For immediate release
April 10, 2003
After an extensive national search, Dr. Jan Noles was named Thursday as the new dean of the Abilene Intercollegiate School of Nursing. Noles, currently the director of the graduate program at the AISN, will take over the new position effective June 1.
The AISN functions within the structure of an educational consortium consisting of ACU, Hardin-Simmons University and McMurry University. The AISN is overseen by a Board of Directors that is presided over by ACU president Dr. Royce Money, who is serving a two-year term as board president.
Other members of the board include HSU president Dr. Craig Turner; new McMurry University president Dr. John Russell; Hendrick Health System chief executive officer Mike Waters; and community representative Billye Proctor Shaw.
The AISN has been without a full-time dean since April 17, 2002, when Dr. Cecelia Tiller resigned after six years on the job. The AISN Board of Trustees, led by the firm of Jon McRae and Associates Inc. of Atlanta, Ga., undertook a national search for the next director, but found its newest leader on its own faculty.
"After an extensive national search resulting in a number of highly qualified applicants, Dr. Noles stood out," Money said. "She brings great knowledge and experience to her new role, and she was the unanimous selection of the Board."
Waters was pleased to be able to hire a qualified person from within the school of nursing.
"I've known Dr. Noles for a number of years, and I have a deep respect for her ability," Waters said. "She's qualified to be the dean at this or any other nursing school, and I'm pleased that we have someone in Abilene that can do the job that needs to be done.
"We interviewed a number of outstanding candidates, any of whom could have been named the dean, but Dr. Noles really rose to the top," Waters said. "She's respected by her peers, and she knows the deep and rich history of the intercollegiate school of nursing. I'm excited that she has accepted the job, and I know she'll do an excellent job."
Noles received her B.S.N. from the University of Texas-Austin in 1975, and then her M.S.N. from Texas Woman's University in Denton in 1984. She received her F.N.P. from Texas Tech University in 1994 while serving as an assistant professor on the AISN faculty. She earned her Ph.D. from the University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio in 2001.
Noles will oversee the day-to-day operation of the school of nursing, but one of her priorities will also be her involvement in the $3 million fund-raising campaign to build a new building. The stated goals for the new construction are to increase enrollment, upgrading the education offered and image enhancement for the school.
"We're in the midst of that campaign right now, and we'll immediately enlist the assistance of Dr. Noles in both fund-raising and functional plans for the building," Waters said.
In the absence of a full-time dean, the AISN has been presided over by ACU professor of communications Dr. Carley Dodd, who has served the AISN as the Assistant Provost for Health Care Programs and Administrative Officer for AISN.
"We owe a debt of gratitude to Dr. Carley Dodd, who has done an outstanding job of leading the AISN through this transition," said ACU president Dr. Royce Money, who is serving a two-year term as the president of the board of the AISN. "He has bolstered the public image of the nursing school and assisted with technology related to instruction."
Like Money and Waters, Dodd was satisfied that the Board had made the correct choice in hiring Noles.
"Dr. Noles is a long-time community member who has developed numerous relationships in Abilene and the surrounding communities that will be a great benefit to the school," Dodd said. "She also has a great understanding of what goes into effective preparation for professional nurses. She is very good at working with people and not only mentoring and assisting them, but also challenging them in different ways."
ACU, HSU and McMurry formed the consortium to govern the school of nursing in 1981. In 1927, West Texas Baptist Sanitarium established a school of nursing for young women from Abilene and the Big Country, a school that eventually came to be known as the Mary Meek School of Nursing in 1971. The school operated independently for more than five decades, educating more than 940 nurses.
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