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Susan Beatty selected as new dean of College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
Author: David Santen, Office of University Communications
Posted: July 18, 2011

(Portland, Ore.) July 18, 2011 — Following a national search, Portland State University (PSU) has named University of Colorado–Boulder’s Susan Beatty as dean of PSU’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences (CLAS).

Beatty is CU–Boulder’s associate dean for natural sciences in the College of Arts and Sciences and a professor of geography. She oversees 13 academic departments and eight centers and programs, with a combined budget of $60 million and nearly 400 faculty members.

As dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, Beatty will oversee the largest of PSU’s seven schools and colleges, with 26 departments across the natural sciences, social sciences and arts and letters. Enrollment in CLAS bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral programs has grown to nearly 10,000 students, with almost 400 full-time faculty and 50,000 alumni.

Susan Beatty"Sue Beatty brings a background and passion for interdisciplinary research, engagement with the community, and excellence in teaching, as well as a wealth of experience managing academic programs and personnel at a major research university," said Roy Koch, provost and chief academic officer at PSU.

"The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences serves as a cornerstone for PSU's strategic direction and initiatives, fundraising efforts and alumni. She will be tasked with maintaining a trajectory of growth and success while managing the complex finances of CLAS in this challenging budget climate," Koch said.

Beatty was initially attracted to the position at PSU "based on what I knew of the research contributions by numerous faculty."

"In learning more about Portland State I've been impressed with how the University has not only accomplished academic excellence, but also engaged with the community in creating a partnership for learning and outreach. I am very excited about being a part of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences' contribution to this endeavor," said Beatty.

"I have greatly enjoyed my time at Colorado, and working with wonderful students and colleagues, but I am also very much looking forward to being a part of the Portland community, and living in such a vibrant and stimulating place!"

Beatty joins PSU full time on January 3, 2012, but will begin meeting with faculty, staff, and community members this summer and fall. Dick Knight will continue to serve as interim dean until then.

Beatty replaces Marvin Kaiser, who served as dean from 1993 to 2011, stepping down earlier this year. Under Kaiser's leadership the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences' enrollment more than doubled, with an expansion of programs, degrees and faculty. The college's increased emphasis on research and community engagement has helped propel PSU to one of the nation's leading urban universities, while international programs have increased connections to Japan, China, the Middle East, and elsewhere.

The College has also seen rapid growth in research spending from $2.3 million (1993–94) to $24.3 million (2009–10). Philanthropic support grew from less than $100,000 in 1993–94 to $4.6 million in 2010–2011.

Now is a pivotal time for both Portland State and its largest college. In recent years, the College has been responsible for much of Portland State's growth in enrollment, research and creative activity across its many disciplines. An ongoing emphasis and particular area of growth is its science and mathematics programs—from teacher training to applied research.

This October, the College will unveil the Science Research and Teaching Center, a massive $46.5 million renovation and modernization project of Science Building 2, PSU's main science teaching and research facility. The facility is a vital link in the chain of science education, advanced research, and workforce development for healthcare, advanced manufacturing, and biotech and high-tech businesses.

The College is also a major partner in the proposed Life Sciences Center to be built in Portland's South Waterfront in collaboration with Oregon Health Science University (OHSU) and others. This project reflects PSU’s newly formed strategic alliance with OHSU; each year the College serves thousands of students seeking careers in medicine, nursing, dentistry and other health care professions, many of whom matriculate to OHSU.

About Susan Beatty
As associate dean of natural sciences and professor of geography at the University of Colorado – Boulder, Beatty oversees 13 departments and eight centers and programs. Her funded research has addressed the impact of both human and natural disturbances on forest and prairie ecosystems. She has played a leadership role in campus planning, and in numerous academic and professional organizations, and has presented and published widely. Prior to joining CU in 1989, Beatty held faculty and teaching positions at the University of California – Los Angeles. She earned a bachelor’s degree from Emory University and a Ph.D. in ecology and environmental biology from Cornell University.

About Portland State University (PSU)
Located in Portland, Oregon, PSU has about 30,000 undergraduate and graduate students. PSU’s motto is “Let Knowledge Serve the City,” and we provide every student with opportunities to work with businesses, schools and organizations on real-world projects. Our downtown campus exhibits PSU’s commitment to sustainability with green buildings, while sustainability is incorporated into much of the curriculum.

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By: David Santen, Office of University Communications, Portland State University
santend@pdx.edu | 503-725-8765

Sources: Paul Mortimer, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences;
Donna Bergh, Office of Academic Affairs