Announcing new Diversity, Equity, Inclusion leadership

Announcing new Diversity, Equity, Inclusion leadership

Dr. Nancy Fugate Woods named interim dean of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

The UW School of Nursing Diversity Committee recently developed a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Strategic Action Plan with input from faculty, staff and students, as well as other stakeholders. The plan is designed to establish procedures and resources that ensure all aspects of our school are equitable and inclusive.

A key recommendation from that plan was to create formal leadership positions related to diversity, equity and inclusion within our school to lead efforts by faculty, staff and students to accomplish goals identified in the strategic action plan.


Dr. Nancy Woods

Dr. Nancy Fugate Woods has been named interim associate dean for diversity, equity and inclusion. She will work closely with Carolyn Chow, whose title will change to director of admissions and student diversity, which more closely reflects her leadership in our diversity, equity and inclusion strategic efforts.

Woods will continue to chair the Diversity Committee and Chow will continue as a very active member of the committee. They and the committee will lead the implementation goals outlined in the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Strategic Action Plan.

Among their first priorities will be to develop an organizational infrastructure for a new office of diversity, equity and inclusion.

Woods and Chow have both devoted their careers to making nursing a more inclusive and welcoming profession. They have been steadfast advocates for a more diverse student body and worked to break down the institutionalized racism and other forms of oppression that have existed both in the nursing field and in our school.

Woods is dean emerita, a professor in Biobehavioral Nursing and Health Informatics and co-director of the de Tornyay Center for Healthy Aging. She is the chair of the diversity committee and has provided stellar leadership during the diversity, equity and inclusion strategic planning process.

As dean, she took the rare and bold step of publicly apologizing for our school’s history of discouraging and failing to adequately support students from underrepresented backgrounds in their efforts to complete their education. She used this apology to not only acknowledge a painful past, but also to be a catalyst for positive improvements that have ultimately led to our current efforts to create a diverse, equitable and inclusive environment at the school.

Carolyn Chow

Carolyn Chow

Chow oversees and directs outreach, recruitment and admissions to all our degree programs with a focus on diversity issues and services. She advises the diversity-related student-led organizations, SoN Diversity Awareness Group (SoN DAwG) and SoN Queers and Allies (SoN Q&A). She has been a long-time member of the diversity committee. She has been the school’s staff representative on the UW Diversity Council since 2006.

Chow co-founded UW Nurse Camp, a week-long day camp geared to increasing access and opportunities in nursing to high school students from underrepresented backgrounds and are the first in their families to attend college. UW Nurse Camp not only teaches students about nursing, but provides encouragement and support for teens who might not have believed it possible to pursue a nursing career.

A national search for our permanent associate dean for diversity, equity and inclusion will kick off later this fall.