Published December 3, 2021
Dear University Community:
Dean Marsha L. Lewis has informed us of her plans to retire from the University at Buffalo at the end of this academic year. An excellent dean and university leader, Dean Lewis has significantly advanced UB’s research, education and engagement missions. She will leave the school well positioned to continue building upon its strength and reputation. A search for the next dean of the School of Nursing will commence in the spring semester.
In her decade of leadership at UB, Dean Lewis championed creating a culture that exemplifies the school’s values of accountability, respect and excellence, and promotes collaboration, diversity and inclusion. She created and implemented strategic plans focused on improving health and quality of life through collaborative, interdisciplinary research and scholarship; delivering excellent nursing education programs including advancing clinical simulation, telehealth and interprofessional education; and expanding community partnerships and collaborations. During Dean Lewis’ tenure, the school’s US News and World Report rankings have significantly improved—including earning top ten rankings for the online RN to BS and Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist programs in the most recent rankings. As a result of these successes, the school has seen significant enrollment growth in several of its programs.
Dean Lewis has been committed to building the school’s national and international reputation for research from discovery to translation that improves healthcare delivery, outcomes and equity. She increased administrative support for faculty scholarship through the Center for Nursing Research and focused on recruiting faculty with excellent research portfolios. During her time as dean, national recognition of faculty has grown, research proposals have steadily increased, and the school has more than doubled its research expenditures.
Recognizing that nursing is an increasingly global profession, Dean Lewis has focused on internationalizing the school, providing students with a global perspective and unique learning opportunities that empower them to address complex health challenges. Under her leadership, the school has offered a variety of opportunities to provide health care and medical screenings to underserved populations around the world, including Haiti, Ghana, Senegal, Belize, the Philippines, refugee camps in Greece, and rural areas of the United States.
Dean Lewis has built many partnerships within UB and the local healthcare community to expand clinical opportunities for students and increase the school’s impact through community-based research and education. Under her leadership, the school has received grants from the Health Resources and Services Administration to expand clinical sites for students, improve nursing services to Native American and other underserved populations, and enhance its curriculum. In addition, the school has expanded its dedicated education units, an innovative clinical education model designed for nursing students to gain one-on-one learning experiences in acute care and community-based settings. Building on the school’s national leadership in interprofessional education (IPE), during Dean Lewis’ tenure, the school has been a critical partner in establishing an excellent IPE program for UB’s Academic Health Center that prepares UB students across the health sciences to be collaborative-practice ready.
Under Dean Lewis’ leadership, and in partnership with Greater Buffalo United Ministries and Millennium Collaborative Care, the school joined the Million Hearts initiative in 2016, which aims to combat heart disease and stroke, especially within communities of color. In addition, in partnership with UB’s health sciences schools and community organizations, the school is working to eliminate health disparities among communities of color through the African American Health Equity Task Force and UB’s Community Health Equity Research Institute.
A fellow of the American Academy of Nursing and internationally recognized scholar and leader in academic nursing, Dean Lewis is a specialist in psychiatric-mental health and nursing education, with expertise in curriculum and instructional systems. She is the developer of the Savvy Caregiver training program for caregivers of people with dementia, which was heralded as one of the nation’s top evidence-based programs for caregivers by the U.S. Administration on Aging.
For more information, please see the UB Now story.
Colleagues, please join us in thanking Dean Lewis for her dedicated leadership and service and in wishing her all the best as she concludes her tenure as dean of the School of Nursing.
A. Scott Weber
Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs
Michael E. Cain, M.D.
Vice President for Health Sciences and Dean of the Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences