Two veteran academic leaders have been named to leadership posts within the newly launched University College at West Virginia University.
William A. Beasley, most recently serving at Cleveland State University, has been named associate dean for academic affairs while Tara A. Brooks of Fairmont State University becomes assistant dean.
Both positions are supported with existing funds through a reorganization within several areas that University College oversees.
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 adviser 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 that created an archive of digital stories on diversity and identities, and she headed 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 and 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 in Pennsylvania.
The University College was launched on July 1 to provide structured and coordinated academic services to undergraduate studies students and students seeking a degree through the Regents Bachelor of Arts program
About 7,800 students are served through University College.