Duquesne searches for new Nursing dean; Zungolo to retire after 10 years as School of Nursing dean

(DuquesneNews.com) Duquesne has interviewed three potential outside candidates to replace School of Nursing Dean Eileen Zungolo, who will retire at the end of the academic year.

After 10 years as dean and 50 years as a nurse Zungolo will retire, she said, because it “is the right time.” Zungolo informed the University of her decision last spring so the nursing school could appropriately prepare for her departure and find a replacement.

Duquesne Provost Ralph Pearson said the School of Nursing dean search committee, led by Dean of the Rangos School of Heath Science Greg Frazer, has recommended three candidates, all of whom are unaffiliated with Duquesne.

“We’re looking for someone who is as aware of the changing health care environment as Dean Zungolo was,” Pearson said. “We want someone who will develop programs that will respond to that change.”

Pearson said those changes include further collaboration between universities and health care providers, which he said Zungolo was “excellent” at facilitating.

“Dean Zungolo has been a very effective dean. The whole health care area has changed, and she has been very much on top of the changes,” Pearson said. “I can’t imagine anyone who could’ve done a more effective job.”

During Zungolo’s tenure, the undergraduate nursing program has grown from 250 students during her first year in 2002 to 700 students this year. Zungolo said the increase in students should be attributed to the school’s programs and professors.

“The whole faculty has been great and great to work with,” Zungolo said. “They are very much committed to the University’s mission, and that played a part in attracting our students.”

When she decided to take the deanship in 2002, Zungolo expected to be at Duquesne for five years, but decided to stay on after 2007 because she “recognized the potential in the school.”

“I was eager to do some new things,” she said. “We introduced the community-based undergraduate program, and we established annual goals which were successful.”

Before coming to Duquesne, Zungolo served as the School of Nursing dean at Northeastern University.

Zungolo said she knew last year that this would be her final year at Duquesne because she “would be tired by Thursday.” But she said she will miss working with students.

“The student body at Duquesne University is delightful, and the University as a whole is delightful,” Zungolo said. “My own values are very compatible with those of the University, so it has been a great fit for the past 10 years.”