Atkins Cites Health-Related Issues as Reason to Retire
By Bronson Peshlakai
Metro Campus Editor-in-Chief
Marsha Atkins, dean of the Cuyahoga Community College nursing program for the past three years, will retire her position effective June 3 due to health-related issues, the college announced in a college-wide email May 29.
“We greatly appreciate the leadership and many contributions Dr. Atkins has provided to our nursing program over the past three-and-a-half years, and we wish her the very best as she completes this chapter in her very distinguished career,” said Michael Schoop, Metropolitan Campus president, in an email.
Atkins was under fire because the college’s nursing program had lost its accreditation from the National League of Nursing Accrediting Commission. The program is now designated as “conditionally accredited” as Tri-C appeals the decision.
“The Board of Commissioners voted to deny continuing accreditation to the associate nursing program,” the NLNAC wrote in a letter to Atkins dated March 29. “This decision is based on the NLNAC policy that continuing accreditation is denied to programs with conditions status that are found to be in continued non-compliance with any Accreditation Standard based on the evidence presented in the Follow-Up Report submitted by the nursing program. “
Forging ahead into the college’s appeal to the NLNAC will be a former dean of Case Western Reserve University’s nursing school, May L. Wylke.
Wykle, 79, is a prominent expert in the medical field of aging. Her experience as Case’s nursing dean from 2001 to 2011 is an asset she brings to the helm of Tri-C’s nursing program.
“I look forward to this opportunity,” Wykle said. “I have tremendous respect for Tri-C’s nursing program, having observed it from a nearby vantage point for many, many years. Its graduates are well-prepared for the challenges they face in the ‘real world,’ and health care employers in Northeast Ohio and beyond know that a Tri-C degree is a good barometer of success.”
Atkins was dean of nursing since 2010.
“I am writing to express my tremendous gratitude for the far-reaching efforts of the students, faculty, staff and partners who work so hard to uphold the outstanding reputation and success of our nursing program and enable both the program and its graduates to serve a vital community need,” Atkins said in a personal message to students, faculty on the nursing program website. “Regrettably, a personal health issue has resulted in my very difficult decision to retire as dean, effective June 3.”