Rutgers University–Camden has selected Marie O’Toole, senior associate dean of academic and faculty affairs at the School of Nursing–Camden, to serve as interim dean. The appointment became effective June 1. O’Toole will lead the nursing school while Donna Nickitas, the current dean, serves as Rutgers–Camden’s interim provost and executive vice chancellor until the national search concludes and a permanent provost is appointed in early 2023.
“I am confident that Dr. O’Toole will continue the momentum established by our nursing school community as we conduct a national search for a permanent provost and executive vice chancellor,” said Rutgers–Camden Chancellor Antonio D. Tillis.
O’Toole began her career serving as a staff nurse, and subsequently assistant head nurse and a staff development instructor at the Hospital at the University of Pennsylvania in the 1970s. She first joined the Rutgers–Camden faculty as an instructor in 1978, embarking on a successful academic career spanning several notable institutions. She returned to Rutgers–Camden from 1998 to 2004 as an associate professor of nursing and program coordinator for the graduate program and again in 2010. She has always considered Rutgers–Camden her home and is deeply committed to advancing our institution.
“I am proud to serve as interim dean, and to be part of a thriving academic community that
strives to make a difference in its home city of Camden and beyond,” O’Toole said. “During this transitional period, our focus remains on preparing students to be excellent, trusted health care providers, serving the greater community, and promoting diversity and inclusive excellence.”
O’Toole is passionate about advancing nursing education in an international, interdisciplinary, and collaborative fashion. In the mid-1990s, she was the founding chair of Nurses Overseas, a division of Health Volunteers Overseas that provides an opportunity for nurse faculty to work with their colleagues in developing countries. In 2007, she served as the principal investigator for a grant funded by the U.S. Department of Education and the European Commission’s Directorate General for Education and Culture to develop programs with Semmelweis University in Hungary and Laurea University of Applied Sciences in Finland.
More recently, O’Toole was the recipient of a 2016-2017 Fulbright Specialist grant in education that allowed her to teach and study at Jordan University of Science and Technology in Irbid, Jordan.
She has garnered numerous awards, including an honorary doctorate from Semmelweis University in Budapest and the Call to Service Award from former President George W. Bush. In 2018, she was one of 16 nurses selected nationwide for induction into the National League of Nursing’s prestigious Academy of Nursing Education.
O’Toole holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing and a doctorate from the Rutgers Graduate School of Education in New Brunswick.