Announcing the New Dean of the School of Nursing and Health Professions — Eileen Fry-Bowers PhD

Dear Colleagues,

Eileen Fry-BowersI am delighted to announce the appointment of Dr. Eileen Fry-Bowers as dean of the School of Nursing and Health Professions (SONHP) effective July 1, 2022. Eileen is a compassionate clinician, a dedicated scholar and teacher, an experienced administrator, and an innovative leader in nursing and public health with a deeply held commitment to health equity and social justice. She has extensive clinical and administrative experience in nursing and higher education and is an advocate for improving the health and well-being of vulnerable populations, especially underserved children and youth with special health care needs.

In addition to being an accomplished academic leader, Eileen is a certified pediatric nurse practitioner (CPNP), a Navy veteran, a member of the State Bar of California with experience in law and health policy, and a public policy advocate with a record of bringing together local, regional, and national stakeholders to drive change in public health. These wide-ranging professional experiences have afforded her broad knowledge and an expansive skillset to shape the future of nursing and health professions at USF.

I am very grateful for the work of the search committee, chaired by School of Education Dean Shabnam Koirala-Azad. Committee members guided the search process, met with selected candidates, provided us with an outstanding pool of candidates, and recruited Eileen to USF. Additionally, I thank the USF deans for their support, and the time and effort of faculty, staff, and librarians for their investment in this successful search process, and Hiroshi Yamaguchi for supporting the work of the search committee.

Eileen joins us from University of San Diego, where she serves as associate provost for research administration, overseeing the research enterprise at USD, including the Office of Sponsored Programs, the Institutional Review Board, and the Office of Undergraduate Research. She is a professor in USD’s Hahn School of Nursing and Health Science, with experience teaching nursing and public health at the baccalaureate, master, and doctoral levels. She is an active scholar whose current research and policy interests focus on child and family health and well-being; the effect of legislative and regulatory change on the development of health and delivery of health care; and practice, legal, and ethics issues in healthcare workforce education. She is also an experienced faculty leader, having served on the USD Senate Executive Committee, chaired the senate-provost office working group to assess the status of faculty gender equity, and served on a task force to guide compliance on the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act and provide redress for actions that harmed local and regional indigenous communities. She has been an effective advocate for faculty and students, pioneering efforts to support research productivity, mentoring students in gaining external funding and publishing their work in peer-reviewed journals, and revising USD’s intellectual property policy to recognize the licensing and intellectual property rights of university employees and students.

Eileen earned a bachelor’s degree in nursing (BSN), magna cum laude, from Loma Linda University; a master’s degree from the University of Rochester School of Nursing; and a juris doctor, summa cum laude, from Whittier Law School. She earned a PhD, with an emphasis in health services, from UCLA School of Nursing. She completed a postdoctoral fellowship at UCLA in the care of vulnerable populations research with a focus on child health policy.

In addition to more than 15 years of experience in higher education, Eileen brings decades of clinical experience across multiple health care settings, including acute care facilities, specialty and community-based clinics, and military facilities. She is a thought leader in healthcare education and public health who serves as a fellow of the American Academy of Nursing and chairs the academy’s Expert Panel on Child, Adolescent, and Family. She works on the AACN Essentials Task Force, which re-envisioned the guiding document for prelicensure and advanced nursing education. In addition, she co-founded an academic health policy institute and a regional health policy fellowship.

In Eileen’s own words, “The pandemic marks an inflection point for nursing and the health professions. We have a real opportunity to change the conversation, to move it from being about delivering health care, to being about developing health and eliminating health inequity. I am thrilled to be joining the University of San Francisco as dean of SONHP at this pivotal time.”

While the accomplishments above speak to Eileen’s vision, leadership, and ability to drive innovative solutions to health inequities, what makes her ideally suited to join the USF community is the way she goes about her work: her collaborative nature; her cross-disciplinary and cross-sector perspective; her student- and faculty-centered approach; her commitment to lifting up underserved populations and addressing inequities; and her spirit of participatory shared governance.

I am very pleased that Eileen will be joining our community at such an important time in nursing and health professions, and I look forward to partnering with her to advance an exciting era of new developments for the school. I am grateful to Dean Pearce and the SONHP Executive Leadership Team for their leadership, and for ensuring a smooth transition as Dean Fry-Bowers begins her USF role. I hope you will join me in welcoming Eileen to USF.

Chinyere Oparah
Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs