Two veteran academic leaders have been named to leadership posts within the newly launched University College at West Virginia University.

William A. Beasley, from Cleveland State University, has been named associate dean for academic affairs and Tara A. Brooks, from Fairmont State University, assistant dean, effective immediately.

Both positions are being supported with existing funds through a reorganization within several areas University College oversees.

“We are fortunate to have individuals with diverse backgrounds who are committed to student success and the mission of the WVU University College,” said Elizabeth Dooley, dean of the University College and associate provost for undergraduate academic affairs.

“I am grateful to the University community for embracing the concept of the University College and look forward to forging collaborative relationships with all units on campus,” Dooley said.

Beasley earned doctorate and masters of education degrees from the University of Georgia and master’s and bachelor’s degree from Davidson College. At Cleveland State, he was professor of educational technology and director of the Center for Teaching Excellence. He will also be a professor in WVU’s College of Education and Human Services.

For the past three years, Beasley has been working to improve retention and graduation rates at CSU. He led that school’s Faculty Senate Committee on Undergraduate Success. As a result of the committee’s work, CSU freshman retention rates reached a record high with the Fall 2012 freshman class.

He also served as a consultant to the Ohio Department of Education, working with the Ohio Performance Assessment Pilot Project.

Brooks returns to her alma mater, where she earned doctorate and master’s degrees in special education in 2011 and 1998 respectively, and a bachelor’s in interdepartmental studies in 1996.

At Fairmont State University/Pierpont Community and Technical College she was director of multicultural affairs and assistant professor in the School of Education, Health and Human Performance. She led diversity initiatives across campus, disciplines, faculty/staff and students. She also served as faculty advisor for students and various organizations and was active on numerous committees to assist in creating an inclusive environment.

Brooks also started a Diversity Task Force at FSU, involving community members in increasing diversity awareness. She co-chaired a project with the dean of the School of Education, Health and Human Performance that created an archive of digital stories on diversity and identities and chaired a team that worked on developing a professional development course for faculty, staff, and community members on examining diverse identities, Funding for these projects came from the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission.

Previously, she was a social justice specialist with WVU Extension, where she supported professional development activities, civil rights compliance, Americans with Disabilities Act accommodations as well as teams focused on social justice and reaching the underserved.

She has been a special education lecturer and adjunct professor at WVU, Wheeling Jesuit University and Waynesburg Graduate College.

The University College was launched on July 1 to provide structured and coordinated academic services to undergraduate studies students (previously general studies students and pre-majors) and students seeking a degree through the Regents Bachelor of Arts program or the B.A. Pathway Multidisciplinary Studies degree program.

Approximately 7,800 students are served through the College, which steers them toward a specific academic concentration and offers career development opportunities.



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