It gives me great pleasure to announce that after much careful
deliberation and consultation, Dr. Barbara Ihrke has been offered and
accepted the position of Dean for the IWU School of Nursing.
The past two years have brought great achievements for nursing education
at IWU. The faculty and staff of our nursing programs have successfully
completed their ten-year accreditation reaffirmation. They are
continuing their trajectory of growth in quality and in enrollment
numbers. And they are moving successfully through the process of
forming themselves into a united and cohesive School. Through this
time, Dr. Barbara Ihrke has served as Executive Director for the new
School, and has helped to complete an enormous amount of work in a very
short time, and she has served as a catalyst for change.
Over the past several months it has become increasingly clear that Dr.
Ihrke is the person best-prepared to lead the new IWU School of Nursing
forward. Last week I met with the faculty and staff of the School of
Nursing to ask for their input into the leadership decision. Their
responses have been overwhelmingly supportive and complimentary of Dr.
Dr. Barbara Ihrke has taught nursing at IWU since 1994. She received
her R.N. degree from St. Cloud School of Nursing and holds a Bachelor of
Science from Crown College, Master of Science from Indiana Wesleyan
University and Ph.D. from Purdue University. Her areas of expertise
include transcultural nursing, tropical health, gerontology, and nursing
informatics. She is a research consultant at Marion General Hospital and
a home health nurse. From 1980-1991 she worked in the Democratic
Republic of Congo as a missionary nurse teaching in a school of nursing
and doing primary health care projects. She spent her sabbatical in
Gabon, Africa. Dr. Ihrke has presented her transcultural research at
various national and international conferences. Research areas include
cultural competence of students and nurses as well as spiritual care
issues. Being Uncomfortable: A Transcultural Nursing Experience evolved
from her work with junior nursing students. She is published in Teaching
and Nursing: A Guide for Faculty (Billings and Halstead). Informatics
across the curriculum is an area of interest and writing.
We look forward to a special "grand opening" event for the School of
Nursing to take place later this semester at which we will install Dr.
Ihrke and the School of Nursing Chairs. This will be our chance to
publicly introduce the School to our state, the CCCU, and our own
I would particularly like to thank the search committee members who
worked with me through the search process. I also publicly thank the
faculty and staff of the School of Nursing for their vision, dedication
to IWU and the School of Nursing, and their strong support during this
critical process. It is my conviction that Dr. Ihrke is well prepared
to give leadership to our IWU School of Nursing. Please join me in
praying that she will have God's special wisdom, insight, and courage to
lead this School to the next level of excellence and outreach that God
has planned for us to achieve.
DAVID WRIGHT, PH.D.
PROVOST AND CHIEF ACADEMIC OFFICER
INDIANA WESLEYAN UNIVERSITY