Sue K. Donaldson, dean of the School of Nursing for seven years, announced last week she will step down at the end of the academic year to return to research and teaching.
"This follows a plan carefully laid out at the time of my appointment to transition back to my scientific career when specific goals for the evolution and growth of the school were achieved," Donaldson said.
"It has been a privilege and an honor to serve as the dean of the School of Nursing and as part of the administration of The Johns Hopkins University," Donaldson said. "The most significant measures of the School of Nursing's quality are the caliber of the students and the achievements of its graduates. They are, by any standard, the finest in the world, and their excellence continues the legacy of Hopkins Nursing."
Since 1994, Donaldson has created the infrastructure needed to support the developing research program of the faculty at Nursing, a relatively young school founded in 1983. She implemented the school's first doctoral programs--offering the Ph.D. and Doctor of Nursing Science degrees--and established joint academic programs with other Johns Hopkins divisions.
She led the school to a record-breaking $32 million finish in the recently completed Johns Hopkins Initiative fund-raising campaign. She guided the construction and occupation in 1998 of the Anne M. Pinkard Building, the school's first stand-alone headquarters. In collaboration with The Johns Hopkins Hospital, she founded the Institute for Johns Hopkins Nursing.
"Sue has presided over the continued spectacular growth and maturation of a school that is now ranked among the top five graduate schools of nursing in the country," said William R. Brody, president of the university. "In undergraduate, master's and, most recently, doctoral education; in research; and in clinical care and service to the community, the School of Nursing under Sue has flourished and is making outstanding contributions."
Donaldson, whose doctorate is in physiology and biophysics, said she plans to teach this summer, take a sabbatical beginning Sept. 1 to launch her return to scholarly work and rejoin the faculty a year later.
"Being a part of Hopkins during these years has been an exhilarating and personally gratifying experience, and I am honored to be a part of Hopkins history," she said.
Brody said he would appoint an interim dean by July 1 to guide the school during a national search for a successor to Donaldson.