Cindy Munro, Dean of the School of Nursing and Health Studies, steps down

The M. Christine Schwartz Center for Nursing and Health Studies at the University of Miami's Coral Gables campus. Photo credit: Cecelia Runner

After six years as the Dean of the School of Nursing and Health Studies, Cindy Munro has decided to step down.

During her time in the role, Dean Munro has spent her years at the University focusing on funding for medical research as well as boosting the ranking of the school. To her, the school is meant to be a place for both academic excellence and community, and she often calls the nursing school a home for both students and staff.

Cynthia Foronda, professor and Assistant Dean for Innovation, Clinical Research and Scholarship for the School of Nursing and Health Studies, has formed a close mentorship with Dean Munro.

“Dean Munro has positively impacted my career in many ways,” said Foronda. “Her support played a critical part in my ability to receive the Josiah Macy Jr. Foundation Faculty Scholar Award.”

The Josiah Macy Jr. Foundation Award was created to foster the career of educators in medicine and nursing. Scholars receive financial support to execute a project in their institution, which Foronda credits Munro in helping her secure.

“She offered her time as a mentor and she assured that I was fully prepared to succeed in the high-stakes interview that was part of the process. Even now, long after the project has been completed, she offers her time to continue this mentorship,” Foronda said.

Reflecting on her time with Munro, Foronda states how this mentorship has allowed her to flourish as a professional, leading her to chase after opportunities that she otherwise would have been hesitant to go after.

“Dean Munro has demonstrated a consistent focus on mission-centered leadership. She firmly believes in the system of faculty governance and has involved faculty to help develop, shape and carry out the mission of the School. With the mantra of Novel, Optimistic and World-Changing (NOW) she has personally expressed how her decisions and actions center around trying to make the world a better place,” said Foronda.

Munro’s impact goes further than her relationship with her staff. She leaves behind a flourishing School of Nursing and Health Studies, and many of her colleagues accredit this to her hard work and leadership.

Willy Prado, interim executive vice president for academic affairs and provost professor of nursing and health studies, was the chair of the search committee that assisted in hiring her. After years of working together Prado describes Dean Munro as thoughtful, humble and a leader.

“Dean Munro has been a great member of the leadership team at UM. She has worked to elevate both the School of Nursing and Health Studies and the University, she has worked diligently on elevating the research portfolio of the school. The SONHS should be among the top 20 nursing schools in NIH funding,” Prado said.

With a long list of accomplishments trailing after her name, Munro has left a positive impact on her colleagues and her students. She is seen as a brilliant researcher and a hard worker, as she continues to inspire other women in her field.

“Dean Munro will leave behind the legacy of mission-driven leadership. She formulated goals and would assure communication of these goals with faculty, so that together, we could achieve them,” said Foronda. “During her tenure, she was able to recruit and hire faculty to increase the amount of research dollars brought in through competitive federal funding. At this point in time, the school is flourishing in research and scholarship like never before.”

Dean Munro plans to take a year of sabbatical after stepping down from her role in May of 2024, at the end of the academic year. With her future retirement in view, this next phase of her life is to focus on her and her family after all she has given to the field of nursing and UM, according to Prado.