UND Restructures College of Nursing and Professional Disciplines Administration; Continues Focus on Meeting Health Care Needs


Peter Johnson

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News Article

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Campus Unit

College of Nursing & Professional Disciplines


The University of North Dakota today announced administrative changes within the College of Nursing and Professional Disciplines, designed to continue and grow the College's ability to deliver well-trained professionals who can help meet North Dakota's health care needs.

Effective immediately, Dr. Steve Light, Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs at UND, will assume the role of Interim Administrative Dean for the College, responsible for all the College's operations. Dr. Light will supervise the faculty and staff, oversee curriculum and strategic planning, and guide the College's alumni and external relations efforts.

Dr. Denise Korniewicz, current Dean of the College, has been offered the opportunity to work within the Provost's office and the Research Division as Dean of Research within the University. It is anticipated that during this one-year appointment, Dr. Korniewicz will help coordinate and develop research opportunities at the University, will be available to oversee and mentor grant writing activities, and will be available as a research mentor for faculty members.

These changes stem from the ongoing conversations of the Provost's Office with the faculty and staff about how best to move the College forward.

Noted UND President Robert Kelley, "UND is committed to the College of Nursing and Professional Disciplines and its mission. We are providing well-trained nurses and other professionals who can help meet the health care needs of North Dakota. These changes will enable us to build on the foundation of this program to meet those needs even more effectively."

He added, "We are grateful to the faculty and staff of the College of Nursing and Professional Disciplines for all their past contributions, and for the important role they will continue to play in this effort and through programs like the Recruitment and Retention of American Indians into Nursing (RAIN)."

Provost and Academic Vice President Thomas DiLorenzo, who announced the changes, said he is grateful for Dr. Korniewicz's contributions, and also noted the importance of the Dean of Research position. He said, "This change will enable us to continue and strengthen our commitment to research within the College and across the University. An increased focus on research will advance knowledge and enhance the quality of our program and students. We have tremendous confidence in Dr. Light's ability to lead the College. In the months to come, we will work very closely with the College of Nursing and Professional Disciplines to implement this new structure."

Dr. Steve Light

Steve Andrew Light currently holds the positions of Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs (VPAA), Professor of Political Science and Public Administration, and Co-Director of the Institute for the Study of Tribal Gaming Law and Policy at UND.

Light provides strategic leadership to enrich teaching and learning and promote faculty and student success. His portfolio focuses on academic mission and vision and developing, implementing, and coordinating high-impact academic initiatives stemming from the university's Exceptional UND strategic vision. Light coordinates undergraduate program evaluations, co-chairs the University's Diversity Advisory Council and Enrollment Management Planning Committee, and serves on the Executive Committee for UND's Higher Learning Commission regional accreditation efforts. He serves on the VPAA Academic Cabinet, provides oversight to the Essential Studies and Honors Programs, and works closely with the Director of Assessment and Regional Accreditation and the Offices of Instructional Development, the Registrar, and International Programs.

Light is recognized widely as a leading expert on Indian gaming, federal Indian law and policy, and tribal-state-federal intergovernmental relations. His 50 publications include three books on tribal gaming, the first of which, Indian Gaming and Tribal Sovereignty: The Casino Compromise, was featured on C-SPAN2's Book TV. He has testified before the U.S. Senate Committee on Indian Affairs and is a regular commentator in such media as the New York Times, Boston Globe, and NPR. He and regular collaborator Kathryn R.L. Rand (dean, UND School of Law) have delivered invited lectures at numerous institutions, including American University, Boston University, and the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, and blog on tribal gaming at Indian Gaming Now.

Light also teaches American government, constitutional law, race politics, and the senior capstone in political science. Among other honors, he received UND's highest annual award for overall faculty excellence and was the 2010 nominee for CASE/Carnegie U.S. Professor of the Year. His publications on higher education include teaching about race and affirmative action, incorporating American Indian tribes into the curriculum, Historically Black Institutions, and capstone design and assessment of student learning.

Before coming to UND, Light served as a Civil Rights Analyst in the Voting Section of the U.S. Department of Justice's Civil Rights Division, where he enforced the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Drawing on those experiences, his latest book is "The Law is Good": The Voting Rights Act, Redistricting, and Black Regime Politics (2010).

Dr. Denise Korniewicz

Denise Korniewicz joined UND as professor and dean of the College of Nursing and Professional Disciplines on Aug. 1, 2011. She came to UND from the University of Miami School of Nursing and Health Studies M. Christine Schwartz Center for Nursing Education, where she had served as Senior Associate Dean for Research.

After earning nursing degrees at Madonna University (BS), Texas Woman's University (MS), and the Catholic University of America (PhD), Korniewicz did postdoctoral work in infection diseases at the Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing. She gained experience in the management of critical care patients as an emergency room charge nurse before undertaking an academic career that included professorships at the University of Maryland Schools of Nursing & Medicine (Professor, Basic Science & Research), Georgetown University schools of nursing & medicine (Associate Dean for Academics & Development) and the Johns Hopkins School of Nursing (Director of Adult Health). She holds many honors including membership in the American Association of Clinical Engineering and is a Fellow in the American Academy of Nursing.

Her clinical specialties include infection control/emerging infections, critical care, surgery/trauma, operating room and primary care areas for teaching.

Her research interests include infectious disease, emerging infections, and patient safety.

About the College of Nursing and Professional Discipline

The College of Nursing and Professional Disciplines strives to enhance the health of people in the region by preparing leaders in nursing, nutrition, dietetics, and social work through innovative, accessible programs, and significant faculty and student scholarship and service. In support of this mission, the College emphasizes an integration of teaching, research, practice and service to meet the needs of the populations of our region. Graduate and undergraduate students receive their education in a caring and culturally inclusive environment and are expected to develop critical thinking and intellectual inquiry skills. It is also the focus of the College to nurture the leadership and professional qualities among its students and faculty.

The UND College of Nursing and Professional Disciplines offers both undergraduate and graduate programs of study in nursing, programs in Social Work, and undergraduate programs in dietetics and community nutrition.

The master's program, leading to a Master of Science (M.S.) degree with a major in nursing, boasts six tracks: psychiatric/mental health, family nurse practitioner, advanced public health nurse, nurse anesthesia, nursing education, and adult gerontological. The master's program is targeted to prepare clinical nurse specialists, nurse practitioners, nurse educators, and nurse administrators. The focus of the masters nursing program is based on scientific knowledge of nursing practice and education through research. The College also offers a PhD program to prepare nurses for roles as nurse scientists and faculty.