Letter to Dean??

  1. I need some input/advice from other students or nursing instructors/professors. I am entering the School of Nursing in a few short weeks (May 14 to be exact), and at this point I am finishing up a pre-nursing class. My instructor is a master prepared lecturer (I attend a University), and I have become fairly close with this instructor. I had her for a class last semester and this semester, and she is the sweetest lady I have ever met. She is a new lecturer with the school of nursing (she has been teaching for a few short years) but she has 20+ years experience as a nurse. I truly see her as a mentor, and she has went as far as giving me her personal cell phone number, and has helped me through quite a bit.

    Today in class I was speaking to her privately and she told me that she was fired and would be done with the School of Nursing after this semester. I was shocked and asked her why and she stated they fired her and another lecturer because they are both very opinionated and open about speaking their mind when it comes to the School of Nursing. She was physically upset and I too am very upset that she is being let go. She is by far the most awesome instructor I have ever experienced, and strongly believe this is an injustice.

    My question is: would it be an o.k. thing to write the Dean of nursing (the one directly responsible for her dismissal) and express my gratitude regarding this instructor. I wouldn't mention her telling me of her dismissal, but rather just a letter of appreciation and express all of the wonderful things this instructor has done for me and other students.

    Any thoughts on this?
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  2. 14 Comments

  3. by   justme1972
    You can write the letter, but it won't do any good. Colleges are extremely political places, and she made a grave mistake: She had strong opinions about her place of employment before she had a track record established.

    Administration doesn't like that. Especially if she was voicing her opinions during class. That is always a career-killer.

    Just trust that her teaching ability probably had every little to do with her losing her job.

    However, if the semester wasn't finished yet, if I was her, I would give the easiest final on the planet.
  4. by   jill48
    Personally, I wouldn't. I don't think you should get in the middle of whatever is going on between the dean and the instructors. I would still be friendly with her. I think it would be a mistake to insert yourself into a situation that does not involve you; this is your career you are talking about - do you really want to take a chance on getting on the dean's bad side? Stay clear of the situation.
  5. by   TazziRN
    It's admirable that you want to try and help her, but I feel that she was wrong to tell you about this. It's the same as a parent telling the children why the other parent kicked him/her out.
  6. by   HisHands
    I agree. I don't think it was appropriate for her to tell you about her situation. I understand she probably wanted to vent or whatever, but it definitely crosses some role boundaries. She's not your girlfriend, she's your instructor. (God, I'm ornary today)

    Anyway, that said, I don't think that it's a wise move. You are starting out fresh in a new program that I'm sure is competitive entry wise. Don't jeopardize your future. I think the best way that you can honour this instructor and mentor, and express your gratitude would be by working hard and being the kind of nurse she would want you to be.

    Use her example as empowerment.

    Blessings,
    Crystal
  7. by   MikeyJ
    Thank you all for your input -- I think I was just so upset about the entire scenario that I needed some advice. I have decided not to write a letter to the dean. Thank you Crystal for your wonderful advice about empowerment. I never looked at the scenario that way! (BTW, I have to comment on the comment you made regarding shes not my girlfriend. Hopefully my original post didn't in any way imply there was anything more to our student-teacher relationship -- hell, shes married to a doctor and I'm gay... haha. I don't think anything would work out! )

    Again, thank you all for your wonderful advice!
  8. by   pagandeva2000
    Quote from sistermike
    Thank you all for your input -- I think I was just so upset about the entire scenario that I needed some advice. I have decided not to write a letter to the dean. Thank you Crystal for your wonderful advice about empowerment. I never looked at the scenario that way! (BTW, I have to comment on the comment you made regarding shes not my girlfriend. Hopefully my original post didn't in any way imply there was anything more to our student-teacher relationship -- hell, shes married to a doctor and I'm gay... haha. I don't think anything would work out! )

    Again, thank you all for your wonderful advice!
    I am glad you decided to back off. I had a professor that confided alot to me as well. I was horrified with the things she shared with me about the program director, who also hated my guts. But, I would not consider writing this letter and I never even thought about intervening for this professor that confided in me; either...not once. Nursing school is a political gutter. You will see this for yourself. You may be an innocent bystander and get caught up in the mess and it is stressful enough to deal with this as a student trying to achieve a goal. This instructor got her stuff already, and somehow, I don't believe that she will have a hard time trying to find a job. But, YOU will have a hard time if you intervene...you can find yourself being blackballed by all of the instructors you have to work through to get YOUR license.

    I had instructors from my Patient Care Associate program that I remained friends with. In fact, years later, they did come to me and asked for reference letters from me from the perspective of a student when they applied for positions in colleges. I wrote them gladly. But, do not place yourself in a political mess so early in your road to nursing. Believe me, you will have your own problems as time goes on and the last thing you need is a connection to controversy.
  9. by   pagandeva2000
    And, I want to add that I have been on the bad side of a dean, and that is not a good place to be. I felt compelled to do even better than before because I didn't want for grades to be an influence in case a decision had to be made. The interesting thing was that most of the class was failing, so, I did have the advantage because she needed someone to brag about. I used to see the negative expression she had in her face when she would see that I was getting high 90's on exams. I suspect that she wanted me to do 'okay'...not fantastic. Those grades were earned out of stress...I couldn't even enjoy them because I felt that witch at the heels of my toes. I have to laugh (now), because I wound up being valedictorian...I guess I shocked the pants off of her...but it could have been different....VERY different.
  10. by   MikeyJ
    I also wanted to clarify by what I meant by this letter I was going to write the dean. It was merely going to be a letter talking about how highly I think of this professor (kind of like an evaluation letter) and I wasn't going to mention anything about the instructor and my relationship (once again, it was strictly teacher-student relationship, but I confided in her a lot about family troubles and issues I was having with school and she told me about her family and her kids and was just there if I ever had any type of questions, but it was a very professional student-teacher relationship).

    When I used to work in sales (I used to sell high-end ladies shoes) my manager would always receive letters from customers speaking highly of me. That is the type of letter I was going to send to the dean. Just wanted to clarify the type of letter.
  11. by   pagandeva2000
    Quote from sistermike
    I also wanted to clarify by what I meant by this letter I was going to write the dean. It was merely going to be a letter talking about how highly I think of this professor (kind of like an evaluation letter) and I wasn't going to mention anything about the instructor and my relationship (once again, it was strictly teacher-student relationship, but I confided in her a lot about family troubles and issues I was having with school and she told me about her family and her kids and was just there if I ever had any type of questions, but it was a very professional student-teacher relationship).

    When I used to work in sales (I used to sell high-end ladies shoes) my manager would always receive letters from customers speaking highly of me. That is the type of letter I was going to send to the dean. Just wanted to clarify the type of letter.
    I totally understand what you wanted to do, and as a person, I respect you for it...I really do. As a person who experienced some of the very bad in nurisng school, I was just passionate about feeling you should be low key and feel your own way. I believe in my heart that your relationship was nothing more than what you described. But, I have seen UGLY things come out of nursing school. You don't need the headache...believe me. I do wish you the very best. And, wish your professor and mentor well for me.:spin:
  12. by   IrishIzCPNP
    How about writing her a letter singing her praises about how much you learned, how you see her as a mentor and so on. Make it general and not about her being fired. Make it about her. She will have this letter to brighten her day and heck maybe put in her CV/resume.
  13. by   jill48
    I find it admirable that you want to write the letter to praise the instructor, but I still think it's a bad idea to get into the middle of something that clearly does not involve you and take a chance on getting on the dean's bad side. Good luck.
  14. by   WDWpixieRN
    Unfortunately, I have to agree with the others. It's a very sad situation, but if they've fired TWO instructors, the person whom was in charge of the firings obviously carries a lot of weight for whatever reason.

    Stay out of it for now and get yourself through school. If the instructor needs a reference for a future teaching assignment, you can offer to write that for her, but otherwise, I'd just bow out.

    Upon graduation, if you still see injustices that have occurred, and this person is still in charge, I wouldn't hesitate to bring it to someone's attention. Sometimes it sounds like there are nursing schools that are still in the dark ages of being run like a boot camp.

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