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May 2008

Release Date: May 30, 2008

Mayrand Appointed Inaugural Dean of New ASU College

Dr. Leslie M. Mayrand, who has been on the Angelo State University nursing faculty more than 25 years, including the last five as head of the Nursing Department, has been named dean of the new College of Nursing and Allied Health, effective June 1.

ASU Provost and Vice President for Academic and Student Affairs Don Coers announced the three-year appointment, which will cover the crucial startup period for the new college approved May 9 by the Board of Regents of the Texas Tech University System. The new college will formally be established Sept. 1, pending final approval by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board.

The new college will be the administrative home for ASU’s Department of Nursing and Department of Physical Therapy. Additionally, the college will be the home of planned future programs in the health professions. Plans call for ASU during the next legislative session to seek state funding for a new building to house the new college.

“As ASU increases its commitment to health professions education in Texas,” said Coers, “the university is blessed to have an administrator with Dr. Mayrand’s skill and success to guide the new College of Nursing and Allied Health through its formative years. Her commitment to health and nursing education through ASU’s online programs and through the many external grants she has received is well documented.”

Although the new college will not become official until the fall, a $350,000 grant from the San Angelo Health Foundation was announced earlier this month to assist with the preliminary personnel and startup costs.

The grant to the Texas Tech Foundation Inc. will be administered by ASU and will provide the necessary start-up monies until the state funding can be approved by the Texas Legislature for the new college. The foundation grant funds include $180,000 for salaries; $40,000 for maintenance and operations; $110,000 for equipment and $20,000 for discretionary funds.

Mayrand has been a leader in developing ASU’s online nursing program allowing students to earn a bachelor of science. She has also implemented programs to help licensed vocational nurses (LVNs) to become registered nurses (RNs) through the university’s online offerings.

Last year she served as chair of the THECB Task Force to Increase RN Graduates in Texas. Earlier this year she received $1.27 million in grants to develop a model program for four area hospitals to speed up the process and reduce the costs necessary for LVNs to become RNs. She also received a $300,000 grant to help 12 schools in the West Texas Nursing Education Consortium to standardize the application process for prospective students. Both grants came from the THECB.

Mayrand earned both a Bachelor of Arts in drama and a Bachelor of Science in nursing from the University of the Incarnate Word in San Antonio. She earned her Master of Science in nursing in maternal-child health from the University of Texas Health Sciences Center-San Antonio. She received her Ph.D. in nursing from the University of Texas at Austin.

She has worked at San Antonio’s Methodist Hospital as a staff nurse in pediatrics and later as a pediatric clinical nurse specialist at Nemour’s Children’s Hospital in Jacksonville, Fla.

The development of the college is projected to follow three phases. Phase one, the development phase, will include providing the administrative infrastructure, completing development of the new Doctor of Physical Therapy Program and securing ongoing legislative funding.

Phase two will initiate the development of a Center for Rural Health, Wellness and Rehabilitation to promote the highest level of health and quality of life for vulnerable rural populations.

The third phase will focus on expanding new allied health and nursing degree opportunities, including a bachelor’s degree in health care communications and informatics and master’s degrees in occupational therapy, rehabilitation counseling and rural and international health care.

Since 1997 the San Angelo Health Foundation has committed more than $28 million to community projects and area non-profit organizations. One of the foundation’s first and most significant grants was the $671,933 awarded to ASU in 1997 as start-up monies for the proposed physical therapy program.