UND Interim Dean Diana Kostrzewski announces resignation to pursue new opportunities in nursing education

Diana Kostrzewski
Diana Kostrzewski

Kostrzewski has accepted an associate deanship at Bemidji (Minn.) State University

University of North Dakota Provost Eric Link has announced that Interim Dean of Nursing Diana Kostrzewski has tendered her resignation to pursue new opportunities in nursing education.

Kostrzewski, who has served as interim dean and clinical associate professor at the UND College of Nursing & Professional Disciplines (CNPD) since Jan. 1, 2019, plans to leave UND by late February for an associate deanship at Bemidji State University (BSU) in Bemidji, Minn.

“I would like to thank Dean Kostrzewski for her leadership in the College of Nursing & Professional Disciplines and for her years of service to UND. Dean Kostrzewski has positioned the College for future growth and innovation in the fields of nursing, social work and dietetics, which will serve UND well as we pursue a national search for the next permanent dean of the College,” said Provost Link. “I wish Dean Kostrzewski the very best in her next post as a leader in nursing education.”

UND announced it was commencing its national search for the next permanent dean of the CNPD on Dec. 20.

Applications and nominations received by Jan. 14, 2022 are assured consideration. The CNPD Dean Search Committee is being assisted by Harris Search Associates.  It is anticipated that the next permanent dean will be in place by July 1, 2022.

A process, led by Provost Link, to name an interim dean for CNPD, to serve until the next permanent dean is on campus, will commence immediately, with an anticipated appointment beginning on March 1, 2022, following Kostrzewski’s departure from UND.

Personal and professional

Kostrzewski took over her interim deanship role in early 2019 after former CNPD Dean Gayle Roux announced she was leaving the position. A UND Nursing alumna and native of Warren, Minn., Kostrzewski had been serving as a clinical associate professor of nursing and graduate program chair prior to her promotion to UND interim dean.

Under Kostrzewski’s leadership, the CNPD completed four self-studies and hosted four successful programmatic continuing accreditation/approval site visits — all conducted virtually due to the pandemic. The College also significantly increased enrollment and hired faculty to support the higher enrollment, led graduate nursing curriculum improvements for online delivery, and supported faculty and staff in moving traditional face-to-face programs to online delivery during the pandemic.

In addition, during Kostrzewski’s deanship, a Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DEI) committee was created for CNPD; a leadership track was added to the Doctor of Nursing Practice program; the Nurse Anesthesia program was moved from master’s to doctoral level; and the Dietetics program was moved from a bachelor’s to master’s level.

Kostrzewski, who was recently appointed to a second term on the North Dakota Board of Nursing’s Nursing Education Committee, has decades of experience in the nursing and nursing education fields. Her roles have included staff nurse, supervisor, and nurse administrator in all forms of health care settings; and as a nursing educator, dean, and administrator on traditional and online campuses.

The move to BSU brings Kostrzewski both personal and professional opportunities by allowing her to be closer to family as well as the chance to devote 100 percent to her passion for nursing education.

“Serving UND has been a wonderful opportunity for which I am grateful,” Kostrzewski said. “I feel honored to have worked with the supportive university administration and staff, College Deans, and CNPD leadership, faculty and staff. Having been born and raised in the Red River Valley, it was a joy to come back to my roots to serve.”

Kostrzewski first joined UND as a nursing academician in April of 2018, following a stint as assistant vice president of nursing and national dean of nursing for Minneapolis-based Zenith Education Group. Before that, she was the dean of nursing at the Denver School of Nursing, overseeing the education of 700 nursing students at any given time.

Other appointments

Other stops in Kostrzewski’s career include director of licensing and accreditation and chair of the nursing program at Rasmussen College in Bloomington, Minn.; national dean of nursing and allied health programs at Colorado Technical University in Colorado Springs; director of nursing programs at Lake Superior College in Duluth; assistant professor of nursing at The College of St. Scholastica, also in Duluth; and director of nursing for the practical nursing program from which she graduated, years ago at East Grand Forks Technical College (now Northland Community & Technical College).

Kostrzewski received her bachelor’s degree in nursing from Minnesota State University, Moorhead (then Moorhead State University), and her master’s degree from UND in 1997. She earned her Ph.D. in postsecondary and adult education from Capella University.