SHS Dean Tyra Ousley

SHS Dean Tyra OusleyTyra L. Dean-Ousley, an accomplished educator, clinician, and health care administrator, will serve as Seattle Pacific University’s next dean of the School of Health Sciences beginning  July 2021.

She held a number of academic positions including director of nursing programs, nursing professor, and dean of nursing — mainly in her native Chicago. Most recently, she served as interim dean in the College of Health Sciences at Chicago State University.

Dean-Ousley brings a rich background in acute and ambulatory care, with a focus on maternal-child and medical surgical nursing. She is a member of the American Nurses Association and serves on the Board of Directors of the Education and Sustainability Committee with the American Association of Nurse Practitioners.

“Dr. Dean-Ousley is a dynamic, experienced leader who will bolster our high-quality program offerings in the health sciences and help expand our institutional vision for additional areas of impact in this critical sector of our economy and society,” said SPU Provost Laura Hartley.

Vice Provost for Academic Affairs Cindy Price added that SPU is excited to have Dean-Ousley’s  experience in developing multi-disciplinary programs for health sciences.

Initially, Dean-Ousley did not anticipate accepting a job in Seattle.

“Never in a million years would I have ever thought I would make a move out of the state of Illinois,” she explained. But conversations with a dying, beloved aunt caused her to re-think her assumptions about the future. “During our private talks she would encourage me to be the best me,” she said. “And it’s amazing how circumstances can change your perspective. I look forward to working in an environment that is in alignment with my faith, education, and experience.”

Beyond the nursing world, Dean-Ousley is a popular speaker and Bible teacher, and is the founder of Leap4Joy Ministries, an outreach of encouragement in the Chicagoland area.

She is a graduate of Northcentral University, where she earned her doctorate in education. Before that, she earned her bachelor of nursing and master of nursing education degrees at Olivet Nazarene University.

“Education is like a circle,” she said. “It never ends. It’s a lifelong journey.”

Dean-Ousley succeeds Lorie Wild, who retired as SHS dean at the end of the 2019-20 academic year and who currently serves as an adjunct professor, as well as Interim Dean Antwinett O. Lee, who has guided the school over the past several months.

Now, after decades of study, work, and ministry in the Midwest, Dean-Ousley is eager to meet new co-workers and take this next step to SPU and Seattle. The cross-country move is a “leap of faith,” she said.

“I trust God. He has given each of us a purpose to fulfill. (But) I have learned that God does not provide the entire plan to us; it is our responsibility to trust God in the process. We walk by faith and not by sight.”


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