Provost Dr. Beverly Schneller receives tenure
The announcement at Governors State University’s (GSU) October Board of Trustees (BOT) meeting that tenure and full professor status had been approved for Dr. Beverly Schneller, Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs, was met with both applause and congratulations.
“I am honored that the College of Arts and Sciences and the English Department approved my tenure status. Tenure is a sign of the campus’ recognition of the contributions of the faculty member to the climate of teaching and learning and the University mission,” said Dr. Schneller.
Schneller holds a bachelor’s degree in English Language and Literature from the University of St. Thomas in Houston, Texas, where she graduated magnum cum laude, and a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in English Language and Literature/Letters from the Catholic University of America. She began her academic career at Marist College in Poughkeepsie, N.Y. where she was director of the writing program and assistant professor of English.
So far, her experiences have matched her initial impressions of the academic environment, the leadership of President Cheryl Green and the unwavering commitment to student success at GSU.
“When I met President Green, I could tell that the University was going to continue to be successful under Dr. Green’s vision for excellence and growth,” Schneller said.
Schneller came to GSU from Kentucky State University, where she was Vice Provost for Academic Quality, Research, and Innovation. Her academic career includes experiences in legislative affairs, grants, program design, higher education finance, faculty professional development, campus strategic planning, shared governance and assessment. She has held academic positions in a variety of different higher ed settings and in particular likes an atmosphere with “purpose-driven students” whose lives quickly change after earning degrees in areas like business, nursing and others.
“I’ve enjoyed working in professionally focused universities,” she said. “And programs in areas like occupational therapy and physical therapy not only benefit students but also offer a direct benefit to society as a whole.”
She’s also witnessed GSU’s obvious commitment to a high-quality learning experience for its students. “The University as a whole – faculty, deans, staff – have a strong commitment to student success,” Schneller said. “It’s not just lip service here.”
To continue this commitment, Schneller wants to ensure that the University is highly selective in hiring new faculty. “We want high-quality faculty who are good matches for teaching our students,” she added.
Schneller is keenly focused on GSU Strategy 2025, the strategic plan adopted in 2021. She’s working with the faculty and deans to prioritize and develop reachable, measurable goals, in particular those intersecting across academic functions. In June, Schneller also hired a new director of institutional research and effectiveness.
Schneller is also exploring a plan to move all grad programming into a college of graduate studies and to expand cocurricular opportunities. She would also like to make study abroad attainable for more students and create an Honors College.
Schneller is proud of the University’s strong co-op and internship opportunities, which provide an outstanding foundation for work readiness. “There’s a lot of synergy and energy on campus and in the community,” said Schneller. “Dr. Green has created community partnerships and boosted the visibility of the University. This ultimately helps our students with their work readiness and their career goals.”
Already Schneller has enjoyed the First Friday events in the library lobby and campus celebrations of student achievements. These events are important for connecting with faculty and students, she said, and she also holds monthly meetings with the president of the Student Senate.
Dr. Schneller knows that GSU has many, many strengths, including its welcoming atmosphere. “The reception the campus held for me in March said a lot about how we value each other at GSU,” she said. “The collegiality is exceptional here, and everyone, including Dr. Green, has made me feel so welcome.”
Since joining Governors State University in March, Dr. Beverly Schneller has found that her role as Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs is a perfect fit for her background as a lifelong educator and administrator.
“While I am not currently teaching, it does not mean that I won’t be able to offer a class at some point in the future. My broad philosophy of teaching is that there are many ways and places we learn, and our students are often our best teachers.” Dr. Schneller.