College Announces Administrative Changes
The College of Education and Health Professions announces that Nan Smith-Blair, associate professor of nursing, began serving July 1 as interim director of the Eleanor Mann School of Nursing at the University of Arkansas.
Former director Tom Kippenbrock, professor of nursing, returned to the nursing faculty. He served as director of the school since 2003.
Smith-Blair joined the nursing faculty in 1992. She holds a doctor of philosophy from the University of Kansas School of Nursing and has taught in higher education since 1985. She has more than 30 years of critical care nursing experience including neonatal, pediatric and adult critical care in addition to transport nursing and administrative experience.
"We will begin a search this fall for a permanent director of the nursing school," said Reed Greenwood, dean of the college. "I want to thank Dr. Kippenbrock for his leadership of the nursing school. He has brought the school forward in several ways. Two years ago, he implemented the admission of students in the spring semester rather than only in the fall semester. He also oversaw the development of a new master's degree in nursing that graduated its second class this past spring. He has been active in several diversity initiatives in the nursing school, and his work overall has enabled the college to continue to supply the state and the nation with highly qualified and caring nurses."
Greenwood also expressed appreciation to Smith-Blair for stepping into the position.
"We are grateful that Dr. Smith-Blair will serve in an interim capacity," he said. "The nursing school represents a top priority for the college, and we want to assure the university, the community and the health-care system that it will continue to be so in the future."
The college also announces that Debbie Davis is serving as interim director of the Arkansas Leadership Academy, a unit based in the college that provides leadership-building training to educators all over the state. Beverly Elliott, director since the academy's inception in 1991, retired from the university on June 30.
Davis will serve until a permanent director is found. She has been directing the academy's Master Principal Institute since leaving her post as principal of Bayyari Elementary School in Springdale. Last fall, she was named a National Distinguished Principal by the National Association of Elementary School Principals for her work at Bayyari. Davis holds a doctor of education degree from the college.
"Beverly Elliott can't be replaced, what with her dedication to the educators of this state and her belief in the changes that can be brought about with the academy's assistance," Greenwood said. "However, we are confident that, under Debbie Davis' guidance, the Arkansas Leadership Academy will continue to offer innovative and effective leadership training to teachers, principals, superintendents, school board members and other educators throughout Arkansas."