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Connelly Endowed Dean of the M. Louise Fitzpatrick College of Nursing: Dr. Donna Sullivan Havens

June 4, 2018

Dear Members of the Villanova Community,

Provost Maggitti and I are pleased to share that after a national search of highly qualified and impressive candidates, Donna Sullivan Havens, PhD, RN, FAAN, has been named the Connelly Endowed Dean of the M. Louise Fitzpatrick College of Nursing, effective June 30.

Dr. Havens comes to Villanova with more than 20 years of national and international experience in nursing practice, academia, administration and research. Most recently, she served as a visiting international scholar at the School of Nursing, Midwifery and Social Work at the University of Queensland in Brisbane, Australia. Her international experience also includes appointments as the Frances S. Bloomberg International Distinguished Visiting Professor at the University of Toronto Lawrence S. Bloomberg Faculty of Nursing and as a visiting professor in the National Nursing Research Unit at the King’s College Florence Nightingale School of Nursing, Midwifery and Palliative Care in London.

Throughout her career, Dr. Havens has served in a number of leadership roles, including associate dean for Research and the Eberly Endowed Professor of Research at the Pennsylvania State University College of Nursing, and interim dean, division chair and professor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Nursing. As interim dean at UNC, Dr. Havens initiated new academic programs and enhanced student enrollment, retention and clinical placements.

Dr. Havens is committed to advancing the field of nursing through research and engagement with nurse leaders, practicing nurses and health care organizations. She has served as the principal investigator in various federally funded studies to improve the quality of nursing practice and patient care. She also oversaw several initiatives to translate research findings and improve patient care in hospitals, including in emergency rooms in rural areas. Notably, Dr. Havens is responsible for the development of the groundbreaking Decisional Involvement Scale (DIS) used in the US and abroad by hundreds of hospitals, hospital systems, researchers and consultants to enhance clinical nurse involvement in decisions about nursing practice and patient care.

Her research work has been honored by the American Organization of Nurse Executives with the National Nurse Researcher Award and by Villanova’s Fitzpatrick College of Nursing with its Medallion for Distinguished Contributions in Nursing Research. Dr. Havens also was inducted into the Sigma Theta Tau International Nurse Researcher Hall of Fame.

Dr. Havens completed her postdoctoral study at the University of Pennsylvania in the Center for Health Outcomes and Policy Research, and she earned her PhD at the University of Maryland, her MSN at Villanova University and her BSN at Cedar Crest College. She is a fellow in the American Academy of Nursing, has held various leadership roles in nursing organizations and has served as a board member at a number of prestigious councils, foundations, hospitals and community organizations.

I also would like to take this opportunity to express my sincere gratitude to Lesley A. Perry, PhD, RN, who served as interim dean this past academic year. Dr. Perry’s leadership was invaluable during the transition. Her dedication to the students, faculty and staff is unparalleled, and I am very appreciative for everything she has done for the College and the University. Lastly, I would like to thank the entire search committee—faculty, students, administrators and alumni—for their efforts to identify the right candidate to lead the Fitzpatrick College of Nursing.

I invite you to join me and Provost Maggitti for a reception today, June 4, at 3 p.m. in the Driscoll Hall lobby to welcome Dr. Havens, a Villanova alumna, back to our community. I know that summer schedules mean that it will not be possible for everyone to attend, but I hope that many of you will join us for this exciting moment for Villanova and the Fitzpatrick College of Nursing.