Montana State University

Melland named dean of MSU's College of Nursing

May 19, 2009 -- MSU News Service

Helen Melland.   High-Res Available

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Tel: (406) 994-4571
Helen Melland, a veteran administrator from the University of North Dakota with a nursing background, has been named dean of the College of Nursing at Montana State University.

"I look forward to leading this already impressive program as we continue to provide an excellent education for both undergraduate and graduate students, and also continue to strengthen the research mission of the college," said Melland, who most recently has been serving as interim dean at the University of North Dakota's College of Nursing.

Melland has worked at the University of North Dakota since 1989. She has extensive administrative experience, including two appointments at that institution's College of Nursing as interim dean and another as associate dean of undergraduate studies. She also served for 12 years as a department chair in UND's College of Nursing. Prior to her association with the University of North Dakota, Melland was an assistant professor, associate professor, and department chair at Jamestown College, a liberal arts college.

Melland earned a doctorate in higher education administration from the University of Minnesota in 1992, and a master's in nursing, with specialties in primary care of adults and nursing education, from the University of Portland in 1980. Her bachelor's degree in nursing is from Pacific Lutheran University.

Melland said she is enthusiastic about getting to know a variety of people associated with the college.

"Initially, I'm probably most excited about getting to know the faculty, staff, administrators, and students of the school," Melland said. "I want to hear from them what their visions and plans are for the College of Nursing, and then also share some of my thoughts."

Melland also plans to seek input from other stakeholders.

"I am looking forward to meeting with leaders in the community and state who already support the mission of the college to discuss ways we can partner to enhance the education of students," she said. "This partnering with others in the health care arena is essential, I believe, as we all face a challenging economy and work force issues so prevalent in a rural state like Montana."

In the longer term, Melland's goals include increasing enrollment and resources.

"I would like to explore ways that we can increase enrollment through perhaps offering a second degree entry program as well as to continue to increase the resources of the school to support faculty research and teaching and also student scholarships," Melland said.

She's also personally excited to move to the Bozeman area.

"I've spent a fair amount of time in the Gallatin Valley and enjoy the beauty and opportunities for outdoor activities the area has to offer," she said.

An added attraction is that Melland's two married daughters, two grandsons, and sister live in Bozeman. Her older daughter, Betsy Asserson, is a psychologist at MSU's Counseling and Psychological Services and also has a private practice. Melland's younger daughter, Katie Lowe, is a pediatrician in Bozeman.

Melland's "background, experience, and leadership ability make her extremely qualified to lead our College of Nursing," said MSU Provost David Dooley. "She has the enthusiastic support of the college and the university."

Melland replaces Elizabeth Nichols, who is retiring.

College of Nursing, (406) 994-3783;