The longest serving dean in the history of University of Florida College of Nursing has announced her plans to retire from the post.
According to the university website Kathleen Ann Long has told college faculty and staff that she will leave at the end of the 2012-2013 academic year. Long,65, who has served as dean since 1995, also will vacate her position as UF associate provost, a role she has filled for the past five years.
Long said the college recently received its major national accreditation, so the time seemed right to retire. She said she plans to spend more time with family, including a young grandson, and travelling, reports Gainesville.com.
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"I'm looking forward to having a little more breathing space to do those things," she said.
Long's 18 years as dean will be the longest in the college's history. She came to the university after serving as dean at Montana State University and holding academic positions at The Johns Hopkins University, the University of Maryland, Oregon Health and Science University and Husson University in Bangor, Maine.
During her tenure, Long expanded programs for advanced nursing degrees. They include a program allowing students to more quickly seek a Ph.D. in nursing, an effort aimed at addressing a national shortage of nursing faculty.
Long served from 2002 to 2004 as president of the American Association of Colleges of Nursing. Her work as an associate provost has focused on faculty development programs such as sabbaticals and faculty enhancement opportunity awards. Also, when university considered eliminating its nursing bachelor's program in 2009, she played a key role in convincing the university to drop the idea. She is hopeful that the plan won't be taken up again.
Her departure comes at a time of turnover in UF's administration. UF's president is retiring and its colleges of health and human performance and veterinary medicine also will be looking for new leaders in the next year.
Details on a search for her successor have not been announced as yet.