Leadership team changes at School of Nursing

February 7, 2017 By Jennifer Garrett

The University of Wisconsin–Madison School of Nursing is implementing a new organizational and leadership structure that includes, among other changes, a new associate dean and chief of staff.

Dundee McNair joins the school as associate dean for administrative affairs, a new position created in the school-wide realignment begun by Dean Linda D. Scott following an extensive listening tour initiated upon her arrival last July.

Photo: Dundee McNair

Dundee McNair

Photo: Melanie Schmidt

Melanie Schmidt

Photo: Susan Zahner

Susan Zahner

McNair brings significant UW System experience to his role overseeing human resources, finance, facilities and information technology for the school. Prior to joining the School of Nursing administration, McNair served as the regional associate dean for administration and finance for the southwest region of the University of Wisconsin Colleges. Previously, he was the assistant dean for administrative and financial services at UW–Richland.

Other School of Nursing changes include the appointment of Melanie Schmidt as chief of staff. Schmidt will advance strategic initiatives of the school and lead outreach, community relations, communications, and diversity efforts. Before she joined the school, Schmidt amassed varied experience across the public, private and nonprofit sectors. This includes positions with Wisconsin state government, Zillman Advertising and Marketing, Alliant Energy, and her own consulting firm, Timpano Group.

The administrative realignment also refocuses the responsibilities of Susan Zahner, who is now the associate dean for faculty affairs. Zahner joined the School of Nursing in 2000 as an assistant professor and joined the administrative team as associate dean for academic affairs in 2014. In her new role, Zahner will provide leadership and guidance across the school on programs and processes to support faculty in their academic roles as educators, researchers and translators.

The school is currently recruiting the final member of the leadership team, and Scott expects to hire a new associate dean for academic affairs later this semester. That position is currently filled by Earlise Ward, an associate professor who assumed the role in an interim capacity following the retirement of Nadine Nehls early in 2016.

Scott says the new leadership structure better positions the school to prepare nurses for the workforce, support faculty as educators and scientists, leverage existing resources, and attract new revenue streams to support the work of the entire faculty and staff.

“I am excited about the composition and vast experience of our leadership team. Our new administrative structure enables us to more effectively focus on our mission of developing leaders — for the profession and society — who make discoveries, enhance systems and improve health through research, education and practice,” Scott says.

“Nurses comprise the largest segment of the health care workforce, and the demand continues to grow. The School of Nursing is committed to expanding the Wisconsin nursing workforce through our undergraduate and graduate programs. We also remain fervent in our efforts to advance nursing practice through our research enterprise, which directly impacts the health and quality of life of patients, their families and our communities.”