we never had to implement.  Drexel University took the risk and stepped to the plate to manage the four MCP Hahnemann University Schools: Health Professions; Medicine; Nursing; and Public Health in 1998, with an eye to merger once finances stabilized.  In 2002, our new College, created through a merger of Nursing and Health Professions with 1,390 students, officially became a part of Drexel University. 

The years 1998 to 2002 were perhaps the most terrifying of my career but a time during which I learned so much about academic administration, particularly finance, cross school negotiation and being nimble.  In partnership with a dedicated and entrepreneurial faculty we strengthened existing programs, created new undergraduate and graduate programs in person and online, built a network of practices and grew the College’s research portfolio.  It was truly a team effort.

We have served and graduated nearly 10,000 students since our merger into Drexel and we are now Drexel’s largest College with more than 1,000 new students confirmed for Fall 2016 when the College will reach nearly 5,000 students, more than 50 % of Drexel’s online enrollment and more than 20% of the University’s graduate enrollment. The College and its programs have been highly ranked, enrollment has remained robust, our research portfolio is growing and we may be the most civically engaged College in the University through the work of the Stephen and Sandra Sheller 11th Street Family Health Services, Parkway Health and Wellness, the Center for Family Intervention Science and our practices in Nutrition and Physical Therapy, collectively serving thousands of patients and families each year.  

The students and alumni of the College have always been its greatest strength and asset.  I am so grateful for having served as Dean of the College of Nursing and Health Professions and look forward to increased interaction with students and alumni as I return to the faculty role. 

Have a wonderful summer!

Gloria F. Donnelly, Ph.D., RN, FAAN, FCPP
Dean and Professor