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Dean Beck leaving for sabbatical, will return to teach, work on community outreach programs

Feb 10, 2015

Lynn Beck, dean of the Gladys L. Benerd School of Education and interim dean of the University Library, announced last week that she is stepping down from her administrative roles at the end of the academic year. She will be taking a sabbatical and plans to return to University of the Pacific as a faculty member.

"Lynn is a highly respected dean who has been tremendously entrepreneurial in leading the School of Education, in forging partnerships with other institutions of higher education, and developing innovative programs," said Provost Maria Pallavicini. "She's been a tremendous leader of faculty in the School of Education and a strategic leader in developing interdisciplinary programs. During the past year Lynn has also served as interim dean of the University Library and done a phenomenal job in working with library faculty and staff to position the library for the future. She's just an outstanding dean all around."

Pallavicini said she will begin a search for a dean for the School of Education in summer and that Linda Webster, chair of the Department of Educational and School Psychology, will step in as the interim dean of the School of Education at the end of the academic year. A search for a University Librarian will begin in February.

Beck said it has been her plan for some time to continue her career as a faculty member, not an administrator.

"It made sense to do it now," Beck said. "It seemed as if the timing was right. ... We're in very good shape in the School of Education, and the library is in good shape, too."

Beck said she hopes the sabbatical will give her an opportunity to "retool" before returning to teaching.

Upon her return, Beck hopes to continue work on off-campus partnerships such as the one at the Arthur A. Dugoni School of Dentistry that offers a master's degree for dental health educators. She also wants to continue work with Natomas Pacific Pathways Prep Charter School in Sacramento, the Stockton Unified School District, and community partnerships focused on early literacy.

"And I want to continue to be a cheerleader for the Tomorrow Project academies and all the good things going on here at Pacific," Beck said.

Beck has been a professor of education and dean of the Gladys L. Benerd School of Education since 2005. Previously, she was dean of Pacific Lutheran University's School of Education and a faculty member and administrator at the University of Alabama and UCLA.

Since coming to University of the Pacific, Beck has led the School of Education faculty in revising programs and creating partnerships across Northern California to build enrollment and to support the preparation of outstanding educators. She has also led university and school efforts to extend community outreach. As a member of Eibeck's Beyond Our Gates Community Council, Beck has promoted early literacy and worked with others to provide Tomorrow Project academies for children and adolescents in the community. Beck has also worked with several local schools on a variety of projects and served as a member of several boards, including the Natomas Pacific Pathways Prep board, the community advisory board of Health Careers Academy, and the executive board of San Joaquin A+ and others.

Beck was recently named a recipient of the Susan B. Anthony Women of Achievement Award by the San Joaquin County Commission on the Status of Women. Her honors also include being named a "Woman of Distinction" at University of the Pacific and a recipient of the Bettye Quinn Award for Service in Education from her alma mater, Belhaven University in Jackson, Mississippi.

Beck's research focuses on ethical leadership, educational reform and the preparation of educational leaders. She is the author or co-author of eight books and numerous chapters and articles.

Beck earned a bachelor's in English from Belhaven, a master's in English from the University of Mississippi, a nursing degree from Belmont College in Nashville, Tennessee, and a Ph.D. in education and human development from Vanderbilt University.

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