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University of Iowa News Release

Jan. 12, 2006

Nursing Dean Dreher Leaving UI

Melanie C. Dreher, the Kelting Dean of the University of Iowa College of Nursing, has announced her resignation from the college after nine years to accept the deanship at Rush University College of Nursing in Chicago. Dreher's resignation will take effect May 31.

Executive Vice President and Provost Michael J. Hogan will begin immediately to consult with faculty about the formation of a committee to search for a permanent replacement.

Hogan expressed appreciation for Dreher's service to the UI and her leadership in the College of Nursing.

"Dean Dreher has served the College of Nursing with a distinction that has marked her career," Hogan said. "She has been a tireless advocate for the nursing profession, and her leadership in professional nursing education is apparent in the outstanding quality of our nursing faculty, students and graduates. The College of Nursing is one of the best nursing schools in the nation, and this is indeed a reflection of Dean Dreher's tenure. We wish her the best in her new endeavors."

Dreher came to the UI in 1997 after serving as dean of the University of Massachusetts School of Nursing, a post she had held since 1988. During her time at Iowa she has been instrumental in changing the education and credentialing of professional nurses, establishing the new Masters in Nursing and Health Care Practice degree at the UI which has become a national model for professional nursing education. Her dedication to nursing as the profession with the greatest potential to change contemporary health care and improve the health and well-being of people and communities is the motivating factor in her extensive work with the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN), where she serves as a board member-at-large. Dreher served as president (1995-1997) of Sigma Theta Tau International, the nursing honor society, and in 2001 was paid the tribute of having the "Melanie Dreher Dean's Award" named in her honor.

The latest U.S. News & World Report rankings of "Best Graduate Schools" rated the Nursing Service Administration program as the top program of its kind in the nation. The Nursing Specialties-Gerontological/Geriatric program is rated No. 2, and the Nursing Master's program is No. 8. The Nursing Specialty of Nurse Practitioner program is ranked No. 11, and the Nursing: Anesthesia program is No. 25 in the country, according to U.S. News.

In addition to her role as dean, Dreher has had a distinguished research career, examining culture as an organizing value in nursing education and practice. As a nurse and an anthropologist, Dreher has conducted extensive research on the health and welfare of children, women and working men in the Caribbean, receiving a citation from the U.S. Ambassador for her contribution to the welfare of Jamaica.

Dreher is a charter member of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Council of Public Representatives and of NIH's National Institute for Nursing Research. Currently she serves on the board of directors of Wellmark Health Plan of Iowa, Beverly Enterprises, Inc. and Trinity Health.

STORY SOURCE: University Relations, 101 Jessup Hall, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-1000.

MEDIA CONTACT: Steve Parrott,, phone 319-335-0552, cell 319-530-6972