Posted 6 a.m. Monday, July 1, 2024

James Beeby became the 11th leader in UWL history when he assumed the role of chancellor Monday, July 1.

Beeby begins tenure as UWL chancellor

James Beeby officially assumed the role of chancellor at UW-La Crosse Monday, July 1, becoming the 11th leader in the school’s 115-year history.

In his most recent role, Beeby was provost and vice president for Academic Affairs at Keene State College in New Hampshire. He was appointed chancellor of UWL in March following an extensive national search.

Beeby has spent the past few months connecting with stakeholders and learning as much as he can about the campus and the community.

“This is a critical first step in order for me to understand the challenges and opportunities that are ahead,” says Beeby, 54. “I am excited to continue those conversations and look for ways we can work together to move UWL forward. From that, my hope is that we can build a shared vision of where we would like UWL to be in the next ten years, and then craft a collaborative plan that will allow us to get there.”

Beeby has spent recent months connecting with the campus community and learning as much as he can about the university.

Beeby’s priorities include building upon UWL’s reputation for academic excellence, engaging with community partners and friends of the university, and creating an environment where all students feel welcome.

A first-generation college student who left his native England to attend graduate school, Beeby has seen the transformative power of higher education firsthand.

“Attending college transformed my life and opened so many doors and opportunities for me,” he says. “I arrived in the U.S. in 1993 to attend graduate school for one year but ended up staying for 31 years and becoming an American citizen and have enjoyed a wonderful career in higher education. I have been very fortunate in life and had wonderful mentors and good friends who have supported me over many, many years.”

Before arriving at Keene State, Beeby served as dean of the College of Liberal Arts at the University of Southern Indiana. He also spent time as a professor and chair in the Department of History at Middle Tennessee State University.

Beeby’s academic background centers mainly on U.S. history of the late 19th and early 20th centuries, with a focus on African American history, the U.S. South and populism.

He holds a bachelor’s degree in history with honors from the University of Wales (United Kingdom) and both a master’s degree and a Ph.D. in American culture studies from Bowling Green State University.