School of Nursing Announces New Associate Dean for Academic Affairs

July 1, 2017 — The University of Wisconsin–Madison School of Nursing welcomes new Associate Dean for Academic Affairs Dr. Danny G. (Dan) Willis, DNS, RN, PMHCNS-BC, FAAN. Willis assumed leadership of all graduate and undergraduate programs on July 1.

Before joining UW–Madison, Willis was the department chair at Boston College’s Connell School of Nursing, where he oversaw 54 full-time faculty members. Willis is an award-winning teacher and scholar who has published extensively on men’s mental health and also brings 25 years of clinical practice experience in psychiatric mental health. Willis looks forward to the opportunity to influence the academic preparation of future nurses.

“UW–Madison has a strong tradition of academic excellence and I look forward to working collaboratively with the faculty and staff at the School of Nursing to champion evidence-based clinical care, scholarship, and research as integral components in preparing nurse leaders at all levels of professional education,” Willis says.

Willis is the final component of the administrative leadership team that Dean Linda D. Scott, PhD, RN, NEA-BC, FAAN, reconfigured soon after her arrival last summer. He joins Associate Dean for Research and Sponsored Programs Barbara Bowers, PhD, RN, FAAN; Associate Dean for Faculty Affairs Susan Zahner, DrPH, RN, FAAN; Associate Dean for Administrative Affairs Dundee McNair, EdS; and Chief of Staff Melanie Schmidt, MSOD.

“The School of Nursing is committed to preparing leaders at every stage of nursing education and practice,” says Dean Scott. “I am confident that Dr. Willis will bring his vast clinical and research expertise to benefit our undergraduate and graduate academic programs. His leadership will keep us at the forefront of nursing education in Wisconsin as we prepare nurses for their roles in a complex and ever-evolving healthcare system.”

The School of Nursing offers a competitive traditional residential upper-division undergraduate program as well as an online RN-to-BSN completion program, a doctor of nursing practice program, a PhD program, and several post-graduate certificates. Next summer the school will launch an accelerated BSN program for students who have already earned a degree in a different discipline.

With graduates working in clinical and public health practice settings in every Wisconsin county, the School of Nursing is a vital pipeline to the state’s healthcare workforce.