Laudner named new dean of Helen and Arthur E. Johnson Beth-El College of Nursing and Health Sciences

Kevin Laudner works on a shoulder.
Courtesy of Illinois State University.

A nationally-respected shoulder expert with a history of success in academic leadership will be the new dean for the Helen and Arthur E. Johnson Beth-El College of Nursing and Health Sciences. Kevin Laudner will begin July 16, 2019, after a national search.

“I am thrilled for the opportunity to work with the students, faculty and staff in the Helen and Arthur E. Johnson Beth-El College of Nursing and Health Sciences,” Laudner said. “It is exciting to be a part of a college with such an exceptional history of quality academics, scholarship and civic engagement, along with the potential for new programs, community partnerships and the construction of the William J. Hybl Sports Medicine and Performance Center.”

Laudner is currently the interim dean of the College of Education at the Illinois State University. He was appointed to the position for the 2018-19 academic year to oversee the 2,800 students and 140 faculty housed within the nationally-acclaimed college. He was previously associate dean of the College of Applied Science and Technology, and director of the School of Kinesiology and Recreation.

Kevin LaudnerIn his administrative career, Laudner has secured nearly $1 million for student assistantships; assisted in establishing face-to-face, hybrid and fully online programs; overseen accreditation of numerous programs; founded the Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation Therapy Clinic; and increased grant program funding by 12 percent. The College of Education has raised more than $12 million as part of a $14.25 million goal for a capital campaign.

Laudner is a professor of kinesiology and has authored 61 peer-reviewed articles, written six book chapters and made 77 presentations at the international, national, regional and state level. He has served as the director of research at the Texas Metroplex Institute for Sports Medicine and Orthopedics in Arlington, Texas since 2010.

Laudner is currently a peer reviewer on the Higher Learning Commission and was an examiner for the Board of Certification for the National Athletic Trainers’ Association. He is a member of the American Society of Shoulder and Elbow Therapists and NATA.

Laudner has collaborated with the Texas Rangers for more than a decade in the evaluation of players’ biomechanical and neuromuscular characteristics during spring training in a process that has been adapted by teams throughout Major League Baseball. He has also worked with collegiate athletes at Northeastern State University and the University of Chicago, as well as high school athletes, and dancers with the Pittsburgh Ballet Company. He also assisted in coordinating medical coverage for the Pittsburgh Marathon.

Laudner earned his bachelor’s degree in kinesiology with an emphasis in athletic training from California State University, Northridge; his master’s degree in health and human performance with an emphasis in teacher education from Northeastern State in Tahlequah, Oklahoma; and his Ph.D. in health and rehabilitation science with an emphasis in sports medicine from the University of Pittsburgh.

“Kevin has proven himself a leader at Illinois State, and his experience, knowledge and professionalism impressed me and the search committee,” said Provost Tom Christensen. “As we prepare to open the Hybl Center next year, I’m confident that he’s the right person to lead the college through this period of expansion.”

The Helen and Arthur E. Johnson Beth-El College of Nursing and Health Sciences is expected to double enrollment by fall 2020 when the Hybl Center opens. The expansion will occur in the areas of anatomy, nursing, physiology, exercise science and physical therapy. Laudner replaces Nancy Smith, who retired in June 30, 2018, after a nearly 50-year career and 10 years as dean. Amy Silva-Smith, professor of nursing, is the current interim dean.

Christensen expressed his thanks to search committee chair Susan Taylor, associate vice chancellor for undergraduate education and academic planning, and the 11-member committee:

  • Carlotta Bell; manager of finance and administration; Helen and Arthur E. Johnson Beth-El College of Nursing and Health Sciences
  • Melissa Benton; associate professor, Nursing Department; Helen and Arthur E. Johnson Beth-El College of Nursing and Health Sciences
  • Amanda Elder; associate professor, Health Sciences Department; Helen and Arthur E. Johnson Beth-El College of Nursing and Health Sciences
  • Art Hayes, employee relations and HR consultant, Human Resources Office
  • Molly Larson; executive assistant to the dean; Helen and Arthur E. Johnson Beth-El College of Nursing and Health Sciences
  • Bill Lueck, co-executive director, William J. Hybl Sports Medicine and Performance Center; Centura Health
  • Kay Miller, chief nursing officer, UCHealth Memorial Hospital
  • Jeff Spicher; associate dean for clinical affairs, DNP coordinator, and associate professor, Nursing Department; Beth-El College of Nursing and Health Sciences
  • Andy Subudhi; professor and chair, Biology Department; College of Letters, Arts and Sciences
  • Corrie West, associate director, Development.

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