NORMAL — Illinois State University's top academic administrator will be leaving at the end of the year to become dean of nursing at Marquette University in Milwaukee.

Janet Krejci has been vice president for academic affairs and provost since 2014, serving on an interim basis until 2015. Before that, she was dean of ISU's Mennonite College of Nursing, staring in 2009.

Krejci came to ISU after 20 years as a faculty member and administrator at Marquette, which offers undergraduate and graduate nursing degrees.

Marquette officials first contacted her about the dean's position about a year ago, she said. Initially, Krejci declined the offer but after some recent family issues and with continued interest from Marquette, she decided to return home to Wisconsin.

“I lived in Wisconsin all my life,” Krejci said, noting that she comes from a family of 10, and her husband, also from Wisconsin, is one of 11. She said they often joked that half of Wisconsin was related to them.

Nevertheless, Krejci said: “It's very hard for me to go. I love this campus and this community.”

“What I found here when I came and still see every day is a very passionate and committed faculty and staff,” she added.

While she was ISU's nursing dean, the college doubled undergraduate enrollment and nursing faculty members received more than $1 million in grants. Also during that time, the college opened the Nursing Simulation Lab, added a doctor of nursing practice degree and saw nursing licensure examination pass rates consistently exceed national averages.

Krejci said she “learned a tremendous amount from leadership here” about “how you create a community that is focused on student success.”

ISU President Larry Dietz said in a statement, “Though we are sad to lose our vibrant and inspiring provost, we understand fully her need to choose opportunities that bring her close to home and family.”

Jan Murphy, who has been serving as interim dean of the College of Applied Science and Technology, will become interim vice president for academic affairs and provost in January.

Jay Groves, ISU chief of staff, said no timeline has been set for the national search for the vice president's position.

Groves noted that Murphy has held the position before on an interim basis and “we expect a smooth transition.”

Murphy has been at ISU more than two decades and served as an associate provost for more than 10 years, including time as interim provost. She also has been a former assistant dean, associate dean and department chair in the College of Applied Science and Technology and was director of Campus Dining Services.

Follow Lenore Sobota on Twitter: @pg_sobota

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