University of New England announces Karen Pardue as dean of Westbrook College of Health Professions

Karen Pardue
Karen Pardue

June 18, 2018

The University of New England is pleased to announce that, following a national search, Karen T. Pardue, Ph.D., M.S., RN, CNE, ANEF, has been selected as the next dean of the Westbrook College of Health Professions (WCHP), effective June 18, 2018. Pardue served as the interim dean of the college during the 2017-2018 academic year. She brings many years of curriculum development and assessment experience as well as faculty development and specialty accreditation expertise to her new role.

In her appointment as dean, Pardue will head UNE’s programs in nursing; nurse anesthesia; nutrition; dental hygiene; physician assistant; public health; social work; applied exercise science; athletic training; physical therapy; occupational therapy; and health, wellness and occupational studies.

UNE President James Herbert, Ph.D., expressed his confidence in the selection of Pardue for the deanship. “Dean Pardue has been of tremendous service to UNE and to the Westbrook College of Health Professions for more than two decades. Her deep knowledge of curriculum development and program planning, her commitment to research and scholarship as well as interprofessional education, and her ability to skillfully navigate the higher education landscape render her an ideal fit for the position of dean of WCHP,” he said. “I could not be happier with the selection.”

Prior to her appointment to interim dean in 2017, Pardue served as WCHP’s associate dean for Academic Affairs (2011-2017) and its assistant dean for Undergraduate Education (2009-2011). She joined the Department of Nursing faculty in 1996, rising the position of department director in 2008. Before coming to UNE, she was a faculty member in the University of Hartford’s College of Education, Nursing and Health Professions in West Hartford, Connecticut.

“It is with great enthusiasm that I accept the position of Dean for the Westbrook College of Health Professions,” said Pardue. “It is an honor and privilege to lead the extraordinary faculty, professional staff, scholars and students who compose the college. I look forward to advancing the exemplary health profession programming as well as the signature interprofessional education endeavors, which distinguish WCHP and UNE. I deeply appreciate the confidence and support of President Herbert, Provost Hamilton and the Search Committee.”

Pardue’s research focuses on nursing/health profession education, academic leadership, and interprofessional (IPE) curriculum development and evaluation. She provided leadership in the design and implementation of UNE’s innovative undergraduate IPE coursework, and, for a decade, she served in an academic leadership role for a novel RN-to-BSN international partnership involving UNE and Israel College in Tel Aviv.

Nationally, she served two terms as chair for the National League for Nursing (NLN) Task Group on Innovation in Nursing Education and as a mentor for the Johnson & Johnson/NLN Faculty Mentoring program. Nominated by Governor Paul LePage of Maine in 2013, she serves on the New England Board of Higher Education, and she currently chairs the state of Maine delegation. 

Pardue has published and presented widely on educational innovation and IPE. She was inducted as a Fellow in the Academy of Nursing Education in 2007 and currently provides leadership to the Academy Selection panel. She has more than $1 million of grant funded projects from the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), Bingham Foundation, Arthur Vining Davis Foundations, National League for Nursing and the Josiah Macy Jr. Foundation, addressing development and evaluation of interprofessional education models and academic nursing leadership.

Read the story in the Chronicle of Higher Education.

To learn more about the Westbrook College of Health Professions, visit

To apply, visit




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