Dr. Janet Wessel Krejci, RN, NEA-BC, dean of the College of Nursing, will retire on Dec. 31, 2021, after five years in the role.
Krejci has been instrumental in guiding the College of Nursing’s strategic direction, positioning it as a leader in meeting the health care industry’s fast-growing workforce needs. Most recently, Krejci’s leadership and vision helped inspire alumni couple Darren and Terry Jackson to step forward with a transformational $31 million gift to fuel scholarships, increase diversity, drive innovative health care advances and support strategic initiatives in the college.
Working alongside the Jacksons, Krejci and her leadership team developed a plan to prepare 5,000 nurses over the next decade and beyond. Of the 5,000 nurses, the college aspires to educate 1,000 Marquette Nurses from diverse backgrounds, grow Ph.D.-prepared faculty and lead in emerging areas, including telehealth education and the mitigation of health care disparities with a more diverse workforce. Recognizing the rapidly changing health care environment, the plans will meet a pressing need to develop future nurse leaders.
“Janet is a strategic and operational leader who always puts Marquette’s mission first, dedicating herself to cura personalis,” President Michael R. Lovell said. “She has an innovative spirit and a relentless work ethic when it comes to leading the college’s faculty and staff, and Marquette has benefitted greatly from her vision. She also has taken great pride in advocating for her students. Janet is a role model who cares deeply for the development of all Marquette Nurses.”
Under Krejci’s leadership, the college launched its hybrid Master of Science in Nursing, Second Degree Direct Entry for Non-Nurses. Delivered through a combination of distance learning and in-person clinicals, skills labs and clinical simulations at the college’s Pleasant Prairie site, the program in January 2021 was ranked 47th by U.S. News and World Report among Best Online Master’s in Nursing Programs — up 11 spots from last year, and up more than 100 spots from 2019, the first time it was ranked in the category.
“It has been my deep honor to work with an incredible group of faculty, staff, students, alumni and donors to exemplify the mission of Marquette University and the College of Nursing. We stand on the shoulders of so many over the past 85 years who have made us a premier college where our past and present community live our values of excellence, faith, leadership and service,” Krejci said. “Our strategic plan will help lead the College of Nursing into the future to even greater heights, and our faculty and staff embody servant leadership while being innovators and change agents to prepare future Marquette Nurses who will bring the needed change to our health care systems.”
“I also extend my deep appreciation to all who have facilitated our success, with very special gratitude to Darren and Terry Jackson who have provided such support on so many levels,” she added.
Krejci joined Marquette after serving as vice president for academic affairs and provost at Illinois State University. Prior to her role as provost, Krejci was dean and professor of nursing at Illinois State’s Mennonite College of Nursing from 2009–14. Previously, she spent 21 years at Marquette in roles ranging from research assistant to associate dean.
From 2007–08, Krejci was a fellow of the American Council on Education. She was also selected as a Robert Wood Johnson Executive Nurse Fellow from 2008–11, and she has served as on various boards and leadership roles including the Aurora Community Board, the Illinois Governor’s Advisory Council on nursing, Chair of the Advocate BroMenn Medical Center Governing Council, American Association of Colleges of Nursing, and the Commission on Colleges of Nursing, the industry’s academic accrediting body. She has served as an evaluator for HLC and CCNE.
Earlier this month, Krejci was named named a ‘Notable Women in Education’ by Milwaukee BizTimes.
Krejci earned her bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees in nursing all from the University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee, with a post graduate certificate from the University of Maryland. She is a fourth generation Wisconsinite, and her parents, sons and some of her siblings all attended Marquette.
Guttormson to assume acting dean role
Provost Kimo Ah Yun also announced Jill Guttormson, Ph.D., MS, RN, associate dean for academic affairs and associate professor of nursing, will serve as the acting dean of nursing upon Krejci’s retirement. She is a 2018 recipient of the Rev. John P. Raynor, S.J., Award for Teaching Excellence and a 2021 Way Klingler Teaching Enhancement Award.
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