Wisconsin educator to lead college toward Vision 2020 goals
Since 2009, Block has been chair of the Professional Program in Nursing and director of BSN-LINC, an online RN-to-BSN program at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay. She joined UW-GB in 2001 as an associate professor and, from 2009 to 2011, served as interim dean of the College of Professional and Graduate Studies.
‚ÄúI‚Äôm very excited. It‚Äôs a great opportunity, personally and professionally. I love NIU‚Äôs array of programs, and there are many opportunities for growth and inter-professional collaboration. NIU has strong faculty and staff and a wonderful student body,‚ÄĚ Block said.
‚ÄúMy goals are excellence in the educational programs, graduates who get good jobs in their fields and contribute to society, strong relationships with stakeholders such as community agencies, corporations and alumni and contributions to the knowledge base of health and human science.‚ÄĚ
NIU leaders expect Block will broaden the college‚Äôs online course offerings while she maintains and forges strong and constructive partnerships within the professional community.
‚ÄúNIU is thrilled to welcome Derryl Block to our administrative ranks, and we have high expectations that she will guide our College of Health and Human Sciences toward new heights. She is an outstanding educator and forward-thinking administrator with a deep and impressive resume in the health care field,‚ÄĚ NIU President John G. Peters said.
‚ÄúI would also like to extend NIU‚Äôs thanks and appreciation to Mary Pritchard for her talent, commitment and skilled stewardship of the college during this interim period. We are grateful for her willingness to step up and her exemplary service.‚ÄĚ
The College of Health and Human Science at NIU promotes health and well-being through scholarship that integrates teaching, research and service.
Virtually all graduates from the health and human sciences programs are employed before or shortly after graduation. The pass rate for graduates in areas requiring licensure and/or certification has consistently been at or above the national mean.
The college also offers several graduate programs, including doctoral degrees in audiology and physical therapy.
‚ÄúHealth and human sciences are certainly a growing area, and given our aging population, we can anticipate increasing need,‚ÄĚ Block said. ‚ÄúGrowing the online offerings of the college will extend educational opportunities to people beyond the walls of the campus.‚ÄĚ
NIU Provost Ray Alden said Block‚Äôs experience in Wisconsin, which includes oversight of programs outside health care such as business, education and social work, as well as graduate programs including environmental science and policy, will provide a good match with NIU‚Äôs diversity of degree paths.
Block‚Äôs time as interim dean also meant responsibility for the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay Institute for Research, Institute for Learning Partnership and the Northeast Wisconsin Partnership for Children and Families.
‚ÄúHer background fits well with the direction of new and exciting opportunities in health and human sciences,‚ÄĚ he said.
‚ÄúShe has had leadership in a number of different disciplines ‚Äď nursing, the health sciences, public health ‚Äď but she also served as interim dean of professional programs, which allowed her to work with a curriculum in business and various other professional endeavors,‚ÄĚ he added. ‚ÄúThat has obviously prepared her to interact more easily with other deans on dean‚Äôs council. We see her as being a natural partner.‚ÄĚ
Among the goals of President Peters‚Äô Vision 2020 Initiative is to ‚Äúdevelop 12 to 25 additional online certificate and degree programs (for a total of 49 programs) that are prioritized to meet the highest levels of student demand; and establish a continuing, adequately funded infrastructure to create and support more market‚Äźdriven, online programs.‚ÄĚ
‚ÄúDr. Block has been an innovator in online degree completion programs, which is clearly a direction we will be going as a university,‚ÄĚ Alden said. ‚ÄúShe is very enthusiastic, energetic and innovative in that pursuit.‚ÄĚ
Courting partners from the NIU service region is equally crucial, Alden added, and some of the college‚Äôs disciplines in hospitality, consumer sciences and family counseling are perfectly suited for such collaborations.
‚ÄúThe opportunities for engagement in our rapidly changing health care arena, both in terms of policy and practice and in the potential partners in the region, are numerous,‚ÄĚ he said. ‚ÄúAs I told all the candidates, the challenge is the opportunity. There is so much that can be done. We can do it, and do it well.‚ÄĚ
Block earned a bachelor‚Äôs degree in nursing from University of Maryland School of Nursing, a master‚Äôs of public health from Johns Hopkins and both a master‚Äôs and doctorate in nursing from the University of Pennsylvania.
Her scholarship includes nursing and public health workforce development, planning and evaluation of public health programs and policies and distance education. She was a Robert Wood Johnson Executive Nurse Fellow from 2003 to 2006.