Azita Emami: New Dean of University of Washington’s School of Nursing

Since September of 2008, Azita Emami has served as dean of Seattle University’s College of Nursing. However, effective July 1, 2013, she will assume the position of professor and dean of the University of Washington’s School of Nursing.

Although the president and provost of the college have both officially appointed Emami, final appointment is contingent upon the University of Washington Board of Regents’ approval. When approved, Emami will hold the Endowed Deanship in Nursing of Robert G. and Jean A. Reid.

Furthermore, she will be joining the number one ranked nursing school in the nation. For almost thirty years, from 1984 through 2011, U.S. News and World Report has consistently ranked the UW School of Nursing as the nation’s number one nursing school.

While it sounds like Emami will be stepping into the ideal dean’s job – a prestigious endowment, number one ranked nursing school, annual salary of $320,000. Even so, Emami may have to deal with many of the problems the former dean hastily left behind after submitting her resignation amidst internal discord throughout all departments of the nursing school.

The former dean left three months earlier than intended. The primary reason for the discord was deep budget cuts compounded by a lack of leadership and almost non-existent communication at all levels. Amazingly, even amongst considerable strife, the school managed to retain its number one spot with U.S. News and World Report.

Emami’s impressive experience, however, may be just what the UW School of Nursing needs to pick up the its low morale, assuage its internal strife, give the faculty and staff a definitively shared purpose going forward, thereby restoring the eroded trust between the dean and faculty. According to consultant report completed last summer that was highly critical of several areas, the nursing school was plagued by all of the above-mentioned problems.

Emami is no stranger to challenges. While dean at Seattle University, she put in place and carried out a five-year strategic plan and reorganized the school’s goals in order to highlight the school’s excellence in combining teaching with clinical practice and research along with an engagement program that has far-reaching global goals.

As dean at Seattle University, she increased the school’s course offerings and also instituted a nurse midwifery specialty degree as well as a doctorate degree in nursing practice. Lastly, the college recently started several exciting new online hybrid courses.

Emami also brings with her an international perspective. Her varied experience over a seven-year period at Karolinska Institutet of Stockholm, Sweden, included an endowed professorship in elder care research.

Additionally, while teaching at Karolinska she performed the duties of senior lecturer and assumed the responsibilities associated with various research, leadership, and administrative positions. Karolinska continues to retain Emami as a doctoral candidate supervisor and senior researcher.

Emami holds several nursing degrees from the Karolinska Institutet: bachelor’s in nursing; master’s in international health care; nursing education with teaching certification; doctorate in medical sciences.

For further information about this appointment, Bob Roseth has an article here

If you’re interested in learning more about the University of Washington’s School of Nursing, this short and informative video has lots of great information.

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