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Beth Cunningham

Beth Cunningham

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 Strategic Plan. 

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 awards.

CONTACT:  Sherry Wallace (309) 556-3181