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Associate Dean for Research and Global Affairs at the University of Michigan School of Nursing Antonia Villarruel will be the next dean of Penn’s School of Nursing.

Villarruel’s appointment is effective July 1, 2014, according to a press release from Penn President Amy Gutmann and Provost Vincent Price. She is a current professor and the Nola J. Pender Collegiate Chair at the University of Michigan.

The announcement of the Nursing School’s new dean concludes the first of four dean searches at Penn this year. Consultative committees are also helping Gutmann and Price conduct searches for new deans of the Graduate School of Education, the Wharton School and the School of Social Policy & Practice.

The University will also need to replace Penn Law School Dean Michael Fitts , who will officially become president of Tulane University on July 1.

The current dean of the Nursing School, Afaf Meleis , was appointed in 2002. During her time as dean , Meleis has focused on the integration of nursing practice and nursing education, nursing’s influence on public health policy and the connection of the Nursing School with global and international partners, including the United Nations.

The undergraduate curriculum of the Nursing School was revised in 2011 to integrate theory, practice and technology to prepare graduates for leadership roles worldwide, and the Nursing School building was renovated and renamed after Dr. Claire M. Fagin. Meleis also oversaw the creation of the new departments of Biobehavioral Health Sciences and Family and Community Health, a new office for Practice and Community Affairs and new research centers.

This article has been updated to reflect that the consultative committees will make recommendations to President Gutmann and Provost Price in the dean search process.

Check back for updates.

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