Continuing the Momentum of Success


“There will be no standing still.”

With those words, Georgia Southern University students, employees, alumni and supporters were introduced to Jean E. Bartels, Ph.D., RN, as interim president at Georgia Southern University in July 2015. In accepting the appointment from University System of Georgia (USG) Chancellor Hank Huckaby and the Board of Regents, Bartels said, “I have a strong allegiance and dedication to this University and will be proud to continue with the momentum of success we are experiencing at Georgia Southern.

Bartels is the first woman to serve as the president of Georgia Southern. She previously served as provost and vice president for academic affairs. Bartels first joined Georgia Southern in 1999 as the chair and professor of the School of Nursing, eventually serving as the dean of the College of Health and Human Sciences.

A career of service to others

SPRING16continuing-the-momentum-of-success-2Her health care career and research have focused on community-based nursing practice and education as well as the health care needs of individuals responding to chronic illnesses including those with acute neurological, cardiovascular and respiratory impairments. Bartels has presented her research at the American Association of Higher Education, the American Educational Research Association and various nursing discipline conferences.

In the classroom, she has taught theory and clinical practice in all areas of the nursing curriculum. In addition, she has written books, chapters and articles on such topics as outcome measurement in nursing education, critical thinking in nursing, nursing education for the 21st century, service learning, community-based nursing education and cultural competence.

She has also consulted and presented nationally and internationally on issues related to higher education, faculty workload, nursing practice, nursing education, nursing and nursing faculty shortages, ability based/outcome focused education, critical thinking, assessment processes, curriculum development and accreditation in higher education.

Bartels has served as president of the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) and as a member of its board of directors and executive committee. She has also served as a member of the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) Steering Committee that created the CCNE accrediting body and as a CCNE site evaluator.

Bartels earned a diploma in nursing from Columbia Hospital School (Milwaukee, Wis.), a Bachelor of Science in nursing from Alverno College (Milwaukee, Wis.), a Master of Science in nursing from Marquette University (Milwaukee, Wis.) and a Ph.D. in nursing from the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee.

Moving ahead

A chief highlight from Bartels’ first few months as interim president includes the University earning reaffirmation of full accreditation (with no recommendations) from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges through the year 2025. This accomplishment clearly demonstrates Georgia Southern University’s ongoing commitment to the highest level of academic quality and signifies meeting the rigorous standards, educational quality and institutional effectiveness set forth by the commission, the regional body for the accreditation of degree-granting higher education institutions in the Southern states.

The University also continues to excel in areas beyond academics. In just the past six months, Georgia Southern held a groundbreaking for a new military science building; opened a new student health services complex; dedicated the Shooting Sports Education Center, a state-of-the-art instructional facility for students and the public; began offering Georgia’s first and only undergraduate degree in manufacturing engineering; raised a record $2.3 million during the annual “A Day for Southern” campaign; and added a women’s golf team — the 17th sport in which Georgia Southern competes.

“For me, as President of this remarkable place called Georgia Southern University, there is no greater joy than seeing students join us with notions of the possible and leaving us having fashioned their dreams into reality,” said Bartels. “At Georgia Southern, student success is not just about earning a degree, it is about creating a successful life.”



Presidential Search in Full Swing

The Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia has begun the search for a new president to lead Georgia Southern University. Two committees — as required by regents’ policy — were formed: the Georgia Southern Campus Search and Screen Committee and the Regents’ Search Committee.

The Georgia Southern Campus Search and Screen Committee developed a position description, placed announcements and will conduct on-campus interviews (assisted by a national search firm). The campus committee held three open forums last fall so interested campus and community members could discuss preferred qualifications of the next president. As this issue went to press, the campus committee was in the process of coordinating on-campus visits for candidates.

Later this spring, the campus committee will forward the names of three to five unranked candidates to the Regents’ Search Committee. Board of Regents Chairman Neil Pruitt and the Regents’ Search Committee may conduct interviews of the final candidates. The committee will make a recommendation to the full Board of Regents, disclosure of the finalists will be made and an offer may be extended to the selected candidate. A new president may then assume responsibilities at Georgia Southern University.

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