Cunningham Named Provost, Dean of the Faculty at Illinois Wesleyan University
April 25, 2006
BLOOMINGTON, Ill. -- Beth A. Cunningham, associate dean of the faculty in the College
of Arts and Sciences at Bucknell University in Lewisburg, Penn., has been named provost
and dean of the faculty at Illinois Wesleyan University. Cunningham succeeds Janet
McNew, who recently accepted a position as Provost and Vice President for Academic
Affairs at the University of Tampa.
Illinois Wesleyan President Richard F. Wilson announced Cunningham’s appointment,
which will be effective August 1, 2006. “I am delighted to welcome Beth Cunningham
to the university in this important leadership role. Her credentials and experience
are extremely impressive, and we look forward to her enthusiasm and creativity as
we move forward with many important initiatives related to the implementation of our
Cunningham received her bachelor’s, master’s and Ph.D. degrees in physics from Kent
State University, Kent, Ohio. She was a teaching fellow and research assistant at
The Liquid Crystal Institute at Kent State and a postdoctoral fellow at the Hormel
Institute at the University of Minnesota. She taught at Gettysburg College in Gettysburg,
Penn., following her postdoctoral fellowship. In 1989 she joined the physics department
at Bucknell as an assistant professor and progressed through faculty ranks to full
professor in 2002. In 2000 she was named associate dean of the faculty in the College
of Arts and Sciences.
Her administrative responsibilities have included the design and supervision of programs
for faculty development in the areas of teaching, scholarship, and professional development.
She has overseen the hiring of faculty, coordinated reviews of proposals for internal
and external support, managed capital budgets, and spearheaded efforts to enhance
opportunities for faculty-student engagement outside the classroom. Cunningham has
had oversight of the Summer Research Program in Physics since 1995, collaborated on
efforts to strengthen the arts at Bucknell, chaired the faculty and academic personnel
committee for one year, and chaired the committee on education of the American Physical
Society in 2004.
Cunningham has been very active in educational and professional organizations at the
national level. She is member of the Committee on Substantive Change of the Middle
States Commission on Higher Education, serves as a counselor in the Physics and Astronomy
Division of the Council on Undergraduate Research, and is a member of Project Kaleidoscope’s
Faculty for the 21st Century, an organization devoted to improving science, technology,
engineering, and mathematics programs for undergraduates.
She has won numerous academic prizes, including several National Science Foundation
CONTACT: Sherry Wallace (309) 556-3181