After a successful career at the College of Charleston that began in 1990, Honors College Dean Trisha Folds-Bennett has accepted the position of Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs at the University of Virginia’s College at Wise (UVa-Wise). CofC President Andrew T. Hsu and Provost Frances Welch extended Dean Folds-Bennett their sincere congratulations and best wishes and thanked her for all she has done to increase the visibility and improve the quality of our Honors College. Provost Welch added that Dean Folds-Bennett has led the Honors College to a new level of excellence through her leadership with planning and resource management; strategic planning and program assessment; student recruitment, development and retention; faculty recruitment and development; curricular and co-curricular program management; and fundraising and donor relations. Among many other important contributions, Dean Folds-Bennett also served as the Director for Undergraduate Research and Creative Activities and Speaker of the Faculty.
UVa-Wise conducted an extensive nationwide search which resulted in Dean Folds-Bennett being selected as their next Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs. She will officially begin leading the UVa-Wise Department of Academic Affairs in the summer of 2020. A full press release from UVa-Wise is available here.
Below is an excerpt from an email that Dean Folds-Bennett sent to Honors College alumni on November 11, 2019:
I’m writing to share some bittersweet news with you. After a great deal of soul searching, I have accepted an offer to become the next provost and vice chancellor of academic affairs at the University of Virginia’s campus in Wise, Virginia. It’s a great opportunity for me – the campus is the only branch campus of UVa and is fully integrated into their systems (academic, governance, fund-raising, HR). Located in Southwest Virginia, the mission of the campus is to provide access to higher education for students in the entire Appalachian region (Mississippi to New York). It’s a campus and region on the brink of new opportunity, and I would be able to serve on the leadership team that helps to turn the opportunity into reality.
The thought of leaving the work that I love so dearly at CofC Honors is difficult to bear. However, as I often counsel honors students, sometimes you have to take tremendous risks to reach higher plains. My appointment at UVa-Wise is effective July 1, 2020, which means that I will remain in my role as the Honors College Dean through June 2020. I’m grateful for this time to complete several important projects and to say proper goodbyes. I am working with the Provost and President on a transition plan and firmly believe that they have the best interests of the Honors College in mind.
It’s hard to believe that I came to the College of Charleston in 1990 as a member of the Psychology Department and that I started my work in the Honors College thirteen years ago – that is a long time in one spot! I have experienced the power of a diverse and engaged learning community. Our model of interdisciplinary, integrative and experiential learning is relevant in any context, and I will be proud to share our best practices with my colleagues and students at UVa-Wise.
I love the College of Charleston as if it were my alma mater and will always be a Cougar at heart! For those of you who may have reason to contact me for letters of recommendation or other post-graduate support, the Honors College will have my new contact information. And, of course, I will be around until early next summer.
My warmest regards,
Trisha Folds-Bennett, PhD
Dean of the Honors College
College of Charleston