Antoinette M. Hays, PhD, RN, is the tenth President of Regis College. Helping build the College’s nursing program as a faculty member since 1985, she went on to become Curriculum Coordinator of Graduate Programs (1995), Director of Nursing and Co-Director of the Academic Center on Health Professions (2002); the first Academic Dean of the new Regis College School of Nursing, Science and Health Professions (2006-2011); and, in 2011, President of the College. Dr. Hays values the liberal arts foundation of a Regis education and has worked at the ground level with colleagues to ensure that both the undergraduate and the graduate curriculum register an appropriate interdisciplinary while preparing students for graduate school, the workforce, and the professions. This is a vision she has taken with her into the presidency along with an understanding of the contemporary need in the higher education environment of greater Boston for the cultivation of academic partnerships.
A graduate of Rosary Academy, Dr. Hays received her own bachelor’s degree in the 1970s at Boston College and is committed to Catholic higher education. She took her master’s degree at Boston University and received her doctorate from the Heller School at Brandeis University in 1990. She is an expert in gerontology, policy and health professions education, nursing education, and school health initiatives. Among her achievements at Regis are the foundation of the Regis College Nursing Honor Society; implementation of the undergraduate nursing major with NLNAC accreditation; the development of undergraduate Health and Fitness Studies with tracks in Sports Management and Nutrition; development of the Master’s degree programs in Nursing Leadership and Nursing Practice, and the Master’s programs in Health Administration and in Biomedical Sciences; and development and implementation of the College’s first doctoral program, the Doctorate of Nursing Practice, with NEASC approval. In the past ten years, working with her faculty, the College Administration and Regis Trustees, she developed and implemented the human and curricular infrastructure for the School of Nursing, Science and Health Professions. Under her leadership as Dean of SNSHP, the Regis College nursing program earned designation by NLN as a Center of Excellence in Nursing Education, the only nursing program in New England to have this designation (2008-2011), and the College secured more than $5 million for programs, loans and scholarships from federal, state, private foundation, corporate and major donor sources so that Regis College could become a leader in addressing the national shortage of nursing faculty and nurses and in cultivating diversity in that workforce.
Recently, Dr. Hays encouraged and Regis achieved an exchange agreement with the Heller School of Brandeis University to amplify course options for the graduate students at each institution. She has also overseen the development, funding, and launching of the Regis College Haiti Project, an international nursing faculty education initiative collaborating with the Haitian Ministry of Health in educating nursing faculty in Haiti. Dr. Hays is a member of a number of professional organizations, including Massachusetts Colleges of Nursing (MACN), Eastern Nurse Research Society; American Association for Colleges of Nursing (AACN) Program Committee, and serves on the boards of the Gifford School, Weston, MA; Parmenter Health VNA and Community Care, Wayland, MA; Massachusetts Organization for Nurse Executives (MONE) and its “Practice /Education Integration Committee.” As Regis President, she is also a member of the Association of Independent Colleges and Universities of Massachusetts (AICUM), the Association of Colleges of the Sisters of St. Joseph (ACSSJ), the Association of Catholic Colleges and Universities (ACCU), and the Council of Independent Colleges (CIC).