Fairfield University names new dean of School of Nursing


Image:L BabingtonLynn Babington, Ph.D., who has held numerous leadership positions at Northeastern University in Boston and has a background in serving vulnerable populations, has been named the new dean of Fairfield University's School of Nursing. Dr. Babington, who will begin this summer, fills a position previously held by Jeanne M. Novotny, Ph.D., RN, FAAN, who stepped down last year. She will join a school experiencing decade-long expansion in both enrollment and in nationwide reputation, known for its recognized faculty, state-of-the-art resources, and graduate programs for nursing leaders of the future.

In making the announcement, Fairfield President Rev. Jeffrey P. von Arx, S.J., said the depth of the candidate pool was a wonderful indicator of the high regard many have for Fairfield's School of Nursing. "We look forward to Dr. Babington leading the School of Nursing, and building on the success that was achieved under the leadership of Dr. Jeanne Novotny."

Rev. Paul J. Fitzgerald, S.J., senior vice president for academic affairs, said he was deeply impressed by Dr. Babington's range of abilities, her depth of knowledge, and leadership skills. "Dr. Lynn Babington is definitely the right person to take up the deanship of the school at this time and lead it forward," he said. "Her international experience as a Fulbright Scholar in Israel, her longstanding work in the Dominican Republic and her work with Dominican and Vietnamese immigrant populations in this country are examples of how well she fits with the Jesuit mission and identity of Fairfield: she is a global citizen with great professional accomplishments and a special attentiveness to vulnerable populations."

Dr. Babington has an established record of successful program development, grant writing and team building. Her vast experience and executive talent are evident in her success in working collaboratively to build partnerships; designing curricula for nursing education at all levels; and working with culturally diverse populations in addressing health issues of vulnerable populations, particularly immigrants. In Dr. Babington, University officials see an administrator who has the qualities to be an excellent mentor to faculty and students.

"I am excited to join Fairfield University and to have the privilege of leading the School of Nursing," said Dr. Babington, who earned a Ph.D. and a M.S. in Nursing from the University of Washington. "My enthusiasm for this position stems from the opportunity to help shape a stellar future for the school. The vital elements are in place, with excellent academic programs responding to the changes in health care; an excellent, collegial faculty and staff; and inter-professional collaboration. I look forward to a close working relationship with Fairfield's strong, supportive leadership."

Throughout her career as a practitioner, manager, leader, educator and administrator, she has remained passionate about professional nursing practice and education. At Northeastern University, Dr. Babington served as assistant dean of graduate programs of the School of Nursing; director of the Doctorate of Nursing Practice Program; and associate professor at the Bouvé College of Health Sciences. Bouvé College, which houses the School of Nursing, has a strong emphasis on educating students in a team approach in patient care. The School of Nursing offers a ‘co-op' program, with clinical programs at the top teaching hospitals of Harvard Medical School. In her academic leadership positions at Northeastern, Dr. Babington championed and led the development of the Doctorate of Nursing (DNP) program and served as its first director. During the process, she worked collaboratively with colleagues in academe and nursing service and across disciplines within the university. She chaired the Ph.D. in Nursing committee as the University launched that program.

Outside the academy, Dr. Babington held a major leadership role with Health Services Partnership (HSP), in Dorchester, Massachusetts. As its chief operating officer and director of clinical programs, her position involved developing a non-profit business partnership and strategic alliance between two community health centers. Fairfield's School of Nursing has numerous programs with area public health centers, so this background is of great value to Fairfield. "My experiences in this position serve as an example of skills that will transfer well to the role of a school of nursing dean," Dr. Babington said. HSP was founded to provide state-of-the-art and enterprise-wide management support to its partners including a professional practice framework, financial management, IT infrastructure, quality improvement initiative, public policy advocacy and cross-site coordination and management of non-clinical, community based services. It has been recognized as a model in the not-for-profit community for its ability to meet the complex needs of at-risk populations while realizing significant cost-savings.

For nearly 30 years, Dr. Babington has maintained an independent business as a health care consultant, with clients including Dana Farber Cancer Institute and Tufts Medical Center.

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Media Contact: Meg McCaffrey, (203) 254-4000, ext. 2726, mmccaffrey@fairfield.edu

Posted on January 30, 2012

Vol. 44, No. 180