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The effort to replace outgoing School of Nursing Dean Norma Lang began on Monday as University officials announced the formation of the School of Nursing dean search committee.

University President Judith Rodin and University Provost Robert Barchi charged the 12 appointed students, faculty and staff with identifying and evaluating candidates for Lang's post.

Graduate School of Education Dean Susan Fuhrman will chair the search committee.

"We're confident that under Dean Susan Fuhrman's leadership, the committee will work diligently and thoroughly to complete its mission," Barchi said in an e-mail statement.

The group met for the first time on Tuesday with both Rodin and Barchi present. Committee member and Nursing and Sociology Professor Linda Aiken said the group decided it would try to have a list of three to five candidates for the president and the provost by Thanksgiving.

Barchi said that it was more important to find the right dean for the school than it was to adhere to a strict deadline.

"There is never a timeline set in stone for these searches; the nature of the search process is such that you need to remain flexible and responsive as new, exceptional candidates emerge," he said.

Nursing Professor Arlene Holden, a committee member, said she was pleased with the first meeting.

"We just hit the ground running," she said.

Lang submitted her resignation to Rodin in May after leading the school for eight years. She will step down in August to focus on teaching and research after 20 years of serving in various administrative capacities.

Rodin and Barchi appointed Nursing Professor Neville Strumpf as Interim Dean of the school last week. Strumpf, renowned for her achievements in gerontology, will take over the position at the end of August.

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