We are writing to let you know that Dr. Sharon Fought, dean of our School of Nursing & Healthcare Leadership, is retiring after a 35-year career at UW, 30 of those years at UW Tacoma.
Dr. Fought’s impacts on healthcare delivery and nursing education in the Puget Sound region and throughout Washington have been profound. Equally inspiring is her unstinting devotion to the growth and development of UW Tacoma. We cannot do justice in this short message to her legacy (look for an in-depth profile of her on our website in the near future). But, in a few paragraphs, we want to give you some idea of the many ways she has exemplified the highest values of her profession and our community.
She came to UW Tacoma in 1992 as an associate professor and the founding director of our new Nursing Program. She had served with the U.S. Army at Walter Reed Army Medical Center and at the 121st Evacuation Hospital in Korea, and began her academic career as an instructor at the University of Texas Austin and at the UT Health Science Center in San Antonio, and then at the UW School of Nursing in Seattle.
From Dr. Fought’s first year at UW Tacoma, she engaged in a level of university and community service that is unmatched. She may have set a campus record for the number of faculty and administrative search committees she chaired or co-chaired. Significantly, she was co-chair of the search advisory committee that resulted in the hiring of Debra Friedman as our Chancellor in 2011.
Here are just a few additional highlights of Dr. Fought’s accomplishments while at UW Tacoma: the establishment of the healthcare leadership degree; collaboration with Tacoma Public Schools, MultiCare, Virginia Mason Franciscan, Bates Technical College, Tacoma Community College to establish the Healthcare Careers Academy; and long-standing engagement with our two-year college partners including Highline College, Pierce College, Olympic College, Tacoma Community College, South Puget Sound Community College and Grays Harbor College.
The nursing component of our School of Nursing & Healthcare Leadership is accredited as part of the UW School of Nursing in Seattle, as is the program on the Bothell campus. Dr. Fought worked diligently to foster that tri-campus relationship, as well as emphasizing what makes the UW Tacoma School distinct.
Dr. Fought’s leadership is widely recognized. The quality and reputation of our Master of Nursing degree contributes significantly to UW’s #1 ranking in the 2022 U.S. News & World Report list of best public nursing schools. And UW Tacoma alumni serve in nursing management positions at almost every hospital in the South Sound region.
Sharon's last day at UW Tacoma is Jan. 31. Unfortunately, the course of the pandemic prevents us at this time from planning in-person events, but we invite you to share your thoughts on Sharon’s legacy via this Kudoboard, where you can also post photos or video.
We will be making an announcement soon regarding interim leadership for the School of Nursing & Healthcare Leadership. We will then launch a national search for a new dean during the coming academic year.
Please join us in thanking Dr. Sharon Fought for her dedication and service to UW Tacoma, UW and our community.
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