As we approach the end of the official academic year, I reflect upon this being a “Year of Changes” starting with our move to the McNichols Campus, the inauguration of our new President, the dedication of our new facility, and the final move into the new building in late December. Feedback from students, faculty, and alumni has been very positive. We are distinctly noticed on this campus with bringing more than 1000 students! The Open House to welcome our alumni and other friends occurred during Homecoming, with the University pre-game party in the Maureen A. Fay, O.P. Welcome Center in our building, and tours of our building by students and alumni. There was a great deal of excitement about the new facility and the strong integration of our traditions and heritage onto this campus.
It has been a time of change with multiple accreditation visits for the programs in our College. As I noted earlier, our Physician Assistant Program received full re-accreditation status last fall for another 7 years. The McAuley School of Nursing had two successful site visits with the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission in February and the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education in April. The site visitors’ reports with go to the respective Board of Commissioners with a decision and notification in late summer/early fall. We also had a re-accreditation site visit for our Nurse Anesthesia program in early May from the Council on Accreditation of Nurse Anesthesia Educational Programs. Although a great deal of work in undergoing accreditation site visits, we have been pleased with the affirmation of the quality of our clinical programs. Our students have been actively involved in these visits and given extremely positive feedback to the evaluators regarding the quality of their education here at the University of Detroit Mercy.
It has been a time of celebration this year also. We recognized five outstanding alumni for their leadership and excellence in their respective fields: Jeanette Wrona Klemczek ’65, Nursing; Cindy Pavlovich ’00, Health Services Administration; Frank Nysowy ’82, Physician Assistant; Elaine Wynter’95, Nurse Anesthesia; and Cynthia Ann Rutkowski’72, Dietetics – Allied Health. We also have recognized the generosity of our health system partners and several foundations for their investment in our building and the future education of health professions students who will serve our community. We are appreciative of the investment of Providence Hospital with the naming of one of the Practice Laboratories, Henry Ford Health System with the naming of the Anatomy Laboratory, Trinity Health with the naming of the Distance Learning Seminar Room, Beaumont Hospital, the James and Lynelle Holden Fund for the Alumni Board Room, and Medline Industries for one of the private examination rooms. We are still actively finishing our campaign for the building and naming opportunities for the remaining rooms within the building.
Looking forward to the next academic year shows very promising student enrollments. Our classes for the Physician Assistant and Nurse Anesthesia programs are already determined, with a record number of applications this year. Our undergraduate nursing enrollments are very strong with record numbers of applicants and incoming freshman and transfer students. We anticipate a strong incoming class, both in Detroit and Grand Rapids. Our second-degree option program will be starting a new class of over 50 students this May, and our graduate nursing and undergraduate/graduate health services administration applicants also look promising for the next year. We will be starting several new BSN completion cohorts in the metropolitan Detroit area as well as in Grand Rapids this upcoming fall. All of the changes and growth we have been undergoing speaks well to the commitment of our faculty, staff and administrators in the College to ensure and deliver a cutting-edge health profession education that will serve our community long into the future.
Dean, College of Health Professions
McAuley School of Nursing