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Dr. Kristen Abbott-Anderson named dean of UW-Eau Claire's College of Nursing and Health Sciences

| Gary Johnson

Photo caption: UW-Eau Claire will welcome a new dean of the College of Nursing and Health Sciences on Jan. 3, 2023. (Photo by Shane Opatz)

Dr. Kristen Abbott-Anderson will become the new dean of the College of Nursing and Health Sciences at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire on Jan. 3, 2023.

Abbott-Anderson is director of the Glen Taylor Nursing Institute for Family and Society and a professor in the College of Allied Health and Nursing at Minnesota State University, Mankato. She has been at the university since 2014.

“Dr. Abbott-Anderson is passionate and committed to the nursing profession, and brings with her decades of experience as a registered nurse, researcher and educator,” says Dr. Patricia Kleine, UW-Eau Claire provost and vice chancellor for academic affairs. “Dr. Abbott-Anderson’s collaborative leadership style will help shape the future of the College of Nursing and Health Sciences as we train compassionate caregivers to support the needs of the communities they will serve.”

Dr. Kristen Abbott-Anderson

Dr. Kristen Abbott-Anderson

Abbott-Anderson will replace Dean Emerita Dr. Linda Young, who retired in June after more than a decade of leadership at UW-Eau Claire.

Interim Dean Dr. Sonja Meiers, who is the Jane W. and James E. Moore nursing research professor in the College of Nursing and Health Sciences, says she looks forward to welcoming Abbott-Anderson to UW-Eau Claire and “supporting her as she advances the legacy of excellence in Blugold nursing.”

“Dr. Abbott-Anderson’s relationship-building strengths will guide the college in building its vision for the future of nursing education, service to our communities and advancement of nursing science,” says Meiers, who has served as interim dean since January.

Abbott-Anderson practiced as a registered nurse for 25 years before returning to school to earn her master’s degree and Ph.D. from the UW-Madison School of Nursing.

The new dean is excited to begin her work in the College of Nursing and Health Sciences.

“In the conversations I’ve had with faculty, administration and staff, I consistently heard of the commitment to students; students come first,” Abbott-Anderson says. “This is a belief that resonates with my own view that students are our priority — and was a significant factor in drawing me to UW-Eau Claire. A key to this is building genuine and caring relationships, something for which I find great passion.”

Abbott-Anderson called this a “landmark time” for the College of Nursing and Health Sciences where she sees great potential for growth.

“As with any opportunity for growth, we may encounter some challenges, and I am honored to partner with the faculty on this journey,” Abbott-Anderson says. “I believe that in establishing strong relationships within the college, the university as a whole and in our community, all will flourish. This fits well with the college mission and vision statements where boundaries are challenged, and bridges are built to enhance the health of our communities.”

UW-Eau Claire’s College of Nursing and Health Sciences educates nurses at the baccalaureate, master’s and doctoral levels. The traditional pre-licensure undergraduate program is taught at both the main campus in Eau Claire and at the distance education site on the Marshfield campus.