Susan Dyess named president of Kennesaw State’s Wellstar School of Nursing

KENNESAW, Georgia | Sep 7, 2022

Susan Dyess, professor of nursing at Kennesaw State University, has been named to the Thomas M. and Elizabeth D. Holder Endowed Chair in the Wellstar School of Nursing.

Suzanne Dyess

A professor at KSU since 2019, Dyess has served as acting principal of the Wellstar School since July 2021.

“As Acting Director, Dr. Dyess has demonstrated her passion for nursing, nursing education and teamwork,” said Monica Swahn, Dean of Wellstar College of Health and Human Services. “She has also demonstrated strong leadership and strategic planning skills. She emerged from a national search as the ideal candidate for the position, and I congratulate her on this appointment.

Thomas and Elizabeth Holder’s $1 million gift to the KSU Foundation established the Wellstar School of Nursing Endowed Chair in 2014. Thomas Holder served as President of the KSU Foundation from 2002 to 2007.

Dyess has over 30 years of experience in nursing practice and academic service. Since joining the faculty at Kennesaw State, Dyess has also served as associate dean and helped create university and college policies dedicated to student success.

“I couldn’t be happier to be selected for this endowed chair and to be the principal of the Wellstar School of Nursing,” she said. “The faculty and staff are incredibly engaged and dedicated, the students are talented and amazing, and I’m privileged to work alongside them every day.”

With a current enrollment of approximately 700, the Wellstar School of Nursing is one of the largest programs in the state. In February 2020, Wellstar Health System donated $8.7 million to the nursing program to double enrollment, hire more faculty and staff, and increase nursing course offerings to address a shortage. widespread of nurses. Dyess said she looks forward to strengthening the partnership with Wellstar and strengthening nursing education in Kennesaw State in service of that goal.

“Nursing is currently experiencing a great shortage of manpower, and the essentials that guide our curriculum have changed, so we need to address that,” she said. “While there is a lot to do, it is a very exciting time for nursing education.

—Dave Shelles
Photo by Judith Pishnery

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A leader in innovative teaching and learning, Kennesaw State University offers undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral degrees to its nearly 43,000 students. With 11 colleges on two metro Atlanta campuses, Kennesaw State is a member of the University System of Georgia. The university’s vibrant campus culture, diverse population, strong global connections, and entrepreneurial spirit attract students from across the country and around the world. Kennesaw State is a Carnegie-designated (R2) doctoral research institution, placing it among an elite group of only 6% of US colleges and universities with R1 or R2 status. For more information, visit

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