Appointment of Linda Sarna as Dean of the UCLA School of Nursing

November 4, 2016

UCLA Office of the Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost

To: Administrative Officers, Deans, Department Chairs, Directors, Faculty and Staff in the School of Nursing, Vice Chancellors and Vice Provosts

Dear Colleagues:

I am pleased to announce the appointment of Linda Sarna as dean of the UCLA School of Nursing, effective November 15, 2016.

Dr. Sarna has served as interim dean of the UCLA School of Nursing since March 2015. Prior to that, she served as acting dean of the school since July 2014. A member of the UCLA community since her days as a student, she began her career as a senior staff nurse at the UCLA Medical Center. At the School of Nursing, she served in full- and part-time lecturer roles before being appointed an assistant professor in 1990, an associate professor in 1996 and a professor in 2001. In 2009, she was appointed to the school’s Lulu Wolf Hassenplug Endowed Chair in Nursing. In addition, Dr. Sarna served as chair of the UCLA Academic Senate during the 2012-13 academic year, and she chaired the committee that implemented UCLA’s tobacco-free policy.

Dr. Sarna is recognized for her scholarship in promoting the role of nursing in tobacco control and for her research on the symptoms and quality of life of people with lung cancer. As the principal investigator for the Tobacco Free Nurses initiative – the first national program to help nurses quit smoking in the U.S. – and through her active involvement in tobacco-control policy efforts nationally and internationally, she has emphasized the need to change expectations for nursing education and clinical practice.

Dr. Sarna’s numerous honors and awards include election as a fellow to the American Academy of Nursing, induction into the Honor Society of Nursing, Sigma Theta Tau International, and recognition as a distinguished research professor by the Oncology Nursing Society. In addition, earlier this year, she received the Jane Norbeck Distinguished Alumni Award from the UC San Francisco School of Nursing Alumni Association, and she was elected as the first national board chair for the National Clinician Scholars Program. Dr. Sarna has served on committees for the National Cancer Institute, the Oncology Nursing Society, the American Academy of Nursing and the American Society of Clinical Oncology, among others. She is the author of more than 200 publications, and she has delivered numerous lectures at conferences and universities worldwide. Dr. Sarna received her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in nursing from UCLA and her doctorate from UC San Francisco.

I want to thank search/advisory committee members for assembling an outstanding pool of candidates and for their roles in recruiting Linda. Timothy Brewer – vice provost for interdisciplinary and cross-campus affairs; professor of medicine – served as chair of the committee. Other members were:

  • Craig R. Fox – Harold Williams Chair in Management; professor of strategy, psychology and medicine
  • Arthur G. Gomez – professor of clinical medicine and general internal medicine
  • Karen A. Grimley – chief nurse executive, UCLA Health; assistant dean, UCLA School of Nursing
  • Gerald F. Kominski – professor of health policy and management; director, UCLA Center for Health Policy Research
  • Deborah Koniak-Griffin – professor of nursing; Audrienne H. Moseley Endowed Chair in Women’s Health Research; associate dean for diversity, equity and inclusion
  • Diana V. Messadi – professor of dentistry; chair, Section of Oral Medicine and Orofacial Pain; associate dean for education and faculty development
  • Wendie A. Robbins – professor and Audrienne H. Moseley Endowed Chair in Nursing; professor of environmental health sciences
  • Mary A. Woo – professor of nursing

Chancellor Block and I are grateful for Linda’s distinguished service during the past two years. She has proven to be a strong leader and an effective administrator, and we are confident that the school will reach new heights with her at the helm. Please join us in congratulating Linda and welcoming her as dean of the UCLA School of Nursing.  


Scott L. Waugh
Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost