Frontier Nursing University’s current Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer (CDIO) Dr. Paula Alexander-Delpech, Ph.D., PMHNP-BC, APRN, has been selected as the university’s first Dean for Inclusive Excellence and Student Success. Dr. Alexander-Delpech was named the university’s CDIO in 2022.
The role of the Dean for Inclusive Excellence and Student Success is to fully incorporate diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) to promote student success and retention throughout the FNU community. The creation of this high-level leadership position is an innovative step to centralize all of the university’s student services, such as orientation, academic advising, registration, retention, student activities and organizations, counseling, and more.
“Dr. Alexander-Delpech’s leadership of Frontier’s diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging initiatives have been exemplary,” said FNU President Dr. Susan Stone, DNSc, CNM, FACNM, FAAN. “Utilizing her expertise as our first Dean for Inclusive Excellence and Student Success is an essential step in infusing DEI efforts throughout the university’s operations. We are confident that this will enhance our already impactful student services to provide even higher levels of support than ever before.”
Dr. Alexander-Delpech is co-chair of the President’s Task Force on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. She is also co-chair of the Faculty, Staff, and Preceptor Development and Retention sub-committee of the DEI Task Force. Dr. Alexander-Delpech created and implemented the DEI Faculty Fellow and the DEI Staff Ambassador programs. Each program rejects the traditional DEI approach and instead uses an individualized peer education model to facilitate the development of skills and knowledge to address systemic racism and pervasive healthcare inequities.
“I am honored to be appointed to this new role as the Dean for Inclusive Excellence and Student Success,” Dr. Alexander-Delpech said. “We have a great responsibility and opportunity to further Frontier Nursing University’s longstanding history and commitment to ensure the success of our students and prepare them to be skilled, ethical, and compassionate leaders in their communities. Many of our students represent rural and underserved communities, making their presence all the more impactful in providing culturally competent healthcare.”
Dr. Alexander-Delpech is a Board-certified Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner. She is an appointed member of the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) diversity committee; an inaugural member of the National Organization of Nurse Practitioner Faculty (NONPF) diversity committee; a member of the American Psychiatric Nurses Association (APNA); the President-elect of the Florida chapter of the APNA; a member of the South Florida Council of Advanced Practice Nurses; and a member of the American Association of Nurse Practitioners (AANP).
FNU’s enrollment of students of color has risen from 9 percent in 2010 to over 30 percent today. During that span, the university created the CDIO position, the three-person Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, and has held its annual Diversity Impact Conference every year beginning in 2010. FNU has been awarded the Health Professions Higher Education Excellence in Diversity (HEED) Award from INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine each of the past six years (2018-2023) and the American Association of Colleges of Nursing’s Advancing Diversity, Inclusion, and Sustainability in Academic Nursing Award in 2021 and 2023.