PNW Dean, College of Nursing

Updated: about 6 hours ago
Location: Hammond, INDIANA

Dean, College of Nursing

Purdue University Northwest (PNW) invites nominations and applications for a collaborative, enterprising, and visionary leader in nursing education who will serve as the next Dean for the College of Nursing (CON). The Dean will provide innovative, equity-focused, and creative leadership to establish and fulfill a new vision and direction for the College that propels it into the next decade by further building upon its established reputation, programmatic strengths, and dedication to improving the quality of life for individuals, families, and communities. Working with faculty, staff, students, donors, alumni, and college leaders, the Dean will actively lead the College’s academic, research, human resources, and clinical activities; maintain accreditation standards; and foster growth in scholarship.

This is an exceptional opportunity for an innovative and imaginative leader with experience in change management, program expansion, and partnership building. For information regarding how to apply, submit nominations or inquire about the role, please see the “Nomination and Application Process” section at the end of this document.

About Purdue University Northwest

Purdue University Northwest (PNW) is a premier metropolitan university dedicated to empowering transformational change in our students and in our community. Located in Northwest Indiana, near Chicago and the Indiana Dunes National Park, we value academic excellence, support growth, and celebrate diversity.

PNW serves approximately 8,800 students, with more than 70 areas of study at the baccalaureate, master’s and applied doctoral levels. Academic programming is organized under six colleges that have operations on two campuses:

  • College of Business
  • College of Engineering and Sciences
  • College of Humanities, Education, and Social Sciences
  • College of Nursing
  • College of Technology
  • Honors College

The university is consistently ranked among the best regional universities in U.S. News & World Report’s annual Best Colleges report. Our nursing, engineering, computer science, and cybersecurity programs are among those earning national recognitions. PNW also is recognized for social mobility among Midwest regional universities. As a member of the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletics Conference, the PNW Pride compete in NCAA Division II, with more than 300 student-athletes excelling both in the classroom and in competition.  Purdue Northwest is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC); 10-year accreditation was recently approved.


Purdue University Northwest transforms students’ lives and our metropolitan region through a diverse campus committed to innovative education, applied research, and community engagement.


As a premier metropolitan university, Purdue University Northwest (PNW) will power intellectual, cultural, and economic development in northwest Indiana and the greater Chicago metropolitan area, enriching the surrounding community through collaborative partnerships that leverage the university’s expertise to improve people’s lives.

PNW will continue to focus on preparing students to be effective, ethical, and innovative leaders in their careers and communities through enhanced academic programming and integrative, experiential learning.

PNW will support a diverse, talented faculty as they tailor their research and teaching to address the needs of a changing economy and workforce.

PNW’s vibrant student experience, robust campus resources, and engaged alumni community will enhance students’ abilities to form lasting connections with each other and the university.

Core Values

  • Diversity, Equity, Inclusion
  • Innovation
  • Excellence
  • Community



Thomas Keon has been the leader of PNW since its inception in 2016 after serving as Chancellor of Purdue University Calumet.

Prior to coming to Purdue Calumet, Dr. Keon spent 14 years as Dean of the College of Business Administration at the University of Central Florida (1997-2011), where he was responsible for all personnel, including 150 full-time faculty members, budgets up to $31 million, 9,100 students and academic programs at the baccalaureate, masters and doctoral levels at a university of more than 55,000 students.

During his 35+-year career in higher education, he has been Dean of the College of Business and Administration at Southern Illinois University (1995-97), Associate Dean of the College of Business at Florida Atlantic University (1990-94), Associate Dean of the College of Business and Public Administration at the University of Missouri in Columbia (1989-90), Director of Graduate Studies in the School of Business at the University of Missouri (1988-90), and Chair of the University of Missouri’s Department of Management (1988-89). Additionally, he has taught at the University of Notre Dame, Michigan State University, and Southern Vermont College.

Dr. Keon holds a baccalaureate degree in accounting from Bentley University, a master’s degree in education from Suffolk University, an MBA from Babson College, and a Ph.D. in management from Michigan State University.


Kenneth C. Holford is the Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs. He provides leadership Purdue Northwest’s six colleges, and the academic programs they offer, as well as grant and research programs, student success and retention efforts, faculty development, institutional effectiveness, and data strategy.

Prior to being named the Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs in May of 2020, Dr. Holford served as the Dean of the College of Engineering and Sciences after the formation of PNW in 2016. He was also Dean of the College of Sciences and Chair of the Department of Biology and Chemistry for Purdue University North Central.

Dr. Holford earned a Ph.D. in biology from Illinois State University, a master’s degree in zoology from Southern Illinois University at Carbondale, and a baccalaureate degree in biology from Augustana College.

College of Nursing

Accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN) CON offers the following programs of study.

Undergraduate Majors

Nursing: Online RNBSN Completion Program

Nursing (BSN-Professional)

Nursing: Accelerated Bachelor’s Second Degree (BSN)

Graduate Programs

Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)

Nursing: Nurse Educator (MSN-Online)

Nursing: Nurse Executive (MSN-Online)

Nursing: Family Nurse Practitioner (MSN)

Adult-Gerontology Clinical Nurse Specialist (MSN)

Nurse Educator (Post-Master’s Certificate)

Family Nurse Practitioner (Post-Master’s Certificate)

Adult-Gerontology Clinical Nurse Specialist (Post-Master’s Certificate)

Prelicensure programs are also accredited by the Indiana State Board of Nursing.

The Role of the Dean of the College of Nursing

As the chief academic officer of the College, the Dean of Nursing reports directly to the Provost and Vice Chancellor of Academic Affairs and is responsible for the overall strategic direction of the College of Nursing (CON). The Dean provides strategic academic leadership for the college and is responsible for enhancing its core missions of learning, discovery, and engagement. The successful candidate will understand the opportunities and challenges facing public universities in the current higher education landscape and possess the skills, leadership, and vision to advance the college in this complex environment. The Dean will engage in strategic planning and establishing a vision for the college that strengthens the College’s dedication to improving the quality of life for individuals, families, and communities.

Reporting to the Dean are the Director of Online Programs, the Director of the NWI Area Health Education Center, two associate deans, and an administrative assistant. The Dean also works in concert with dedicated staff in Institutional Advancement to further the college’s culture of philanthropy.

The Dean will oversee approximately 1,600 graduate and undergraduate students enrolled in the College, with more than 136 full-time and part-time faculty and staff, and manage a budget of approximately $14.7 million annually. During FY22, PNW moved to an incentive-based budget model that will afford an innovative and entrepreneurial leader the ability to make significant change in the College.

The Dean will be actively engaged in program development, curricular enhancement, budget planning, resource development, and assessment of student learning.

Opportunities and Challenges

The priorities for the next Dean include, but are not limited to:

  • Advance student success and student engagement: The new Dean will ensure the College is focused on student success in all dimensions – academic, personal, and career. This includes cultivating a sense of belonging on the traditionally commuter-oriented campuses and creating a robust network of support for students. PNW is home to an exciting array of students – traditionally-aged learners, first-generation college matriculants, under-represented populations, veterans, and transfer students. The Dean will determine student support needs and allocate appropriate resources to promote strong student outcomes.
  • Enhance curricular innovation and scholarly activity within the College: The Dean will provide vision and leadership for educational innovation and will foster an environment of the highest expectations in teaching, service, and research. The Dean will encourage an intellectual climate which features mentoring and developmental opportunities that will both attract and retain excellent faculty members. The Dean will play a key role in guiding and identifying resources for the further development of faculty, both individually and as a community.
  • Promote access, diversity and excellence: PNW serves a racially, economically, ethnically, and culturally diverse community of students and scholars. The Dean will promote a climate that is welcoming and inclusive and one in which all individuals experience being a valued member of the community.
  • Engage in resource generation: PNW benefits from the state’s strong financial position and excellent stewardship of resources. State appropriations stand at 43 percent of the institution’s current budget. Nevertheless, it is essential that CON acquire new resources to continue to attract the strongest students and faculty, develop and support programs and research initiatives, and be prepared to meet future challenges. The new Dean will be fully involved in fundraising initiatives, engaging with individuals, corporations, foundations, and other potential partners in philanthropy. Moreover, the successful candidate will work closely with faculty to envision new academic programs or modes of delivery that will draw additional enrollments to CON.


The successful candidate should possess an earned doctorate in a discipline appropriate to the college as well as academic credentials and scholarly achievement that merit the rank of Professor with tenure in a discipline represented within the College of Nursing. The Dean will bring to the role a record of teaching and scholarly achievement reflective of PNW’s own standards of excellence, coupled with integrity and vision.

In addition, the ideal candidate will be:

  • A person of proven academic leadership who will provide vision and inspire and motivate others;
  • An inclusive leader committed to promoting diversity among faculty, staff, and students;
  • A committed teacher-scholar with a deep understanding of and respect for the college’s commitment to shared governance;
  • A mentor with experience enhancing research and scholarly productivity among faculty;
  • A partnership builder, experienced working with external stakeholders, which may have included alumni, donors, industry, government, and community partners;
  • An eloquent advocate for nursing who will be able to articulate the strengths of the programs;
  • A strategically minded individual who will provide leadership on policy and procedure development for the college;
  • An entrepreneurial and fair-minded fiscal leader who will aid the college in matching aspirations with finite resources while thinking creatively about growth opportunities;
  • An evidence-driven planner with experience in quantitative analysis, assessment and outcomes measurements, as well as accreditation efforts; and
  • A trustworthy individual with a strong moral compass.

Nomination and Application Process

All applications, nominations, and inquiries are invited. Applications should include, as separate documents: a letter of interest addressing the themes in this profile and a CV or resume. Purdue University Northwest is committed to advancing diversity in all areas of faculty effort, including learning, discovery, and engagement. Candidates should address at least one of these areas in their cover letter, indicating their experiences, current interests or activities, and/or future goals to promote a climate that values diversity and inclusion.

For fullest consideration, candidate materials should be received preferably by Friday, September 2, 2022. Application materials should be submitted to Nominations and inquiries can be directed to Debra Grant or Michelle Flemming at

Purdue University is an EEO/AA employer fully committed to achieving a diverse workforce. All individuals, including minorities, women, individuals with disabilities, and protected veterans are encouraged to apply.

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