FORT WAYNE, Ind. -- Deborah Garrison has been selected to serve as the inaugural vice chancellor and dean of Indiana University Fort Wayne. Her appointment is effective July 1, 2022, subject to formal approval by the IU Board of Trustees at its April meeting.
Garrison currently serves as the interim dean of the Patricia H. Garman School of Nursing at D'Youville University in Buffalo, New York. In this role Garrison was tasked with establishing a new leadership structure to foster growth and success, which included launching a curriculum redesign for the Bachelor of Science in nursing degree, implementing an accelerated BSN program, and focusing on diversity, equity and inclusion among faculty.
She takes on responsibilities held by Dr. Fen-Lei Chang, IU Fort Wayne Executive Committee Chair, and Ann Obergfell, IUFW Associate Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs and Operations, both of whom have served in those positions since 2018.
"After visiting IU Fort Wayne several times since arriving at IU, I quickly recognized the importance this campus plays in the education of today's healthcare professionals and providers," IU President Pamela Whitten said. "Deborah Garrison brings the leadership and vision to continue to strengthen IU Fort Wayne’s vital role as a leader in health education in Indiana."
Prior to her current role at D'Youville University, Garrison served as provost and senior vice chancellor for academic affairs, interim president, and vice president of academic affairs at Methodist College, a private health professions college in Peoria, Illinois. In those roles, Garrison worked with a robust shared governance system to support the curriculum design of new programs, provided leadership for effective in-person, blended and online learning opportunities, developed strong interprofessional partnerships across the college and higher education communities, and guided the college through a leadership transition.
"Dr. Garrison's deep experience as an academic leader in the health sciences will be a great benefit to IU Fort Wayne," IUPUI Interim Chancellor Andrew R. Klein said. "We greatly look forward to all that she will contribute not only to the campus but also to the Fort Wayne community through the strategic vision, service, and relationship building she will bring to her role as the first vice chancellor and dean."
IU Fort Wayne is a regional education center under the administration of IUPUI, hosting six academic schools, including the Schools of Dentistry, Nursing, Social Work, Health and Human Sciences, Medicine and the Richard M Fairbanks School of Public Health. Garrison will report to the IUPUI chancellor.
"I am honored and deeply appreciative of the trust placed in me by President Pam Whitten, Interim Chancellor Andy Klein, and the search committee," Garrison said. "During my campus visit, I was impressed with the deep commitment of partners across the campus and in the community to foster excellence and live the mission of IU Fort Wayne. I am eager to begin our collective work as we continue to educate exceptional health and human service professionals while expanding our presence in the community and the region."
Garrison has a bachelor's degree and master's degree in nursing and a Ph.D. in health studies from Texas Woman's University. She is licensed to practice as a registered nurse in Illinois and New York.