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James Beeby named chancellor of UW-La Crosse

Posted 3:04 p.m. Wednesday, March 13, 2024

James Beeby, provost and vice president for Academic Affairs at Keene State College in New Hampshire, will start as chancellor of UWL July 1. PHOTO CREDIT: Tom Benoit, The Equinox

Will be the 11th leader in school history

James Beeby, provost and vice president for Academic Affairs at Keene State College in New Hampshire, has been named the next chancellor of the University of Wisconsin–La Crosse. He will be the 11th leader in school history.

The University of Wisconsin System Board of Regents today unanimously approved Beeby’s appointment, following a recommendation made by a selection committee. Beeby will assume the leadership post on July 1. 

At Keene State, Beeby has led a collaborative strategic planning and implementation process; developed several new undergraduate and graduate programs; partnered with student engagement, faculty, and staff to improve retention and graduation rates; built transfer pathways with community colleges; established strong ties with local businesses; and overseen successful reaccreditation efforts. He has also collaborated with system institutions on projects promoting student success, student mental health, and program development, and the implementation of new software systems. 

“Dr. Beeby’s extensive experience will be a great asset to UW-La Crosse,” said Universities of Wisconsin President Jay Rothman. “He has a proven record in student success and collaboration that will be extraordinarily valuable for the entire campus and its community.” 

“I am very excited to join UW-La Crosse,” Beeby said. “I am drawn to this opportunity because of the university’s public mission and fine reputation. During my visit to this beautiful campus, I was impressed with the dedication of the faculty and staff to student success and transforming lives through excellent academic programs. I was also pleased to see the strong relationship with the city and local community, and I look forward to strengthening those ties as UW-La Crosse continues to serve the needs of the region and the state.” 

“Dr. Beeby has the attributes that will make him a fantastic ambassador for UWL on campus and in the community,” said Regent Ashok Rai, chair of the Search and Screen Committee. “He’s a student advocate in his core while also bringing experience and enthusiasm to connect with La Crosse business partners. We are confident he will be a great leader at UWL.” 

Rothman also thanked Betsy Morgan for serving as interim chancellor. 

"Betsy Morgan deserves our thanks for stepping up at a difficult moment,” Rothman said. “The campus community is indebted to her for her leadership. She is a wonderful presence within the university and the broader La Crosse community." 

Previously, 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 has published extensively in the fields of U.S. southern history, African American history, race relations, and the Gilded Age and Progressive Era, including scholarly articles and book chapters. He is the author of two university press peer-reviewed books. Hailing from a small village in eastern England, Beeby is a first-generation college student. He holds a bachelor’s degree with honors in history 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 (Ohio). 

President Rothman and the Special Regent Committee for the UW-La Crosse Chancellor Search recommended Beeby to the full Board of Regents. The Committee includes Regents Rai, chair; Angela Adams; Evan Brenkus; Jim Kreuser; and Joan Prince. 

The Search and Screen Committee includes members of the Special Regent Committee and several from UWL:

  • Vice Chair Enilda Delgado, professor of sociology and criminal justice
  • Emma Latus, Student Association president
  • Kelly Nowicki, associate teaching professor of management
  • Kimberly Schliebe, administrative assistant for Custodial Services
  • Todd Taylor, UWL Alumni & Friends Foundation Board chair
  • Lisa Weston, associate director of Residence Life. 

Beeby will earn $281,112 as chancellor.


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