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Harris named to lead School of Nursing and Health Professions

Dr. Crystal Harris, associate dean, School of Nursing and Health Professions

Dr. Crystal Harris has been named associate dean of the School of Nursing and Health Professions at Missouri Western State University.

“The effectiveness of Dr. Harris’ leadership has been apparent for some time,” said Dr. Jeanne Daffron, provost and vice president for academic affairs. “I am also impressed by the confidence her colleagues in the School of Nursing and Health Professions have in her. They too recognize her leadership and appreciate her collaborative approach. She clearly was the right choice to lead the School forward.”

“The School of Nursing and Health Professions has a tradition of quality programs because of the exceptional faculty, staff and students,” Dr. Harris said. “It will be exciting to build on our strengths, working with our community partners to develop health care leaders for the future.”

Dr. Harris has been on the nursing faculty at Missouri Western since 1999. She served as interim director of what was then the Department of Nursing and Allied Health in the summer of 2016, and as interim associate dean since last November. She has also been coordinator of Missouri Western’s RN to BSN program since 2013.

Dr. Harris came to Missouri Western after 13 years of working in the St. Luke’s Health System, starting as a nurse at St. Luke’s Hospital and finishing as director of St. Luke’s Northland Home Care and Wright Memorial Home Care.

Dr. Harris earned a nursing diploma from St. Luke’s College of Health Sciences in Kansas City, Missouri; a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from William Jewell College in Liberty, Missouri; a Master of Science in Nursing from the University of Kansas School of Nursing at the KU Medical Center in Kansas City, Kansas; and a Ph.D. in Nursing from the University of Missouri, Kansas City.

The School of Nursing and Health Professions was established in 2016 within the College of Professional Studies. The School offers a bachelor’s degree in nursing, a master’s degree in nursing, and degree programs in physical therapist assistant, health information management and population health management.

Missouri Western State University is a comprehensive regional university providing a blend of traditional liberal arts and professional degree programs. The university offers student-centered, high quality instruction that focuses on experience-based learning, community service, and state-of-the-art technology. Missouri Western is located in St. Joseph, Mo., and is committed to the educational, economic, cultural and social development of the region it serves. Visit