RSA is pleased to announce that today the Board of Trustees of Trinity University, San Antonio, TX announced the Presidency of Dr. Vanessa B. Beasley. Dr. Beasley, who is currently the RSA’s President-Elect, will assume her role as Trinity’s 20th President this fall. Melody Meyer, Chair of the Board of Trustees and a Trinity alumna, said in today's announcement that “Dr. Beasley is an outstanding leader with strong values who will guide Trinity in its quest to become a nationally recognized liberal arts university. . . She has deep experience in academic excellence and is exceptional at building relationships locally and nationally.” Until her investiture, Dr. Beasley will continue to serve as Vanderbilt University's Vice Provost for Academic Affairs.
As many of us have experienced first-hand, Professor Beasley is a leader in the field of rhetoric and the discipline of Communication Studies. Trained at the University of Texas, Dr. Beasley is a presidential rhetoric and political communication scholar. She has authored multiple book chapters and articles in journals such as Rhetoric Society Quarterly, Quarterly Journal of Speech, and Rhetoric & Public Affairs. She is the author of You, the People: American National Identity in Presidential Rhetoric (2004) and the editor of Who Belongs in America: Presidents, Rhetoric & Immigration (2006). She has led or co-led workshops and seminars for several RSA summer institutes and served on the Society's Board of Directors. As President-Elect of the Rhetoric Society of America, she led the team that planned and executed the 2022 conference in Baltimore, MD.
Professor Beasley's appointment as President of Trinity University is further evidence of the integrity and vision she has demonstrated throughout her career. It is also an example of how training in rhetoric builds capacities for both individual leadership and collective action. Members of RSA have served as department chairs and heads, associate deans, deans, provosts, vice-presidents, and presidents. They have shaped academic institutions and directed organizations beyond their walls. Today, our members contribute to meaningful change and transformation across many communities as activists, administrators, and scholars. We are proud of Dr. Vanessa Beasley and honored that she will serve as the RSA President even after accepting her new responsibilities. Please join us in congratulating Dr. Beasley on her new appointment.