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New dean at UA’s College of Nursing

Citizen Staff Writer



The University of Arizona College of Nursing has hired a new dean after a nine-month, nationwide search.

UA announced Thursday that Joan Shaver, dean of the College of Nursing at the University of Illinois at Chicago, will take over in July.

She will be paid $285,000 a year.

Shaver will replace Carolyn Murdaugh, the nursing college’s associate dean for research, who has served as interim dean since June 2008.

The nursing dean position was the only high-level search at UA left open following a hiring freeze instituted last fall as part of a university reorganization aimed at increasing UA’s educational and research strength amid budget cuts.

Contacted at her UIC office, Shaver said she’s looking forward to starting work.

“It’s very exciting, because I’ve known for a long time UA to be a school with a terrific foundation upon which to build,” Shaver said.

“They have a very strong educational base, but they’re a research university and I hope to build more strength with respect to the research program.”

Shaver was a junior faculty member at UA’s College of Nursing for a year in the mid-1970s, and said she’s also looking forward to getting back to the West after more than a decade in Illinois.

While dean at UIC’s College of Nursing, Shaver brought the college to the No. 3 ranking in the nation, according to Philip Malan, vice dean for academic affairs at UA’s College of Medicine.

“I think recruiting Dr. Shaver will bring a lot of attention to the UA College of Nursing because she’s very well known because of her work in Chicago,” Malan said.

Prior to joining UIC in 1996, Shaver was at the University of Washington School of Nursing, where she was the co-director of the Center for Women’s Health Research from 1985 to 1996. She was also chairwoman and professor of the department of physiological nursing.

Shaver’s research focuses on women’s health and sleep science, particularly in women with conditions that disproportionately affect females, including fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome.

She has a doctorate in physiology and biophysics and a master’s in nursing from the University of Washington, and a bachelor’s degree from the University of Alberta in Edmonton, Alberta.

Malan said UA used a search firm to locate qualified applicants.

The search resulted in about 20 applicants, he said, eight of whom were interviewed. Two became finalists – Shaver and Kristen Swanson, who is a department head at the University of Washington-Seattle School of Nursing.

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