USF Health appoints new dean for College of Nursing

Usha Menon, interim dean for the College, is appointed to the permanent position.
Usha Menon was appointed as dean for the College of Nursing. (Photo courtesy USF Health).
Usha Menon was appointed as dean for the College of Nursing. (Photo courtesy USF Health). [ (Photo courtesy USF Health). ]
Published Nov. 24, 2020

The University of South Florida announced Tuesday that Usha Menon would serve as dean for its College of Nursing and senior associate vice president of USF Health.

Menon, who served as interim dean for the college since February, joined USF Health in 2018 as vice dean of research for the college. She has previously served as associate dean of research and global innovation at the University of Arizona-Tucson’s College of Nursing and vice dean of the Ohio State College of Nursing. She was also co-principal investigator of an National Institutes of Health-funded program designed to speed up health research and medical breakthroughs by creating a one million person detailed clinical database.

Menon, a fellow in the American Academy of Nursing, a recipient of the National Institutes of Health National Research Service Award and an inductee of the Sigma Theta Tau International Nurse Researcher Hall of Fame, has won about $60 million in research awards and contributed 80 peer-reviewed publications and 150 presentations.

Her research interests include optimizing cancer screening regimens and reducing racial disparities in health outcomes.

Menon will serve as the sixth dean of the college of 230 faculty and staff, 234 volunteer faculty and more than 2,000 nursing students.

Donna J. Petersen, dean of the USF Health College of Public Health, senior associate vice president of USF Health and chair of the search committee for the position, said in a news release that Menon’s energy was “inspiring” through the COVID-19 crisis .

“Recruited to the College as the associate dean for research, we knew of her accomplishments as a scholar and her passion for nursing science,” she said. “We were not as aware of her extensive experience in clinical practice, in teaching at all levels, in nursing faculty practice and in global work. We were impressed by her enthusiasm and her vision for the future, completely undaunted by current events.”

Dr. Charles Lockwood, senior vice president for USF Health and dean of the USF Health Morsani College of Medicine, said in the release that Menon’s experiences will serve her as a statewide leader in nursing.

“She will be a powerful advocate for interprofessional and evidence-based approaches to nursing across the state,” he said. “I have great confidence in her leadership and continuing desire to advance USF Health’s pursuit of excellence in education, research and patient care.”

Menon said she hopes to see the college become a Top 20 nursing school.

“I came to USF to follow my research dreams and I have fallen in love with this college and community,” she said in the release. “This is such a pivotal time to be a nurse and now more than ever we need to ensure that we are preparing nurses for the frontlines and beyond.”