June 12, 2018

Sandra Davidson appointed dean, Faculty of Nursing

A message from Provost and Vice-President (Academic) Dru Marshall
Sandra Davidson has been appointed dean of the Faculty of Nursing, effective Aug. 1, 2018.

Sandra Davidson has been appointed dean of the Faculty of Nursing, effective Aug. 1, 2018.

University of Calgary

I am pleased to announce, after a broad international search, that Dr. Sandra Davidson, PhD, has been appointed dean of the Faculty of Nursing, for a renewable term of five years, effective Aug. 1, 2018. 

Davidson joins the University of Calgary from the University of Alberta, where she is currently the associate dean for undergraduate programs (ADUP) in the Faculty of Nursing. She joined the University of Alberta in 2013 and assumed her current role in mid-2016. In her role as ADUP she oversees the largest portfolio within the faculty. Davidson co-led the Curriculum Renewal Project that resulted in a  renewed curriculum which will be launched this fall.

Prior to her current appointment, she served in a variety of positions in the United States, including dean of nursing and then senior director of academic affairs for Carrington College based in Phoenix, Ariz., and as the director, Master of Healthcare Innovation program at Arizona State University. Davidson is originally from Lethbridge, and has considerable practical experience as a nurse before entering an academic career. She is well-known in each position for her entrepreneurial thought and creative innovation. 

Davidson has also served as the organizational development and clinical education specialist for Cancer Treatment Centers of America (CTCA) in Goodyear, Ariz. In this position she worked with the vice-president of patient care services and nursing staff to implement and evaluate an innovative adaptable care delivery model on the inpatient oncology unit. She has served in a wide range of academic and practice environments that span private for-profit, private not-for profit, and both large and small public universities.

Davidson obtained her PhD in Leadership Studies from Gonzaga University in 2011. She earned her Master of Science in Nursing at the same institution in 2001 and received her Bachelor of Nursing from the University of Lethbridge in 1996. Prior to that she received her Registered Nurse diploma from Lethbridge Community College in 1994.

Dr. Dianne Tapp, PhD, will be leaving her decanal position on June 30, 2018, after serving as dean for 11.5 years. Prior to her deanship, she held a number of administrative positions, including associate dean (graduate programs) and vice-dean. Her research and publications have focused on family nursing practice and education, hermeneutic inquiry, and health workforce issues. In 2012, she was awarded the Canadian Nurses’ Association Order of Merit for Nursing Administration, the highest honour for a nursing administrative leader in Canada.

During her time as dean, Tapp led a number of notable achievements for the Faculty of Nursing, such as the development and implementation of a new Bachelor of Nursing curriculum that is unique and leading edge for nursing education in Canada. Tapp also led the development of an enhanced research focus in the faculty, which included the awarding of the first Research Professorships and Research Chairs in the faculty. Tapp played a critical role in strengthening the collaboration and partnership with UC-Qatar — including the stabilization of the undergraduate program in Qatar and the development of a graduate program, along with a student and staff exchange program.

Tapp is a visionary, authentic and insightful leader who has made a terrific contribution to the University of Calgary and the nursing profession. Tapp will commence an administrative leave on July 1, 2018 and will focus on health promotion strategies for workplace wellness.

An interim dean will be appointed shortly for the month of July, prior to Tapp’s departure.

I would like to thank the members of the Advisory Decanal Search Committee, which represents a broad stakeholder group. They were: Dr. John Reynolds, PhD (vice-president research designate); Dr. Andrew Estefan, PhD (tenured academic staff representative); Dr. Kathryn King-Shier, PhD (tenured academic staff representative); Dr. Shelley Raffin Bouchal, PhD (tenured academic staff representative); Tracey Clancy (tenured academic staff representative); Dr. Nigel Caulkett, DVM (faculty associate representative); Brenda Toth (MaPS representative); Jill Norris (AUPE representative); Dr. Baljit Singh, PhD (decanal representative); Jessica Revington (SU representative); Elena Favaro (GSA representative); Dr. Nicole Culos-Reed, PhD (GFC representative); Dr. Michele Jacobsen, PhD (GFC representative), and Carlene Donnelly (community representative).

Please join me in congratulating Sandra on her new position at the University of Calgary and thanking Dianne for incredible service and leadership.

Dru Marshall
Provost and Vice-President (Academic)