Celebration planned as Warren’s tenure ends

A celebration in honor of Beverly Warren, the provost and senior vice president of academic affairs, will be held on April 21 in the Student Commons from 3 to 5 p.m.

Janeal Downs
Staff Writer

VCU will give Beverly Warren, Ph.D., a bittersweet farewell as the  provost and senior vice president for academic affairs as she takes on a new position as the 12th president of Kent State University on July 1 2014.

On Monday April 21 the university will host a celebration for Warren in the Richmond Salons in the Student Commons from 3 to 5 p.m.

Warren has worked with VCU for 14 years as a professor, dean and the provost and senior vice president for academic affairs respectively. She defines one of her greatest accomplishments as her work with VCU’s Quest for Distinction over the last four years.

“This university has advanced one of the most collaborative environments I have ever experienced, and I have been afforded amazing opportunities here,” Warren said in a statement. “I will always be grateful for my time at VCU and know that I have been deeply touched by VCU’s commitment to the power of a university  to transform lives and to make a difference in this world.”

As provost she said she helped increase 4-year graduation rates from 49 percent in 2009 to 58 percent in 2012, helped establish masters degree programs in relation with Fudan University and helped secure an $18.3 million grant from the Center for the Study of Tobacco Products among many other accomplishments. Before serving as provost, she held the position as dean of the School of Education from 2005-10. 

Including VCU, Warren has worked at eight schools. She said her first goal in her new position is to listen and learn from students, faculty, staff, alumni and friends of Kent State regarding their hopes and aspirations as she takes on her new role.

Executive Director of University Relations Pamela Lepley has worked with Warren for 12 years.

“The president has been the visionary of (the Quest for Distinction), Dr. Warren has been the person who has really made it happen,” Lepley said. “She truly is someone who doesn’t sleep, she’s up at three in the morning working until late into the night and her whole focus has been student success.”

Aside from her role in improving graduation and retention rates, Lepley said Warren has helped implement tools to help students stay in school such as professional advisors, support from the University College and scholarships. Warren was also influential in combining all of student services under one roof at Harris Hall.

Lepley said Warren pushed VCU to be a nationally competitive research university by establishing a strategic enrollment management program which looks at student services from an academic, housing, and community engagement perspective.

“I would say she’s not only a good team captain, she’s a good team player and she’s wonderful to work with on so many levels,” Lepley said. “She has a great sense of humor, she’s very compassionate, she’s a good friend and colleague and we’re all going to miss her alot.”

Henry Rhone, vice provost for student affairs, said he had known Warren for about five years before she became provost and served as the dean of the School of Education.

“She’s a very high energy person, always greets you with a smile, with respect if you will (and is) very focused on what she does,” Rhone said.

He said that aside from her help with the Quest for Distinction, she also chaired the university’s Diversity and Equity Committee.

“Taking on a presidency anywhere in the college university scene is a huge undertaking,” Rhone said about her new position. “I think she has a huge energy, she certainly has the desire to do it. I congratulate her and wish her well.”

During her time within the School of Education, Warren was also a professor. One of her former graduate students, Misti Wajciechowski, is now a professor of teaching and learning.

“What impressed me the most was that she demanded excellence right away and that was exactly what I needed and wanted at the time,” Wajciechowski said. “She really motivated me to pursue my career in higher education.”

Wajciechowski said Warren has always showed a great deal of confidence in her and helped push her to reach higher standards. Though she said VCU will suffer a tremendous loss, Wajciechowski said she believes Warren will “hit the ground running” as she takes her new position at KSU.

“I think what I’ll miss the most is that she always made time for anyone that needed time and I think that has always been significant to me … for somebody to be able to take the time and have a cup of coffee with you, I just think that speaks volumes,” Wajciechowski said.

“I am just going to miss her tremendously and the university is going to miss her tremendously.”

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