Merrimack College Names Douglas J. Pisano New Dean of its School of Nursing and Health Sciences

Pisano brings more than 35 years of higher education experience and has launched two independent health professional schools within university settings.
Headshot of Douglas Pisano.
Douglas J. Pisano, the new dean of Merrimack's School of Nursing and Health Sciences, previously served as the founding dean of the Dennis R. DePerro School of Health Professions at St. Bonaventure University in New York.

Merrimack College recently announced the appointment of Douglas J. Pisano, Ph.D., as the new dean of its School of Nursing and Health Sciences. He will oversee Merrimack’s fastest-growing school, which has become a leader in educating the next generation of health professionals.

He is currently the founding dean of the Dennis R. DePerro School of Health Professions at St. Bonaventure University in New York. With more than 35 years of higher education experience, Pisano’s scholarship, leadership, and passion for health sciences education align with the Merrimack College mission. During his career, he established and led schools at two different universities, built relevant and successful graduate and undergraduate programs and has extensive experience mentoring faculty, staff and students in leadership and personal growth. 

“We are thrilled to welcome Dr. Pisano to Merrimack College, at what is an exciting time for both the college and the School of Nursing and Health Sciences,” said Merrimack College President Christopher E. Hopey, Ph.D. “Over his distinguished career, Dr. Pisano has demonstrated an innovative approach to health sciences education, and I look forward to working with him to continue to grow the School of Nursing and Health Sciences’ reputation and meet the initiatives laid out in the college’s strategic plan, the Agenda for the Future.”

As founding dean of the Dennis R. DePerro School of Health Professions at St. Bonaventure, Pisano created a multi-year vision of undergraduate and graduate programs and helped to raise more than $12.5 million toward rehabilitating the campus building that houses the school. 

Before St. Bonaventure, Pisano held several leadership positions at the Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences (MCPHS). As vice president for academic affairs and provost, he oversaw 80 academic programs, 650 full-time and adjunct faculty and nearly 7,000 students. 

“I look forward to joining the team of faculty, staff, students, and administration in the School of Nursing and Health Sciences and the college,” Pisano said. “I pledge to enhance, increase, and grow the School of Nursing and Health Sciences in an organized and strategic fashion while embracing Merrimack’s Agenda for the Future, its Augustinian values and traditions and its sense of community and belonging. I am excited to begin a new chapter in my professional life and in the future of Merrimack College.”

The School of Nursing and Health Sciences is in the midst of a transformative academic year.

This past fall, the school was officially renamed to include nursing to reflect the growing interest in the program and Merrimack’s commitment to closing the workforce gap in the nursing field. Later this spring, the school will have its first graduating class from the nursing program. 

Pisano is no stranger to the Greater Boston area. In addition to his time at MCPHS, he received his doctorate in philosophy from Northeastern University, his master of science degree from the University of Massachusetts Boston and his bachelor’s degree in pharmacy from MCPHS. 

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