Loyola’s Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing will welcome a new dean ahead of the 2019-2020 school year, university officials said.
Lorna Finnegan will become dean in July 2019 after working as the executive associate dean and an associate professor of health systems science at the University of Illinois Chicago (UIC) College of Nursing, according to a Thursday press release.
Finnegan will take over for Dean Vicki Keough, who will return to a faculty position in Niehoff, the press release said. Keough previously announced she would be transitioning out of her role as dean in December 2017 but stayed in the position while the university searched for a successor, according to university communications.
“After 16 years as a leader within the School of Nursing I am excited to pass the baton to the next dean and return to my love of teaching nurses,” Keough said in a statement to The Phoenix. “I have been a nurse for 43 years and can think of no greater way to wrap up my career than to return to the classroom to prepare the next generation of nurses, nurse scholars and nurse leaders.”
Keough served as Associate Dean for Graduate Studies from 2003 until she became the school’s dean in 2009.
The leadership transition was announced to the Loyola community through an email sent on behalf of Loyola President Jo Ann Rooney and Interim Provost Margaret Faut Callahan.
“Dr. Finnegan’s impressive background as a dedicated nurse practitioner, scholar, and an accomplished higher education administrator will be an asset to the Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing, its faculty, and students,” Callahan said in the press release. “Her commitment to Loyola’s mission of preparing students to treat the human body and spirit will help us realize our goals of scholarly excellence, service, and advancing high-impact research.”
Callahan declined to comment further.
According to the press release, Finnegan has helped expand access to primary care and minimize health disparities. She’s worked on grants, served as a visiting scholar in countries such as Thailand and South Korea and published research throughout the world in addition to her practice as a nurse.
Finnegan previously served as a founding director of the Family Nurse Practitioner Program at Saint Xavier University School of Nursing in Chicago. While at UIC, Finnegan’s work included leading strategic planning, providing faculty and staff mentorship and achieving enrollment goals.
“I’m thrilled to be joining Loyola’s Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing,” Finnegan said in the press release. “I’m excited to work with Niehoff’s remarkable faculty and staff to advance its mission of preparing students to improve the health outcomes of people and communities locally and globally.”
Finnegan declined to comment further.