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OSU names nominee for nursing dean, wellness officer position

President E. Gordon Gee and Provost Joseph A. Alutto announced the nomination of Bernadette M. Melnyk as Dean for the College of Nursing and Associate Vice President for Health Promotion and Chief Wellness Officer.

Melnyk is currently the Dean of Arizona State University’s College of Nursing and Health innovation. Melnyk holds a doctorate in clinical nursing research and a post-master’s certification as a psychiatric/mental health nurse practitioner from the University of Rochester, a master’s degree in nursing from the University of Pittsburgh and a bachelor’s degree in nursing from West Virginia University.

“Dr. Melnyk is a widely recognized expert in evidence-based practice, intervention research and child and adolescent mental health,” Alutto wrote in an April 29 statement.

Before taking her role at ASU, Melnyk began her career in academia in 1992 as a faculty member at the University of Rochester. She later became the associate dean for research and the director of the Center for Research & Evidenced-Based Practice and Pediatric Nurse Practitioner Program in the School of Nursing at Rochester.

Melnyk will replace Elizabeth Lenz, who is finishing her second five-year term as the dean of nursing. Lenz will return to her role as a faculty member in the doctoral nursing program at OSU when her term ends in September.

“Please join me in thanking Betty Lenz for her outstanding leadership as dean of the College of Nursing for the past 10 years,” Alutto said in his statement.

Melnyk will be OSU’s first chief wellness officer. Alutto said she will be the first to hold such a position at any university.

Alutto said the creation of this position “sends a strong signal about Ohio State’s commitment and proactive approach to ensuring a healthy workforce and student body.”

Melnyk’s appointment will need to be approved by the OSU Board of Trustees and will come with a hefty price tag.

Melnyk’s starting salary will be $395,000 a year, OSU spokesman Jim Lynch said. Her predecessor made about $240,600 in 2010, according to collegiatetimes.com.

Melnyk could not be reached for comment.

The board will vote on last week’s nomination at its next meeting in late June. Assuming Melnyk wins board approval, her term will begin on Sept. 15.


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