First dean of college retires after 24 years

Jessie Hellmann

Dean Nadine Coudret leaves the Nursing and Health Professions College at the conclusion of the fall semester. She is the first dean of the college, and will retire after 24 years of service.

“It’s distressing not to be able to see her smile,” Provost Ron Rochon said. “The joyful part is she has provided this university with a body of work that is unmatched by many in her field.”


Coudret received her doctorate of education degree from Indiana University in 1980. Coudret was the Dean of College of Nursing and Health Sciences at the University of Evansville before she came to USI in 1988.

Rochon formed a committee to find a qualified candidate for the dean position.

The dean will come from a national pool of applicants, and the final three or four candidates will be on campus in February or early March, Rochon said.

During their visit each candidate will make a presentation to receive feedback from the university community. Rochon said he hopes he will have a dean chosen in late spring with a start date of July 1.

To begin the search process, he talked to faculty and staff from the college to gather what they want in a dean.

“They don’t want someone who’s going to come in and fix them,” Rochon said.

Rochon has known Coudret since he was hired as provost about a year ago.

“I’ve been on campus for a year, and I can’t tell you how many times she called just to check on me,” Rochon said. “She knows the kind of hours I put in and how demanding this job is, but she has been an individual who is always wondering about my health, and I appreciate that.”

Ann White, Nursing and Health Professions College’s associate dean, has known Coudret for 21 years.

“I think that there’s going to be a gap for a while,” White said referring to Coudret’s soon departure. “It’s going to be a transition.”

“One of the greatest things (Coudret) has done for me in my professional career is allowed me to grow,” White said.

White consistently climbed the ranks since she first came to USI in 1990. She started out as a faculty member, then served as undergraduate director, graduate director and then associate dean. White said Coudret allowed her to move up in the ranks and learn different skills as well.

Coudret is personable, White said.

“She’s always been about the people, and when you’re always about the people, then you’re always interested, excited and encouraging people to do bigger and better things,” White said.

She said Coudret helped create her career, and she will forever be grateful.

“I hope she enjoys her retirement,” White said. “She deserves to have a little time to do the things she wants to do.”

Dental hygiene program director Deborah Wolf worked with Coudret for 23 years.

“She challenges you,” Wolf said. “She assumes you can accomplish what she asks you to do. You can hear that from everyone that works for her.”

Wolf said Coudret is the consummate mentor, a motivator and a visionary.

“She has an attitude that just about anything can be accomplished,” Wolf said. “She’s amazing.”

Wolf said Coudret has provided such a strong foundation that the leadership that is staying here won’t go away.

“The day to day of not having Dr. Coudret to go to will definitely be a culture shift for our college,” she said.