Interim nursing and communication deans settle into roles

Ana Garner (front) and Donna McCarthy (back) Photo by Doug Peters /

Ana Garner (front) and Donna McCarthy (back) Photo by Doug Peters /

Gary Leverton

Two of the university’s eight colleges are headed by interim deans, both of whom started their roles during the summer.

Donna McCarthy became interim dean of the College of Nursing Aug. 10, and Ana Garner started as interim dean of the College of Communication May 28. They respectively replaced Margaret Callahan, who announced her resignation June 29, and Lori Bergen, who announced her resignation April 8.

Once chosen, both of the colleges’ new deans are slated to start next fall. The formation of a search
committee to find the Communication dean was announced June 3, and a Nursing dean search committee has yet to be announced.

“Don’t lose ground and keep moving forward” is the mantra McCarthy is using for her time as interim dean. She hopes the next dean will be chosen by spring 2016. Her interim dean contract expires next July.

McCarthy said she’s working to be the face of the college and maintain its momentum. One of the job’s challenges for her is remembering to check her calendar frequently.

“It’s a vibrant document,” she said.

This isn’t Garner’s first time as the interim dean of her college. She also held the role from 2005 to 2006. The position includes supporting students and representing college alums and the larger Milwaukee area.

“Really getting to represent our college in a way that I don’t as a faculty member,” Garner said is her favorite part of being interim dean. “Getting to tell other people about the cool stuff here at Marquette and advocating for our college.”

Garner said it’s challenging to be an efficient decision maker, especially when the job often requires her to make many decisions.

“It’s like getting whiplash,” Garner said with a laugh. “But in a good way. I really like doing this. I am honored to have this opportunity and it has been a lot of fun.”

Both Garner and McCarthy were professors before becoming interim deans. Garner teaches journalism and media studies. McCarthy teaching nursing and is the interim associate dean for research in her college.