Associate Dean for Student Affairs and
Health Equity, Diversity and Inclusion and Clinical Professor

Piri Ackerman-Barger is the associate dean for Student Affairs and Health Equity, Diversity and Inclusion as well as clinical professor at the Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing at UC Davis. As the associate dean for Student Affairs, Ackerman-Barger leads the Office of Student Affairs on a wide range of issues, including, but not limited to, recruitment, admissions, academic progress, academic program policies, student career plans, accessibility and community standards. As associate dean for Health Equity, Diversity and Inclusion, she leads the school’s efforts to create a diverse and welcoming setting in which to learn, work and collaborate. She also designs initiatives to ensure the school’s learning environments, workforce, programs, services and partnerships are diverse and inclusive.

Ackerman-Barger’s academic interests relate to nursing pedagogy, student success, health equity and social justice. Over her career, she has combined her expertise in nursing and education to advance inclusive learning environments, education equity and health care workforce diversity. She is a national consultant and speaker on strategies to help underserved and under-represented groups in health professions thrive academically. She leads a $2.7 million Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) grant that provides scholarships to disadvantages pre-licensure nursing students.

As a founding member of the school of nursing, Ackerman-Barger was instrumental in developing curricula and training faculty on best practices related to teaching and learning. She is also the founder of the Summer Health Institute for Nursing Exploration and Success, a program designed to help high school and early community college students navigate pathways to become nurses.

She earned a Doctor of Philosophy in Nursing Education from the University of Northern Colorado, a Master of Science in Nursing Education from California State University, Sacramento, and a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Cal Poly Humboldt (formerly Humboldt State University). In 2023, she was awarded an Honorary Doctorate in Public Service conferred by University of Portland. 

Ackerman-Barger’s ongoing interdisciplinary work has been recognized through fellowship in the American Academy of Nurses and the National League for Nursing. In 2023, she was awarded the UC Davis Chancellor’s Fellowship for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion and was selected as a Public Scholars Faculty Fellow. She was primary author on a journal article for which she and her co-authors received the Dare to Share Writing Award of Excellence by Nurse Educator in honor of Kathleen Heinrich. Ackerman-Barger received the 2019 UC Davis Charles P. Nash Award, the 2016 UC Davis Chancellor’s Achievement Award for Diversity and Community, the 2019 Dean’s Award for Excellence in Equity, Diversity and Inclusion. She has also been awarded four Deans’ Team Awards for Inclusion Excellence, the 2017 Deans’ Award for Excellence in Mentoring at Early- to Mid-Career Level, the 2020 Dignity Health Dean’s Leadership Award for Excellence in Diversity and Inclusion and an Award for Teaching Excellence.

She has disseminated her scholarship in over 30 publications including, Journal of Nursing Education, Nursing Education Perspectives, Journal of Best Practices in Health Professions Diversity, Academic Medicine, Journal of the National Black Nurses Association, New England Journal of Medicine Catalyst, Nursing Outlook and many more.

Contact Information: Phone: 916-734-2145 | Email: