Perspectives from an Interim Dean of Nursing

Dr. Judith Lewis
Interim Dean, College of Nursing
Xavier University (Cincinnati, Ohio)



[Editor’s Note: This article is one of a five-part series presented in this Special Issue, which offers perspectives from Registry interims serving amidst the ongoing pandemic.]


The major impact of the pandemic on my placement was that we were supposed to begin searching for the new dean starting in the Fall semester. We were on track. We were able to get the new organizational structure planned and approved, as well as the new bylaws and start plan. The plan was to launch the permanent search in August, and for the new Dean to then start in June. That did not happen, so now I am extended until summer 2021 so that we have time to do the search next year.

The Coronavirus has had an impact on our students, too. It was a hope that we would have full access to clinical sites in Spring 2021, but that does not look likely. Students have had to go into quarantine due to exposure to virus, either directly or indirectly. We have alternated cohorts so that half of the class is remote, half is in person. Those cohorts will switch so that students have equal time in person. We have had to stagger labs so that we can maintain social distancing standards while students are seeking to develop their skills.

I must keep reminding people that I am interim. Prior to this assignment, I have never served in an interim position before. So, I wondered how people would accept an interim. They treat me as if I am part of the organization. It has been that way from the beginning. So, at no time have I felt like an outsider.


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