Lesley A. Perry, PhD, RN has been named Interim Dean of the Villanova University College of Nursing, effective immediately, as announced by Provost Patrick G. Maggitti, PhD in an email today to the University community. “I am confident that the College will continue to thrive under her watch,” he noted. Dr. Perry previously served the College as Associate Dean since 2006. Her appointment follows the death on September 1st of M. Louise Fitzpatrick, EdD, RN, FAAN, Connelly Endowed Dean. “I am extremely grateful to Dr. Perry for serving as interim Dean and expect to commence soon with a national search for a new dean,” said Dr. Maggitti.
“I am humbled by the honor of being named Interim Dean of the Villanova University College of Nursing. I want to thank our President Fr. Peter Donohue and Provost Patrick Maggitti for their support and the confidence they have placed in me,” said Dr. Perry in a statement.
“We were all greatly saddened by the death of Dean Fitzpatrick. She was such an eminent, visionary, respected and caring leader who will be tremendously missed,” she continued, “With the valued support of my colleagues across the University - and most particularly, the support and dedication of the faculty, staff, students and alumni of the College of Nursing - we are committed to honoring and advancing our legacy of excellence; distinctive programs that prepare expert nurses who are strong leaders in the profession; and substantive scholarship and research that promote health for patients, families and communities globally.”
Dr. Perry has been critical in providing leadership for the academic programs, daily operations, strategic planning, and faculty recruitment and development in the College. She was also integral in the planning and design of Driscoll Hall - the College of Nursing’s home dedicated in 2008. Dr. Perry served in a vital leadership role for the College’s 2010 reaccreditation by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education as well as applications for Center of Excellence in Nursing Education redesignations from the National League for Nursing. She has also chaired the dissertation committees for numerous doctoral students and successfully obtained grant funding for College initiatives.
Dr. Perry brought to Villanova a wealth of experience in educational administration at all levels with a career in academic settings spanning many years. She joined the College of Nursing after having served as Associate Dean for Academic Affairs at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey (now Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey) School of Nursing. She also held various leadership positions at the University of Maryland School of Nursing during her 29 years as a faculty member and administrator there, overseeing both academic and operations-related activities. Dr. Perry’s service was honored by the Maryland Association for Higher Education’s Outstanding Educator Award in the Administrative category. Her positions at the University of Maryland included Interim Dean, Associate Dean for Undergraduate Studies, Associate Dean for Administrative Services and Vice Dean of the school. Additionally, Dr. Perry previously held faculty positions at State University of New York at Buffalo School of Nursing, University of Rochester School of Nursing and Roberts Wesleyan College Division of Nursing.
Dr. Perry’s research has focused on coping in parents of children with chronic illness as well as educational outcomes of nurses returning to school. She is an education consultant and has spoken and published on education issues as well as pediatric and maternal-child health topics.
A native of East Aurora, N.Y., Dr. Perry earned her BS in Nursing from Roberts Wesleyan College, which designated her Alumna of the Year; her MS from Boston University and her PhD from University of Maryland. She is a member of the American Nurses' Association, Pennsylvania State Nurses’ Association, Sigma Theta Tau International, and Eastern Nursing Research Society.