By John Feudo

After nearly 50 years in health care and higher education and more than a decade as dean leading UMass Lowell’s Zuckerberg College of Health Sciences, Shortie McKinney has decided to retire and will step away from the university this summer.

“Shortie has led a transformation of the health sciences at UMass Lowell and elevated the name of the Zuckerberg College on a national stage,” said Joe Hartman, provost and vice chancellor for academic and student affairs.

“There’s no one who has done more to earn her retirement, but I know I speak for Zuckerberg students, faculty and alumni, as well as her colleagues across UMass Lowell, when I say we will miss her leadership.”

Dean McKinney assumed her role at UMass Lowell in 2009, having previously served as dean of the College of Health Professions at Marshall University, and associate dean for research and graduate studies in the College of Arts and Sciences at Drexel University. She was also chair of the Department of Bioscience and Biotechnology at Drexel and created the Nutrition Center.

At UMass Lowell, Dean McKinney led broad organizational changes including a renaming of the School of Health and Environment to the College of Health Sciences. She oversaw an expansion of the college’s academic programs to include programs in dietetics, bachelor’s and master’s programs in public health and pharmaceutical sciences as well as a Ph.D. program in the latter.

She welcomed significant endowments associated with the renaming of the Solomont School of Nursing and the Roy Zuckerberg College of Health Sciences.

She was part of the development team for the Donna Manning Health and Social Sciences Building, and as dean oversaw the renovation of classroom and lab space, including a new suite of labs for Physical Therapy and Kinesiology Lab in Riverview Suites.

“As the health sciences have grown since 2009, UMass Lowell students more than ever are sought after because organizations know they will arrive with the knowledge and experience to immediately hit the ground running and make an impact,” McKinney said.

“I’m so proud of what our faculty, alumni, donors and industry partners have been able to create for our students,” she said, noting that a large majority of current faculty and staff members were hired during her tenure. “They are dedicated to our students’ success and have brought with them an outstanding mix of teaching skills and applied knowledge delivering health care.”