Dean Beth Foley Steps Down


View as a pdf

Dean Beth Foley
Dean Beth E. Foley has announced that she will be stepping
down from her position on December 31, 2020.

Beth E. Foley, dean of the Emma Eccles Jones College of Education and Human Services at Utah State University, will be stepping down as dean on December 31.

USU Executive Vice President and Provost Frank Galey stated that Foley’s leadership will be deeply missed.

“I want to congratulate Dean Foley on leading the college to amazing levels of national recognition for excellence during her time as Dean,” Galey said.

From the beginning of her tenure as dean 10 years ago, Foley’s colleagues have greatly esteemed her leadership talents and her commitment to students. U.S. News and World Report, a global leader in education rankings, has consistently placed the college in the top tier of graduate colleges of education in the nation. It is the only school of education in Utah to place in the top 50 and remains the No. 1 college of education in the state. Nationally, the college was ranked 29th overall and with $41.8 million—12th in the nation in funded research.

“Our enduring success is the product of years of effort by an exceptional team of passionate, talented faculty and staff with a commitment to our teaching, research and service mission,” Foley said.

Among these and many other extraordinary accomplishments, Foley spent several years leading the fundraising and construction of the Sorenson Legacy Foundation Center for Clinical Excellence. The first of its kind in the Mountain West, this outstanding facility has been delivering research and clinical services across the human lifespan for thousands of individuals, couples, and families throughout Utah and the surrounding region since opening in 2018.

“Dean Foley’s visionary leadership created the Sorenson Center, serving our community, state, students and faculty with its interdisciplinary education, research and clinical service training,” said USU President Noelle Cockett. “Her collaborative approach to this multi-layered college has paid significant dividends.”

Foley earned her bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees in communication disorders from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. She joined the faculty at USU in 1993 as an associate professor in the Department of Communicative Disorders and Deaf Education. She taught courses in neuroanatomy and physiology, neuropathologies of speech and language, augmentative and alternative communication, language assessment and intervention and assistive technology. She received numerous teaching awards at USU and is internationally recognized for her research in language and literacy development in individuals with severe communication impairments and assistive technology needs.

Foley was promoted to professor in 2008, and she served as professor and head of the Department of Communicative Disorders and Deaf Education from 2004 to 2009.

Having now spent nearly 30 years at Utah State University and serving as dean for a decade, Foley will return to the Department of Communicative Disorders & Deaf Education in January.

“It has been my honor and a privilege to serve as the dean of such an amazing college for the last decade,” Foley said. “I am looking forward to enjoying a year of teaching and continuing to work with the outstanding faculty, staff, students and community partners who, every day, are making such a difference in the lives of others.”

Galey announced the search for Foley’s successor was recently initiated, with Jamison Fargo, executive associate dean of USU’s Emma Eccles Jones College of Education and Human Services and professor in the Department of Psychology, serving as interim dean.

Foley expressed confidence in Fargo’s leadership.

“I am pleased that Dr. Fargo has been appointed to be the interim dean of the college while USU carries out a search for a permanent dean,” Foley said. “I have had the pleasure of working alongside him for many years, and I am excited to see the college benefit from his outstanding leadership.”