March 2, 2015

Faculty for the College of Nursing at UW Oshkosh said they’re excited to work with the new, “highly qualified” Dean, Leslie Neal-Boylan, who will begin March 2.

Suzanne Marnocha, the assistant dean and the undergraduate director, said one reason Neal-Boylan was selected to become a new dean at UWO is because she is highly qualified.

“Dr. Neal-Boylan is a nurse practitioner and she’s got this very high award in the American Academy, and of course she has a Ph.D.,” Marnocha said.

Marnocha said there are nursing credentials earned in order to be called a Fellow in the American Academy of Nursing and Neal-Boylan has achieved that credential.

In addition to being a FAAN, Neal-Boylan has worked at eight colleges and universities across the United States, including Yale School of Nursing.

Neal-Boylan is certified in Rheumatology by the Association of Reproductive Health Professionals, has her Registered Nurse license and her Family Nurse Practitioner certification.

She has received 15 different awards and honors, including the Harvard Macy Scholar award, in addition to 18 publications and 41 peer-reviewed articles. 

Marnocha said Neal-Boylan is a family nurse practitioner, so she actually wants to continue being a family nurse practitioner, which is unusual for a dean.

“Usually deans are just academic and administrative, but she wants to also be a hands- on dean, delivering patient care,” Marnocha said.

According to Marnocha, Neal-Boylan is already doing her best, evident in the fact she has even come to campus to work before the start of her contract.

According to Marnocha, UWO selected Neal-Boylan because she researched all nursing programs across Wisconsin and decided what UWO offers is different.

“She had a vision for how we can move nursing forward,” Marnocha said. “She is forward thinking, and I believe that she has a very strong commitment to this program.”

Marnocha said Neal-Boylan really set herself apart because she was warm, friendly, approachable and well-spoken.

According to Marnocha, students, instructors and administrators are going to feel comfortable communicating with Neal-Boylan.

“To me, one of the keys to success in the College of Nursing, or the whole campus, is the ability to communicate,” Marnocha said.

Marnocha said Neal-Boylan is a scholar having done a lot of research, received grants, published books, written articles and spoken at national conferences.

Jayalakshmi Jambunathan, CON assistant Dean said the incoming dean is a scholar and has done research on disability in health care professionals.

“I would like to speak with her about facilitating more research in the CON faculty.”

Jambunathan said Neal-Boylan has worked in small, big, private and non-profit organizations in a variety of places on the East Coast, and can bring a wealth and breadth of knowledge and perspective.

 “I’m very excited for her leadership and knowledge in increasing scholarly productivity, and how she can move the college forward,” Jambunathan said. 

Jambunathan said one way she can move UWO forward is by helping faculty secure external grants, which will bring revenue to the CON and the campus.

“I’m really looking forward to her leadership in steering the college forward,” Jambunathan said.

Judith Westphal is the director of the graduate program at UWO who oversees the graduate studies within the CON.

Westphal served on the search committee to find a new Dean for the CON.

“I think she will bring perspective,” Westphal said.  “She has experience in other schools of nursing, and she will bring that to the UW Oshkosh CON.”

Westphal said Neal-Boylan will challenge their thinking, get them to look at new programs and services, evaluate their existing ones and determine what’s best for Oshkosh.

“I’m very excited to work with her and assist her in any way possible to transition successfully into the CON and to the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh, and into the Oshkosh community,” Westphal said.