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Victoria Niederhauser, Dean of the College of Nursing, has been named to the Sara Rosenbalm Croley Endowed Dean’s Chair. This is the first endowed dean’s chair for the college and the third for the university.

The $2 million endowment was given by Ross and Sara Croley as a reflection of Niederhauser’s service and transformational leadership. Sara, for whom the endowment is named, received her Bachelor of Science in Nursing from UT in 2000. The earned endowment funds directed by the dean will be used to support student success, enhance learning experiences, and further the mission of the college.

“This gift is an endorsement of our confidence in Dean Niederhauser and her vision for the College of Nursing,” said Sara Croley. “We know Tennessee needs more nurses, and we feel our gift will be a catalyst in fulfilling this vision.”

Niederhauser is a board-certified pediatric nurse practitioner, a Robert Wood Johnson Executive Nurse Fellow, and a fellow of the Academy of Nursing. She has served as dean since 2011. The focus of her scholarly activities is in the area of child and adolescent health promotion and disease prevention, with an emphasis on immunizations and childhood obesity.

“Dean Niederhauser leads with integrity, vision, and a strong commitment to the mission of the college,” said Provost David Manderscheid. “She is admired by her faculty, staff, colleagues, and members of the community. This endowment recognizes the importance of our nursing college and the critical role of the dean. It further enables Dean Niederhauser to continue propelling the college forward.”

During Niederhauser’s tenure as dean, she has led the college to improve educational experiences for students, recruit exemplary faculty members, significantly increase research funding, and expand enrollment to meet an increasing nursing workforce demand. Enrollment in the College of Nursing continues to reach an all-time high year over year, and the MSN program’s US News & World Report ranking reached the top 25 for public institutions in 2019.

“This endowment funds the College of Nursing dean’s position in perpetuity, which will have a deep impact on the mission of the college,” said Niederhauser. “I am extremely grateful to Sara and Ross for the opportunity to be the first dean to hold the chair.”

The endowment will be enhanced through the Chancellor’s Faculty Challenge, which funds interest income immediately on all new gifts and five-year pledges in support of faculty.


Emily Kissel (, 865-974-2755)

Andrea Schneibel (, 865-974-3993)​