New SMCM V.P. for Academic Affairs Named - Southern Maryland Headline News

New SMCM V.P. for Academic Affairs Named

ST MARY'S CITY, Md. (May 17, 2011)—Dr. Beth Rushing, of the University of Washington Tacoma, has been named St. Mary’s College of Maryland’s new vice president for academic affairs and dean of faculty, and will begin in the role July 1. Rushing serves as vice chancellor for academic affairs and is a professor of interdisciplinary arts and sciences at the Washington State college.

“Beth’s years of experience in academic administration at a number of public institutions, her time spent in the classroom, and her background of collaboration with faculty make her an excellent choice to be the college’s new vice president,” said President Joseph Urgo. “We are very pleased she has agreed to come.”

Molly Mahoney Matthews, Board of Trustees chair, agreed. "Beth Rushing rose to the top of a competitive pool of candidates to be selected as the next vice president for academic affairs and Dean of Faculty. I had an opportunity to spend time with Beth and was impressed with her passion, expertise, and the feel she had for faculty collaboration and our campus community. She will bring her energy and passion to our extraordinary faculty and take us to the next level of scholarship and honors."

UW Tacoma is one of three campuses that make up the University of Washington. A small urban campus that overlooks the Port of Tacoma and Mount Rainier, it is home to more than 3,000 students in seven academic units, studying in 27 undergraduate and six graduate programs.

“For many years, Rushing said, “I have admired the public honors college mission at St. Mary's. Liberal arts institutions are unique in their holistic focus on students. They create the conditions for students to expand their skills and knowledge and deepen their understanding of themselves as citizens and stewards of the world. St. Mary's fosters this through close student-faculty interactions and an amazing array of co-curricular opportunities for students.”

Before joining the University of Washington Tacoma, Rushing was dean at the College of Arts and Sciences at Georgia College & State University just as it was designated a public liberal arts university. She taught sociology at the University of Tennessee at Martin and Kent State University. Rushing is interested in environmental issues and international programs; twice she taught study-abroad programs in the Bahamas that addressed the environment and globalization. Her research focuses on work/life balance, with a particular emphasis on work/life concerns of tenure- track faculty. Also, at Tacoma, she helped create five new undergraduate programs, including information technology, health care leadership, criminal justice, writing studies, and sustainable urban development.

Rushing received her bachelor’s degree in sociology at Carson-Newman College in Tennessee, and her master’s and Ph.D. also in sociology from Duke University.

“I look forward to working with President Urgo and the rest of the St. Mary's faculty, staff, and students to continue these wonderful academic traditions,” Rushing said.

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