Appointment of Beth Ann Dobie as Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs
I am pleased to announce the appointment of Beth Ann Dobie to the position of provost and vice president of Academic Affairs at our University, effective July 1. Beth Ann has been shouldering these important responsibilities on an in interim basis since July 2019.
Beth Ann holds a bachelor’s degree in philosophy from Southern Connecticut State University and master’s and doctoral degrees in philosophy from the University of Connecticut. She came to our University in 1995, serving as professor of art theory and philosophy until 2017, when she was appointed dean of our College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. A recognized scholar and award-winning teacher known for her development of interdisciplinary curriculum in our College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, Beth Ann has served our institution exceptionally well in her roles as teacher and administrator.
Beth Ann, a past winner of the Joseph Kruson Award for Excellence in Teaching, created new courses that addressed contemporary issues in art theory and philosophy, and chaired honors theses in Fine Arts/Interdisciplinary Arts and philosophy. She is past chair of the Division of Human Studies and past director of the Fine Arts/Interdisciplinary Arts program. Beth Ann also played an integral role in the development of our University’s Social Justice Studies minor.
During her tenure as dean of our College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, Beth Ann guided the transition of the divisions of Education and Athletic Training into the College; led efforts to gain reaccreditation of our Education Program; and improved retention by implementing a mid-semester scholastic standards review for at-risk students.
Beth Ann is respected throughout the Alfred University community. She is known for her team-based approach to leadership. She and our deans worked diligently to transform the Deans’ Council into a collaborative working group and they have made it a priority to support faculty and staff in their endeavors as scholars, teachers, and community members.
As interim provost and vice president of Academic Affairs, Beth Ann helped lead efforts to secure Strategic Investment Funds to support faculty work on academic innovation proposals; initiated Faculty Scholar Awards to acknowledge excellence in research; and introduced a publication, “Outside the Classroom,” to celebrate faculty accomplishments. She has championed broad, encompassing definitions of academic program innovation and efforts to make quality our University’s North Star. For example, in terms of academic program innovation, Beth Ann has noted the importance of pedagogical and curricular reform while supporting the addition of majors in business analytics, data analytics, biochemistry, and music. Our computer science major and health planning and management minor have been reactivated while the New York State Education Department recently approved our proposed B.S. majors in chemistry and biology.
Beth Ann has been tireless in her service to our University. Twice, in 2004 and 2014, she chaired the Middle States Commission on Higher Education Self-Study Committees. She chaired the Search Committee for our Vice President of Student Affairs; and currently serves on the President’s Committee on Diversity, the Strategic Retention Committee, as a facilitator for our Common Ground program, and as historian for our Phi Beta Kappa chapter.
Beth Ann emerged from a pool of candidates that was both deep and talented. Three of the five finalists by now have received provost appointments and we expect to be hearing of the administrative accomplishments of the other two over the coming years. Please join me in thanking the members of the search committee who created the robust candidate pool: Megan Alper ’20 (student); Fred Beaudry (co-chair, associate professor of environmental studies/geology); Mark Lewis (co-chair, associate professor of finance and management information systems and dean, College of Business); Laurie Lounsberry Meehan ’91 (librarian/university archivist); Scott Misture ’90, ’94 PhD (Inamori professor, materials science and engineering); Susan Morehouse (professor, English); Lynn O’Connell ’02 PsyD (professor, school psychology, and Faculty Senate president during this academic year); Kat Riesing (assistant professor, School of Art and Design); and Brian Saltsman (director of student diversity/inclusion). Mark Guinan (director, human resources) served as an ex officio member and three members of our Board of Trustees—Tom Hinman ’79, Kevin Livingston ’93, and Kathleen Richardson ’82, ’92 PhD—served on a Trustee Advisory Committee for the search.
“I am thrilled and honored to be chosen as the next provost of Alfred University. I look forward to being a part of the team that is transforming our challenges into opportunities, among them: advancing significant diversity and inclusivity in our community and curricula, and creating new ways of teaching and learning inspired by our current circumstances.” Beth Ann said of her appointment. “Alfred University’s mission is to transform student lives and better our world; these two goals go hand in hand. They are at the heart of what we do, and are more important now than ever.”
Throughout her tenure at Alfred University, Beth Ann has demonstrated the leadership and foresight needed to advance our institution’s mission and vision. Please join me in congratulating Beth Ann on her selection as provost and vice president of Academic Affairs and in thanking her for her contributions to our University thus far as well as for her willingness to help us overcome and grow from the challenges that we presently confront.