Randolph Rasch, currently a professor and previous department chairperson in the School of Nursing at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, is being recommended as the new dean of the Michigan State University College of Nursing.
If approved by the MSU Board of Trustees, his appointment would be effective July 1.
“I have a great deal of enthusiasm for Dr. Rasch's leadership," said MSU Provost June Pierce Youatt. "He brings considerable expertise to the challenges of nurse education and practice in the context of the changing landscape of health care, while being committed to continuing the college's excellence in research."
In addition to his role at UNCG, Rasch has been serving as interim chairperson and visiting professor in the Department of Nursing at North Carolina Central University in Durham since 2014. He also has held various professor and director positions at Vanderbilt University’s School of Nursing from 2002 to 2010.
Along with his administrative leadership responsibilities at NCCU, Rasch has been furthering efforts to maintain department stability while focusing on student success, curriculum and faculty development until the hiring of a permanent chairperson.
His work as department chairperson at UNCG has focused on leading faculty in community and mental health nursing, in addition to nursing care for the elderly. His research efforts and expertise have been in the areas of primary care and community health, specifically analyzing the roles, functions and appropriate skill mix for all levels of the profession.
Rasch has served in a number of positions outside of academia as well, working as a family nurse practitioner for more than 10 years and as the first statewide director of nursing services for the Tennessee Department of Correction in Nashville. He also holds the distinction of being Michigan’s first African-American male to serve as a public health nurse in the Berrien County Health Department from 1975 to 1978.
Rasch earned his Bachelor of Science degree from Andrews University in 1974; his Master of Science in nursing from Vanderbilt University in 1979; and a doctoral degree in nursing at University of Texas at Austin in 1988.
He is a fellow in the American Association of Nurse Practitioners and a distinguished scholar in the National Academies of Practice. He also holds several other distinctions including being the first African-American male to graduate in the nursing program at Andrews University in Berrien Springs, Mich., as well as the first African-American male to earn a Ph.D. in nursing at the University of Texas at Austin.
Rasch will become the ninth dean to serve the College of Nursing and succeeds Mary Mundt, who served as dean from 2006 until she retired in May 2015. Prior to him joining MSU in July, Barbara Given, University Distinguished Professor and former director of the Ph.D. program, will lead the college.