Lott Appointed Acting Dean Of Nursing As Karns Retires

  • News Photo 318
    Dr. Judy Wright Lott, associate professor of nursing and acting dean of Baylor's Louise Herrington School of Nursing, effective June 15.
  • News Photo 319
    Dr. Phyllis Karns, who will retire as dean of Baylor's Louise Herrington School of Nursing June 30.
April 29, 2002

by Judy Long

Dr. Donald D. Schmeltekopf, provost and vice president for academic affairs at Baylor University, today announced the appointment of Dr. Judy Wright Lott, associate professor of nursing, as acting dean of the Louise Herrington School of Nursing, effective June 15.

Current dean Phyllis Karns will retire June 30 after serving as dean of the School of Nursing since coming to Baylor in 1987.

"The retirement of Dean Karns will certainly leave a vacuum in the leadership of the Louise Herrington School of Nursing and in the academic leadership of Baylor University," Schmeltekopf said. "However, I am extremely pleased that Dr. Judy Lott will assume the role of acting dean as we continue the search for a permanent replacement of Dean Karns. Judy Lott is an individual with exceptional talent, both as an individual and as an academic. She will definitely be able to move the School of Nursing forward in realizing the goals of Baylor 2012, the university's 10-year vision."

A nationally recognized expert in skin science and a veteran neonatal nurse, Lott earned nursing degrees from Valdosta State University and Troy State University. She received her doctor of science degree in nursing from the University of Alabama in Birmingham, where her dissertation research focused on the effects of blood sampling from umbilical artery catheters on cerebral blood flow velocity in pre-term infants. Before joining the Baylor nursing faculty in the summer of 2001, Lott was a member of the faculties at the University of North Carolina and the University of Cincinnati. In addition, she directed the neonatal nursing program at the University of Cincinnati and taught in the University of Florida College of Nursing neonatal nursing program.

Lott has accumulated more than 20 years of neonatal nursing experience. She currently serves as a member of the Skin Science Project Team that is overseeing a national research project on newborn skin care practices for the Association of Women's Health, Obstetric and Neonatal Nurses and the National Association of Neonatal Nurses. She is an editor or author of several textbooks including Comprehensive Neonatal Nursing and Neonatal Infections: Assessment, Diagnosis and Management. She also serves as co-editor of the new clinical journal Newborn & Infant Nursing Reviews.

A graduate of Baylor University, Karns returned as dean of the School of Nursing in 1987 from University of Wyoming, where she earned her doctorate and also served on the faculty. In addition, she received her master's degree from the University of Colorado at Denver. She has published widely on nursing and education topics in such publications as the Journal of Nursing Education, Journal of Christian Nursing and Nursing Outlook. She is a nationally recognized speaker on nursing education and the spiritual aspects of nursing care.

With an enrollment of approximately 275 students, the Louise Herrington School of Nursing is an upper-level (junior and senior years) program located just east of downtown Dallas on the Baylor University Medical Center campus. Nursing students study at the world-renowned Baylor Medical Center and at other outstanding medical institutions and health care facilities throughout the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex. Under Karns' leadership, the school has received national recognition throughout the years, including a top 60 ranking by U.S. News & World Report for its master's degree program in the magazine's "Best Graduate Schools for 2002" edition.

The nursing school is one of 10 schools and colleges operated by Waco-based Baylor University. The Baylor School of Nursing was established in 1909 as a diploma program within Baylor Hospital in Dallas, which is now Baylor University Medical Center, and in 1950 became one of the six degree-granting schools of Baylor University. The first bachelor of science in nursing degrees were awarded in 1954, establishing the school as one of the oldest baccalaureate nursing programs in the United States.

In November 1999, the school was renamed the Louise Herrington School of Nursing after Louise Herrington Ornelas, co-founder of TCA Cable Inc. of Tyler and a 1992 Baylor University Alumna Honoris Causa, made a $13 million endowment gift to the school. It was the third-largest gift from an individual in Baylor's 155-year history. In September 2000, the school celebrated the dedication of a $5 million facility expansion and renovation of the Harry W. Bass Academic Center.

Accredited by the National League for Nursing and by the Board of Nurse Examiners for the State of Texas, the School of Nursing offers a bachelor of science in nursing degree and a master of science in nursing degree in advanced neonatal nursing, nursing administration and management and family nurse practitioner programs, which also are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education. Nearly 100 percent of Baylor School of Nursing graduates who seek employment upon graduation find a position within one month and most are employed upon graduation.

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