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Former UNC-Chapel Hill professor will lead UNCG's nursing school

Former UNC-Chapel Hill professor will lead UNCG's nursing school


GREENSBORO — UNCG has named a former UNC-Chapel Hill professor and program director to lead its nursing school.

The university announced Wednesday that Debra J. Barksdale will serve as dean of the School of Nursing and a professor of family and community nursing. She'll start July 19.

Barksdale has been professor of nursing and the associate dean of academic affairs for nursing at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, Va., since 2016. UNCG in its announcement said Barksdale has helped increase undergraduate and master's enrollment during her tenure at VCU and led efforts to develop a new nursing certificate program for master's students.

In 13 previous years at the UNC-CH School of Nursing, Barksdale was the inaugural director of the Doctor of Nursing Practice program and also led the Family Nurse Practitioner program. She was the first Black faculty member at the UNC-CH nursing school to become a full professor.

A Virginia native, Barksdale got her undergraduate nursing degree from the University of Virginia, a master's at Howard University in Washington, D.C., and a doctorate in nursing research from the University of Michigan.

In a statement, UNCG Chancellor Frank Gilliam called Barksdale "a nationally recognized scholar, teacher, and practitioner" whose "breadth of experience, accomplishments, and expertise makes her the ideal leader" of UNCG's nursing school.

Barksdale will take over from Robin Remsburg, who died Dec. 3 after a long illness. Remsburg was UNCG's nursing dean from 2013 to 2020. Heidi Krowchuk, an associate nursing dean, is currently serving as interim dean.

UNCG will honor Remsburg with an online tribute Thursday. The video, with pre-recorded remarks from current and former UNCG administrators and people affiliated with UNCG's nursing school, will be posted on the School of Nursing's website.

Contact John Newsom at (336) 373-7312 and follow @JohnNewsomNR on Twitter.​

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