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Sanderson to retire from Union, join nursing education company

Carla Sanderson will retire after 32 years of service to Union University.
Carla Sanderson will retire after 32 years of service to Union University.

JACKSON, Tenn.April 7, 2014 – Carla Sanderson, Union’s provost and executive vice president for strategic initiatives, has announced her retirement from Union.

Sanderson, who has been with Union for 32 years, has been named vice president for accreditation and professional regulation for Chamberlain College of Nursing. Headquartered in Chicago, Chamberlain offers a three-year Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree program at 13 campuses and online post-licensure nursing education undergraduate and graduate programs. She will begin there June 2.

“It is nearly impossible to calculate the significant influence of Carla D. Sanderson on the life and work of Union University over the past three decades,” Union President David S. Dockery said. “Through her roles as faculty member, dean, provost and executive vice president, Dr. Sanderson has made a remarkable contribution to almost all aspects of this institution.

“As she brings her service to Union to a conclusion, we offer thanksgiving to God for her many years of faithful service.”

Sanderson and her family will remain in Jackson, where she will work from home and travel occasionally in her new role.

“The greatest privilege of my career came when David Dockery appointed me to the position of university provost,” Sanderson said. “Year after year, plan after plan, with new convocation challenges, new programs, new campuses, new faculty and staff, new buildings and new initiatives, I have grown in the honor that has been mine as an academic and operational leader at Union University.”

Sanderson, a 1981 Union graduate with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing, completed her Master of Science in Nursing from the University of Tennessee at Memphis and her Doctor of Philosophy in nursing science from the University of Florida.

She returned to her alma mater in 1982 as a nursing professor and became dean of Union's School of Nursing in 1990. Dockery named her Union’s provost in 1998 and executive vice president in 2012.

In her new role with Chamberlain, Sanderson will focus on gaining state board and accreditation agency approvals to increase and support nursing education access in metropolitan areas where there is high employer demand and an insufficient number of qualified nursing applicants.

As a Union retiree, Sanderson will retain her tenured nursing professor role and plans to continue working with nursing students as University Professor of Nursing.

Sanderson and her husband Larry are members of First Baptist Church in Jackson and have three sons, two of whom are Union graduates.

“I can honestly say there has never been a season when I wished I was somewhere else,” Sanderson said about her time at Union. “My spirit has soared all these years. It is hard to leave daily interactions with people I respect and admire. I am asking God to let me soar on eagle’s wings again. I believe he will.”

Media contact: Tim Ellsworth, news@uu.edu, 731-661-5215

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