Mitchell J. Wharton, an accomplished educator, researcher and clinician, has been named the University of Rochester School of Nursing’s new associate dean for equity and inclusion, pending approval by the Office of the Provost.
The appointment of Wharton, an assistant professor of clinical nursing and faculty diversity officer at the school, shatters glass ceilings at the school: he has become the first male and the first person from a group underrepresented in nursing to serve at the associate dean level of senior administration.
“I am honored to have the opportunity to serve students and colleagues by leading the mission to enhance equity and inclusive practices within our school,” said Wharton, who will transition to this position full time in July after fulfilling his current clinical and educational responsibilities for the spring semester. “I look forward to engaging members of the School of Nursing and Rochester communities as we work together to thoughtfully and respectfully develop strategies to increase diversity throughout the nursing workforce and academic nursing pipeline.”
Wharton has been an integral figure in the school’s diversity, equity and inclusion efforts for the past several years. He has been co-chairman of Council for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusiveness since 2018 and the faculty adviser for the student-led Leading with Integrity For Tomorrow (LIFT) program since 2014. He has also been a co-facilitator for the school’s Racial Equity Series, served on the University of Rochester Medical Center’s Executive Committee for Diversity and Inclusion, and served as the School of Nursing’s representative to the Academic Community Engagement Collaborative. He was honored with the School of Nursing’s Mary Dombeck Diversity Enhancement Faculty Awards in 2020.
As associate dean, Wharton will join the UR Nursing senior leadership team, where he will work to more fully integrate issues of diversity and inclusion in all aspects of the school.