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TWU Chancellor Ann Stuart to Retire

From the Nov. 16, 2012 press release

DENTON/DALLAS/HOUSTON — Texas Woman’s University Board of Regents Chair Mike McCullough announced today (Friday, Nov. 16, 2012) that TWU Chancellor and President Ann Stuart has decided to retire from the university. The Regents and Chancellor Stuart have agreed that she will continue to lead the university until her successor is named.

“TWU is privileged to have had Dr. Stuart as its chancellor and president for more than 12 years,” Mr. McCullough said. “Her exceptional leadership has helped TWU become a stronger and smarter university that is well-prepared for the challenges of tomorrow.

“Business and community leaders throughout the state and members of the legislature have been impressed with her success in transforming TWU into an exceptional university recognized as a leader in higher education in Texas,” he added.

Mr. McCullough made the announcement Friday during the TWU Board of Regents meeting at the university’s Houston campus. Chancellor Stuart also announced her retirement in an email to students, faculty, staff and alumni.

“When I came to TWU, I understood that I was to be a steward of TWU’s past with the responsibility for positioning the university for a strong future,” Dr. Stuart said. “Together with the faculty, staff, administration and students, we have enhanced the learning environment and the overall reputation of this historic institution.

“Serving TWU has been the highlight of my career,” she added. “I am particularly proud of what our students have accomplished and what they have become – high achievers in their academic careers and successful graduates in critical professions that return value to Texas and its citizens.”

Since becoming chancellor and president in 1999, Dr. Stuart has enhanced the reputation and visibility of the university. Under her leadership:

  • TWU enrollment has grown 85 percent, resulting in an all-time record of 15,135 students in fall 2012;
  • TWU has received national recognition for its quality, value and diversity from U.S. News and World Report and other national publications;
  • The university has produced more than 20,000 graduates in critical fields including health care, education and business;
  • Starting with the first-ever campaign to restore the historic Little Chapel-in-the-Woods, fundraising has topped $220 million for facilities, scholarships and faculty development;
  • Advanced technology and teaching tools have been implemented that mirror the workplace and improve the learning experience;
  • Started the annual acquisition of artworks by TWU students, alumni, faculty and staff that are shared in public places at all three campuses; and
  • Beginning with the Redbud tree campaign, initiated an ongoing reforesting plan in Denton, resulting in a greener campus renowned for its beauty.

Dr. Stuart’s impact on the university also can be noted through new facilities in Denton, Dallas and Houston that position TWU at the forefront of workforce development. These new buildings include:

  • The TWU Institute of Health Sciences-Houston Center, which is located in and is a part of the world-renowned Texas Medical Center. The new facility opened in 2006 and is meeting the national demand for a multidisciplinary approach to health care;
  • The TWU T. Boone Pickens Institute of Health Sciences-Dallas Center, a 190,000-square-foot facility that opened in 2011 and houses the Houston J. and Florence A. Doswell College of Nursing, the TWU Stroke Center-Dallas, the School of Occupational Therapy, the School of Physical Therapy and the university’s health systems management program; and
  • The Ann Stuart Science Complex in Denton, which doubled the university’s science lab and classroom space when it opened in 2011; and
  • The Fitness and Recreation Center in Denton, which represents TWU’s commitment to promoting health and wellness among the university community, also opened in 2011.

In addition to her contributions as chancellor and president, Dr. Stuart also will leave a lasting legacy to TWU as a private citizen. Both Dr. Stuart and her late husband, Mr. Ray Poliakoff, were first-generation graduates of public higher education, and both often said it was their education that enabled them to pursue the opportunities that enriched their lives.

To date, Dr. Stuart has made significant financial contributions to the university to establish the annual Ann Stuart and Ray R. Poliakoff Celebration of Science, an event that explores the wonders, truths and mysteries of science; the Chancellor’s Alumni Excellence Award, which brings exceptional alumni to TWU to share their experience and expertise; and the Ann Stuart and Ray R. Poliakoff Endowed Scholarships for TWU undergraduate students.

TWU Board of Regents Vice Chair Sue Bancroft will lead the search for TWU’s new chancellor and president. A new chancellor and president is expected to be in place by 2014.

“It is imperative that we identify a leader who will continue the path of excellence created by Chancellor Stuart and guide TWU’s forward progress,” Ms. Bancroft said. “It will be a challenge to find another dynamic individual who can continue Dr. Stuart’s legacy of leadership.”

Dr. Ann Stuart became TWU’s first chancellor and 10th president on Dec. 1, 1999. She previously served as the president of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute’s Graduate School in Connecticut, provost and vice president for academic affairs at Alma College in Michigan, dean of the School of Arts and Sciences at East Stroudsburg University in Pennsylvania, and in several capacities at the University of Evansville in Indiana.

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