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Two Women Return to UVA as Deans

Dr. Marianne Baernholdt will become dean of the University of Virginia’s School of Nursing, effective Aug. 1. And Dr. Stephanie Johnson Rowley became dean of UVA’s School of Education and Human Development on Jul. 1.Dr. Stephanie Johnson RowleyDr. Stephanie Johnson Rowley

Baernholdt had been on the UVA nursing school faculty from 2005-2014, and this appointment marks her return. She said the COVID-19 pandemic made it clear how difficult working conditions were for health care workers.

“We really have to think about how we deliver learning these days, and we can’t just go back to how it was,” Baernholdt said. “We have to learn from what happened during COVID-19, keep what went well but keep being innovative to a much higher degree than we have before in education.”

Baernholdt will also be responsible for UVA Health System nursing staff.

“Being in the School of Nursing, the focus will very much be on the nurses, and the shortage that we have is going to be catastrophic,” Baernholdt said. “We already have nurses leaving or quitting and us not being able to educate enough nurses. We shouldn’t just keep adding nurses; we have to improve and figure out why are they leaving and how can we make it better?”

Rowley, a UVA alumna, also made her return to UVA per her appointment. She wants to prepare future teachers to focus on equity and innovation and continue holistic support for students.

“There are so many issues facing teachers, and I want to make sure that teachers who are going into the workforce are really well-prepared,” Rowley said. “Nationwide, there’s a struggle to make sure that teachers are getting the best educational preparation to deal with the issues around basic academics and civic education and the nation’s schools that are highly racially and economically segregated.”

Rowley was a tenured professor of psychology and education at Columbia University’s Teachers College, where she was also provost, dean, and vice president for academic affairs.

Rowley holds a master’s degree and a doctorate in developmental psychology from UVA.


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