Wendy M. Likes Appointed Dean for the UTHSC College of Nursing

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Wendy M. Likes, dean of the UTHSC College of Nursing
Wendy M. Likes, dean of the UTHSC College of Nursing

Steve J. Schwab, MD, chancellor at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center (UTHSC), has named Wendy M. Likes, PhD, DNSc, APRN-BC, permanent dean for the College of Nursing, after more than 10 months as interim dean. In this role, Dr. Likes will serve as the lead administrator for the college with responsibility for managing a team of more than 105 faculty and staff members. The college serves some 400 nursing students each year who acquire degrees at all levels — baccalaureate and master’s as well as both practice and research doctorates. The permanent appointment became effective on June 10.

“As a Nursing faculty member since 2004, Dr. Likes has consistently demonstrated a spirit of innovation and a commitment to teamwork,” said Chancellor Schwab. “As interim dean, she has established herself as a collaborative and insightful leader whether working with partners, faculty, staff or students. The reputation and industry connections she has built over her years in this discipline will serve Wendy and our institution very well. We are pleased to welcome her to this new, challenging role.”

A three-time alumna, Dean Likes earned her MSN, DNSc and PhD from the UTHSC College of Nursing and has been a nurse since 1994. Prior to her appointment as interim dean, she served for more than two years as associate dean and chair for Advanced Practice and Doctoral Studies. As dean, she will also hold the Ruth Neil Murry Endowed Chair in Nursing. Dr. Likes is also executive director for UT Medical Group’s Center for HPV and Dysplasia, which focuses on the detection and treatment of HPV-related conditions. She has been evaluating and treating diseases of the lower genital tract for more than 15 years and was instrumental in making the center one of a few practices in the South offering a procedure to detect pre-cancerous anal cancer, providing an essential service for the community.

“It is the development I received as a student at UTHSC that gave me the confidence and ability to share my knowledge with others through my faculty role. It is the resources and support I have received as a faculty member at UTHSC that have afforded me the opportunity to do what I love, and to explore meaningful ways to improve the care we provide to our patients and the community, and to grow as a nursing leader,” she said. “I look forward to working with UTHSC leadership as well as with the College of Nursing team to continue the proud tradition of nursing leadership and innovation. Our College of Nursing is uniquely positioned to lead the state of Tennessee and the region in nursing research, education and practice to have a meaningful impact on the health of our community. I am honored to enter into the role of permanent dean for the College of Nursing and to have the opportunity to work side by side with our creative faculty and forward-thinking chancellery.”

During her tenure at UTHSC, Dr. Likes has worked in the Colleges of Nursing, Medicine and Graduate Health Sciences, first as an assistant professor for more than five and one-half years, then as an associate professor in the same three colleges from July 2009 to the present. She also served for four months as chair for the Acute Care and Chronic Care Department in the College of Nursing before being named the associate dean for Advanced Practice and Doctoral Studies in November 2012. Her hospital appointments include work as a hospice, agency and staff nurse with Methodist Alliance Healthcare, Nursefinders, and Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital, respectively. She also spent six years as a staff nurse with St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, and has served as a nurse practitioner since 1999 in hospital, clinical and medical practice settings. Additionally, since 2005, Dr. Likes has been teaching a range of courses to nursing students, including pharmacology, adult health gynecology and techniques in evidence-based practice.

Dr. Likes has served as principal investigator or co-investigator for more than $1.2 million in grants and special project funding from organizations that include the National Institutes of Health and Department of Energy. She has authored or contributed to more than 20 peer-reviewed journal articles; given nearly 50 presentations at regional, national and international health care industry conferences, conventions and meetings; developed or contributed to nearly 20 research poster presentations; and served on numerous health care committees and advisory boards. She is currently co-chair of the Special Populations Committee for the American Society for Colposcopy and Cervical Pathology; chair of the Research and Awards Committee for Sigma Theta Tau-Beta Theta chapter; and a member of the Women’s Health Advisory Committee for the State of Tennessee. Her many honors and awards include the American Association of Colleges of Nursing Leadership for Academic Nursing Program Fellow (2013), and Excellence in Practice Beta Theta Award (2013). Dr. Likes is a member of the American Society of Colposcopy and Cervical Pathology, American Nurses Association, International Society for the Study of Vulvovaginal Diseases, and Sigma Theta Tau Nursing Honor Society.