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NKU College of Health and Human Services Dean Dale Stephenson To Retire, Dr. Gannon Tagher Named Interim Dean

Dr. Gannon Tagher

Interim Dean Dr. Gannon Tagher

Dec. 6, 2022 - Northern Kentucky University announces that Dr. Dale Stephenson, NKU’s dean of the College of Health and Human Services since 2018, will retire at the end of the fall 2022 semester. Beginning in the spring 2023 semester, Dr. Gannon Tagher will serve as interim dean. 

Dr. Tagher currently serves NKU as the assistant vice provost for advising and first-year experience. Dr. Tagher was instrumental in the planning and implementation of the new First-Year Student Success Hub, which opened earlier in 2022. 

“I am excited to have the opportunity to serve as the interim dean for the College of Health and Human Services,” Dr. Tagher said. “I look forward to working with the faculty and staff within the college, as well as our campus partners, to further all of the great work that is already being done to ensure our students’ success and educate health professionals of the future.” 

Dr. Tagher arrived at NKU in 2005 and has served as the Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) program director, Department of Nursing chair and the associate dean for Academic Affairs for the College of Health and Human Services. She received both her BSN and Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) degrees from the University of Kentucky and is licensed as a pediatric nurse practitioner. Dr. Tagher’s doctoral work was completed at NKU, where she earned an Ed.D. in educational leadership with an emphasis in nursing education. 

“Dr. Tagher is a proven leader on our campus, and I’m grateful that she has agreed to lead the College of Health and Human Services,” Provost Matt Cecil said. “Dr. Tagher is a licensed pediatric nurse practitioner and thus has deep understanding of health professions and a clear vision for the future of the college.” 

Since his arrival in January 2018, Dr. Stephenson has played an instrumental role in advancing the college’s innovation efforts. This includes the creation of three programs: Bachelor of Science in Radiation Therapy; Doctor of Occupational Therapy; and the Master of Science in Cardiovascular Perfusion. Dr. Stephenson also led the reorganization and transition from the College of Health Professions to the College of Health and Human Services in 2019.

Today, the college and its four schools provide learning experiences that lead students to become passionate clinicians and prepare for the evolving challenges of health care.

“I am especially proud of my colleagues—both faculty and staff—and their ability to serve wonderful instruction that made our new college the success it is today. I’ve made some great friends that I’ll have forever, no matter where I go,” Dr. Stephenson says. “I’d like to thank NKU for its nimbleness and innovation to allow deans to create and think about new programs with an open mind and a policy that minimizes the bureaucratic barriers that you can confront when trying to change.”

Upon retirement, Dr. Stephenson looks forward to spending more time with his family, especially his grandchildren.

To learn more about the NKU College of Health and Human Services, its programs and resources, visit its website.

About NKU: Founded in 1968, NKU is an entrepreneurial state university of over 16,000 students served by more than 2,000 faculty and staff on a thriving suburban campus nestled between Highland Heights, Kentucky and bustling downtown Cincinnati. We are a regionally engaged university committed to empowering our students to have fulfilling careers and meaningful lives. While we are one of the fastest-growing universities in Kentucky, our professors still know our students' names. For more information, visit