After less than two months off the job and following an outcry from students, parents and faculty, Patricia Prechter has been reinstated as head of the Department of Nursing and Allied Health at Our Lady of Holy Cross College in Algiers.
Prechter stepped down as department chairwoman April 4, but an email exchange between her and college President Ronald Ambrosetti soon surfaced indicating that Prechter had requested to give up only her job as college provost, but was told by Amrosetti that her resignation would also apply to her job running the nursing program.
Prechter, who was instrumental in establishing the nursing program and had been at Our Lady of Holy Cross for three decades, said she had taken the provost position temporarily and wanted to focus more on the nursing program. She said the administration’s decision came as a surprise and left her heartbroken.
The emails also indicated Ambrosetti told her only one day before the resignation was made final that it applied to both posts.
Our Lady of Holy Cross officials refused to discuss the matter, but Prechter’s departure prompted an outcry from nursing students, who started a petition that was signed by more than 1,000 students, parents and alumni from across the country.
The school’s decision to seek two people to replace Prechter — one for the provost spot and another to head the nursing program — also drew the ire of students and other Prechter supporters.
On Tuesday, Our Lady of Holy Cross announced that Prechter had been reinstated as head of the nursing program.
“Over the last many weeks we have heard the feedback and have appreciated the insight and ideas concerning the future of the nursing program at Our Lady of Holy Cross College,” Kyle France, chairman of the college’s Board of Regents, said in a news release.
Spokesman Jeffery Ory said the college would release no additional comments or information on the matter.
“I want to thank the students, alumni, parents, faculty, staff and the entire community for the tremendous support that you have all shown to me and my family during these past many weeks,” Prechter said in a statement released by the college. “Your support has been overwhelming and will always be remembered. I look forward to getting back into the office and continuing to nurture, educate and mentor our students in the Department of Nursing and Allied Health.”
A comment from Ambrosetti was included as well: “The success of Our Lady of Holy Cross College and its nursing program speaks for itself, and I look forward to all of us working together toward our mission of educating the mind and the hearts of our students.”
Follow Chad Calder on Twitter, @Chad_Calder.