The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University

The Vanderbilt Hustler

The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University.
Since 1888
The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University

The Vanderbilt Hustler

The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University.
The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University

The Vanderbilt Hustler

The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University.

Vanessa Beasley named president of Trinity University, to resign June 30

Beasley has been at Vanderbilt since 2007 as a faculty member and earned her Bachelor of Arts from the university in 1988.
Vanderbilt University
Vice provost Vanessa Beasley. (Photo courtesy of Vanderbilt University)

After more than 30 years at Vanderbilt, from being an undergraduate to her current role as vice provost for academic affairs, Vanessa Beasley (‘88) will leave the university on June 30 due to being named president of Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas. 

Beasley also serves as dean of residential faculty and an associate professor of communication studies in the College of Arts and Science. Previously, she served as dean of the Commons and associate provost. The university’s May 31 press release stated that information about the search for Beasley’s successor will be forthcoming.

“Serving as a faculty member and an administrator at Vanderbilt over the past fifteen years has been more meaningful to me than words can express,” Beasley said in the press release. “Collaborating with other campus leaders, as well as dedicated staff and faculty, we have developed innovative and inclusive programs designed to improve undergraduate education. It will be difficult to say goodbye, and yet I will depart with much love and gratitude for the Vanderbilt community along with deep respect for its core belief that we should all ‘dare to grow.’”

As a student at Vanderbilt, Beasley was a member of the WRVU news team and the 1986-87 secretary of the student media board. She also met her husband, Vice Chancellor for Treasury Trey Beasley (‘88), through WRVU. 

“The radio station provided some extra space for me to be creative. I encourage our students ‘to try different voices’ while they have the opportunity,” Beasley said about her time as a Vanderbilt Student Communications (VSC) member. “I learned valuable lessons about managing volunteers for a nonprofit organization and conducting board meetings.”

Media continued to be the focus of Beasley’s professional work after her undergraduate years, and she earned her Ph.D. in speech communication from the University of Texas in 1996. In addition to Vanderbilt, she taught communications at Texas A&M University, Southern Methodist University and the University of Georgia. She was inducted into the VSC Hall of Fame in 2016.

Beasley focused her tenure as a Vanderbilt administrator and faculty member on building inclusive communities. The press release reads that she worked to develop the residential college system and worked as a liaison between higher administration and campus career services, such as the Career Center, the Health Professions Advisory Office and Army and Navy ROTC. 

“We are grateful for Vanessa Beasley’s cutting-edge approach to undergraduate education that has defined the nation’s model for the residential academic experience,” C. Cybele Raver, provost and vice chancellor for academic affairs, said in the press release. “While we will deeply miss her leadership and scholarship at Vanderbilt, I look forward to working alongside her as a university leader to help transform the nation’s higher education landscape.”

Additionally, Beasley worked to immerse the Next Steps program at Vanderbilt, becoming one of the first professors to allow Next Steps students in their classes. She explained that this drive for inclusion stemmed from her time as an undergraduate at the university. 

“I didn’t feel like I fit in when I arrived here as a student, so I think it’s really important that our exceptionally talented faculty and staff across campus strive to meet students ‘where they are’ when they [are] in the transition from high school to college,” Beasley said, per VSC’s website. “That’s why I am so committed to helping every incoming student find his or her place on our campus.”

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About the Contributor
Rachael Perrotta
Rachael Perrotta, Former Editor-in-Chief
Rachael Perrotta ('24) is from Cranston, R.I., and majored in cognitive studies, political science and communication of science and technology and minored in gender and sexuality studies in Peabody College. She was also previously Senior Advisor and News Editor. If she's not pressing you for a comment, she's probably trying to convince you that she's over 5 feet tall, cheering on the Red Sox or wishing Nashville had a beach. She can be reached at [email protected].
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