Dean of the School of Nursing


Pacific Lutheran University (PLU) seeks a visionary, compassionate, creative, and collaborative leader to serve as its next Dean of the School of Nursing (SoN). PLU’s nursing programs are widely regarded in the Seattle-Tacoma region, throughout the Pacific Northwest, and beyond, as high-quality programs that produce leaders in the nursing profession who make a difference in the lives of their patients, the profession, and their communities. The next Dean of the School of Nursing has the opportunity to build upon this excellent reputation and further enhance the impact of the School of Nursing by continuing to foster academic excellence, focusing on holistic nursing and healthcare, expanding programs and partnerships across the University, ensuring the success of new programs, and strengthening a sense of community and pride within the School and as a part of the University.  The next Dean will contribute to PLU’s aspirations to expand the reputation of the university and its nursing programs to health care more broadly making it the choice for those seeking careers in healthcare. 


Pacific Lutheran University is located six miles south of Tacoma, in suburban Parkland, Washington, on a 156-acre woodland campus. PLU offers approximately 2,700 students a unique blend of academically rigorous liberal arts and professional programs, based in the tradition of Lutheran higher education, which seeks to provide access and education to all students. Students develop skills in critical and creative thinking, decision making, analysis, communication, and reasoning that prepare them for a lifetime of success – both in their careers and in service to others.

The School of Nursing recognizes that the spiritual, physical, mental, and social health of people is of universal concern and provides nursing education that relies on a strong underpinning in the liberal arts. The nursing faculty and staff are committed to excellence in academic programs, clinical preparation, and scholarly pursuits. Their broad expertise has resulted in the School of Nursing being held up as a flagship program of the University, maintaining an exemplary reputation internally and across the healthcare community in Washington State. Through its clinical and outreach programs, the School of Nursing is closely connected to the Tacoma area and surrounding community. According to a 2021 Washington State Hospital Association survey, hospitals alone needed to hire 6,100 nurses to meet staffing needs, and that figure grows when including other healthcare providers. PLU has expanded its offerings, including with the opening of a new campus in recent years, and so is an integral part of addressing the nursing shortage, but there is still more work to be done. 

This is an exciting time to join Pacific Lutheran University. President Allan Belton assumed that role in 2019 after four years in other senior administrative roles, and he and Provost Joanna Gregson have been working to better position the university to meet the needs of the region and beyond. The university has recently reorganized into 4 colleges with the goals of recognizing the academic strengths and specialized work performed by each of the colleges and improving administrative efficiency. The Dean of the School of Nursing will be a visionary and inspiring educator who is academically accomplished, with a strong background in administration who can help achieve the university’s ambitions. The candidate will be a person of the highest integrity with a collaborative leadership style, superior communication skills, and the ability to work with senior leaders, faculty, staff, alumni, and external agencies to achieve the goals that align with PLU’s strategic vision and academic mission.


Reporting to the Dean of the College of Health Professions and building upon the existing strengths of the School of Nursing, the new Dean will:

  • Further strengthen the School of Nursing’s position as the premier nursing school in the region
  • Sustain the PLU community of care, building on the University’s emphasis on diversity, sustainability, wellness, and faculty development
  • Create a vision and plan for the School’s continued growth
  • Ensure the financial health and future of the School of Nursing through external partnerships, fundraising, and resource management
  • Ensure better consistency across nursing programs and create alignment in administrative systems and processes


The anticipated salary range for this position is $190-230k annually and is commensurate with related experience and qualifications. Relocation assistance is available. PLU offers an excellent benefits package including tuition remission for employees and their dependents, generous retirement plan, medical, dental, paid vacation and sick leave, and many other great university benefits. PLU is a qualifying employer under the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program as a 501©(3) tax-exempt organization.


Pacific Lutheran University has retained Isaacson, Miller, a national executive search firm, to assist in this search. Screening of complete applications will begin immediately and continue until the completion of the search process/until the position is filled. For more details, including the full position profile and to submit inquiries, nominations, referrals, and applications, please see the Isaacson, Miller website for the search: Electronic submission of materials is required.


Julie Filizetti, Brian Burbank, and Katie Pusecker Kilcawley

Isaacson, Miller

1000 Sansome Street, Suite 300

San Francisco, CA  94111

Phone: 415.655.4900



Pacific Lutheran University is an equal opportunity employer and welcomes applications from members of historically underrepresented and minoritized groups, veterans, persons with disabilities, and others who would bring broadly diverse perspectives, experiences, and backgrounds in educational, research, or other work activities.