Nursing Dean Announcement

The search for the Dean of the University of Illinois Chicago College of Nursing has concluded with the announcement of Dr. Eileen Collins. See announcement information below.

(Updated: 8/19/21)

If you have any questions, please contact the search coordinator, Jennifer Rowan, at

Eileen Collins professional portrait

Dear Faculty, Staff and Students,

It is my pleasure to announce the appointment of Eileen G. Collins PhD, RN, FAAN, FAACVPR, ATSF as the next Dean of the University of Illinois Chicago College of Nursing, pending approval by the University of Illinois Board of Trustees, effective September 1, 2021.

Dr. Collins currently serves as Professor in the Department of Biobehavioral Nursing Science and Associate Dean for Research for the UIC College of Nursing. Previously, she was a Research Career Scientist and Acting Associate Chief of Staff for Research & Development at the Edward Hines Jr., VA Hospital.

In 2016, Dr. Collins was inducted into the International Nurse Researchers Hall of Fame, which recognized her outstanding career in the field, as she has been continually funded for over 20 years by organizations such as NIH, VA and various foundations. Dr. Collins has published over 100 papers in peer-reviewed publications. Since joining the UIC community in 2002, Dr. Collins has mentored faculty and students in grant preparation and career scholarship, which has resulted in an increased number of funded tenured/tenure track faculty from 44% to 67% across the college. Additionally, she is very active as a fellow in professional organizations and served on the Boards of the American Thoracic Society (ATS) and American Association for Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Rehabilitation (AACVPR).

In 1985, she would begin a more than 30-year tenure at the Hines VA Hospital, where her career would grow into a position as the Director of the Physical Performance Laboratory. Dr. Collins was responsible for approximately $19-22M per year in research program expenditures as the Acting Associate Chief of Staff for Research and Development for the Hines VA Hospital and the Captain James A. Lovell Federal Healthcare Center. As a Nurse Scientist at the Hines VA Hospital and UIC, Dr. Collins secured $41M in research grant funding.

Dr. Collins received much of her early educational training from Loyola University of Chicago, where she completed her BSN, MSN and PhD degrees in nursing. She would then go on to complete an MS in exercise science in 2001. Early in her clinical career, Dr. Collins served as a staff nurse at Northwest Hospital and at Foster McGaw Hospital (Loyola University of Chicago).

As the College of Nursing is recognized for its commitment to education, research and practice, it continues to be ranked #8 among all U.S. nursing schools in NIH funding (#3 among all public schools) and ranked #9 nationally among all DNP programs. I am confident that Dr. Collins will continue this outstanding legacy and become an outstanding leader for the UIC College of Nursing, having extensive research background, leadership skills and experience necessary to lead across all domains of the college. She is certain to be a welcome addition to the broader group of deans at UIC.

Please join me in congratulating Dr. Collins on her appointment. We look forward to continued achievement and success for the college through her leadership in this new role as Dean.

I would like to thank the search committee, co-chaired by Dr. Robin Mermelstein and College of Medicine Dean, Dr. Mark Rosenblatt, for their outstanding work during the extensive vetting and interview process. Further, I thank all members of the campus and College of Nursing community for their participation in the interview process and for providing feedback on the finalists for this position.

Finally, I would like to extend my heartfelt gratitude to retiring Dean, Terri Weaver. As she moves into the next chapter of her career, the university will forever be grateful for the indelible legacy she leaves at the College of Nursing.


Robert A. Barish, MD, MBA
Vice Chancellor for Health Affairs

Search Committee Co-chairs

Robin Mermelstein, PhD, (Co-chair)
Distinguished Professor, Liberal Arts and Sciences Psychology
Department, Director, Institute for Health Research and Policy, Co-Director, Center for Clinical and Translational Science, University of Illinois at Chicago


Mark I. Rosenblatt, MD, PhD, MBA, MHA, (Co-chair)
Executive Dean, Illinois Lions/Charles I. Young Chair, University of Illinois College of Medicine

Search Committee Members

Ulf G. Bronas, PhD, ATC, FSVM, FAHA Teresa J. Krassa, PhD, RN, CNE
Associate Professor, Director, Laboratory of Vascular and Cognitive Health, Chair, Cardiometabolic Research Interest Group, Faculty Athletic Representative, University of Illinois Chicago, College of Nursing, Department of Biobehavioral Nursing Science Associate Director, Urbana Regional Campus, Certificate Program Coordinator, Teaching and Learning in Nursing and Health Sciences Certificate Program, Clinical Assistant Professor, Department of Biobehavioral Nursing Science, College of Nursing
Carolyn Dickens, PhD Crystal L. Patil, PhD
Nurse Practitioner, Assistant Director of Advanced Practice Providers, Department of Medicine, College of Medicine, Clinical Assistant Professor of Nursing, College of Nursing Professor and Department Head, University of Illinois at Chicago, College of Nursing, Department of Human Development Nursing Science
Ardith Z. Doorenbos, PhD, RN, FAAN Laurie Quinn, PhD, RN, FAAN, FAHA, CDCES, APN-CS
Nursing Collegiate Professor, Biobehavioral Nursing Science, University of Illinois Chicago, College of Nursing Clinical Professor, Minnich Professor and Director, Center for Sleep and Health Research Biobehavioral Nursing Science, College of Nursing
Kamal Eldeirawi, PhD, RN Eleanor Rivera, PhD, RN
Associate Professor of Epidemiology, Director of Faculty Mentorship, Program, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Nurse Faculty Scholar, 2013-2016, Department of Population Health Nursing Science, UIC College of Nursing Assistant Professor, Department of Population Health Nursing Science
Michael Frintner Charese A. Smith, MPA
Graduate Student Nurses Organization Representative Assistant Director for Urban Health Program, College of Nursing
Gerry Gorman, RN, PhD Karriem S. Watson, DHS, MS, MPH
Clinical Professor, Department of Population Health Nursing Science, College of Nursing Associate Executive Director, UI Health Mile Square Health Center, Associate Director Community Outreach and Engagement UI Cancer Center, Research Assistant Professor UIC School of Public Health, Community Health Sciences
Mary T. Keehn, PT, DPT, MHPE Charles Yingling, DNP, FNP-BC, FAANP
Director, Interprofessional Education, Office of the Vice Chancellor for Health Affairs, Associate Dean for Clinical Affairs, Office of the Dean, College of Applied Health Sciences Associate Dean for Practice and Community Partnerships, Clinical Associate Professor, Department of Population Health Nursing Science

Search Committee Staff

Jennifer Rowan
Director, Finance and Human Resources
Office of the Vice Chancellor for Health Affairs