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April 19, 2007

Vice chancellor for academic affairs named at UWT

By Sandra Sarr
UW Tacoma

Beth Rushing has been named vice chancellor for Academic Affairs at the UW Tacoma. Her appointment is effective July 2, subject to the approval of the UW Board of Regents.

Rushing has served for the past six years as dean of Liberal Arts and Sciences at Georgia College and State University, which has recently undergone a significant transition to become Georgia’s only public liberal arts institution. She previously held positions as assistant dean of Arts and Sciences at GCSU and as chair of the Department of Sociology, Anthropology, Criminal Justice and Social Work at University of Tennessee at Martin.

“We are fortunate that Dr. Rushing’s background at her previous institutions is highly relevant to the work we are doing at UW Tacoma. I am convinced that Dr. Rushing has the necessary vision, leadership skills and collaborative approach that will make her a strong and collaborative vice chancellor for Academic Affairs,” said Chancellor Patricia Spakes.

Rushing has worked extensively with first- and second-year students. Her experience in developing retention and general education programs will be valuable at UW Tacoma.

In May 2005, Gov. Chris Gregoire signed into law legislation authorizing UW Tacoma and two other upper-division campuses in Washington to accept freshmen and sophomores. UW Tacoma’s first freshmen began their studies in the fall of 2006. UW Tacoma opened its General Education Center in the spring of 2006 to provide curricular and academic advising for pre-majors, first-year undergraduates and sophomores with an undeclared major.

“Helping faculty to work effectively with first-year students is a large part of what I’ve done at GCSU. I am very excited about the opportunities at UW Tacoma as it develops as a four-year university,” she said.

Rushing was attracted to UW Tacoma because it’s located in the city and, more importantly, because of its deep and extensive relationship with the community.

“I’m excited about working with the community and faculty to ensure that UW Tacoma is offering the right programs at the right times. It’s amazing to think about how different UW Tacoma will be even five years from now. My new position is a wonderful challenge, and I can’t wait to get started,” Rushing said.

The University conducted a national search, and Rushing emerged as UW Tacoma’s top choice, according to Spakes. Rushing was among four finalists chosen by the Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs Search Committee to come to campus for extensive interviews with the campus community.

Rushing replaces Alan Wood, interim vice chancellor for Academic Affairs, who will return to his post as professor of interdisciplinary arts and sciences at UW Bothell. Rushing holds a Ph.D. in Sociology from Duke University.