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A Message from the Dean

March 16, 2016

This month the College has made big moves! I can officially say that all faculty, staff and operations for the College of Nursing and Health Professions are consolidated into Three Parkway. On February 22, a move that was nearly five years in the making was completed as the final 75 administrators and staff settled onto the 10th Floor. Life on the Parkway should be busier than ever as we enter a period when enrollment demand for the programs in CNHP and the services of our clinicians and researchers will increase over the next 10 years.

With this transition comes yet another, but this one on a more personal level. This academic year (2015-16) will be the last year of my deanship of the College of Nursing and Health Professions. Though I will be stepping out of the deanship, I am not retiring and will continue teaching and doing projects, particularly those that strengthen the University’s online endeavors. Reflecting on my time as dean, I am filled with pride to have led the largest and one of the most successful Colleges at Drexel University and beyond, and to have had the pleasure of doing so alongside such wonderful colleagues.

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.” 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, officially became a part of Drexel University. Many faculty who are here today lived through that period, which was perhaps the most terrifying of my career, and I am grateful for their effort, support, collegiality and most particularly, for their good humor. It was truly a team effort.

So look at the College now, nearly 5,000 students, more than 50 % of the Drexel’s online enrollment and more than 20% of Drexel’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.

Thanks to all – students, alumni, faculty and staff alike – for being part of a journey paved with so many twists, turns, milestones and highlights.

I look forward to working with you as a colleague in my faculty role.


Gloria F. Donnelly, PhD, RN, FAAN, FCPP

Dean and Professor