THATCHER, Ariz. —Dr. Susan Wood, a higher educational assessment and accreditation expert, proven academic leader, and former professor of English, has become vice president of academic and student affairs at Eastern Arizona College (EAC).
“We are thrilled to welcome Dr. Wood as our new vice president of academic and student affairs,” said EAC President Todd Haynie. “She is a proven academic leader with uncompromising standards for excellence and integrity, a deep-seated commitment to collaboration, and a person of incredible warmth. Together, these characteristics make her the perfect fit for our community.”
As chief academic officer, Wood is primarily responsible for setting the academic focus for EAC and directing and enhancing its vision and mission. She will serve as an advocate for more than 200 full-time faculty and staff on three campuses who provide academic services to nearly 6,000 students. Wood will report directly to the president as a member of the district executive team and will actively participate in setting strategic direction while aligning academic and budget priorities.
“I am honored to join the Eastern Arizona College community,” said Wood. “I have long admired EAC, its outstanding faculty, and its excellent academic programs. I’m excited to work with President Haynie, the deans, and the faculty to roll out the strategic plan and support the College’s academic growth.”
Throughout her 30-year career in higher education, Wood has served as a program administrator, professor, executive leader, and accreditation officer. She directed English as a Second Language programs at Bentley College in Waltham, Mass. and at the University of Texas at El Paso. Since 1996, she has worked in various capacities at Dona Ana Community College: faculty member and chair of the English department, assessment coordinator, self-study and assurance argument editor for three accreditation self-studies, interim dean of the Health Sciences Division, and most recently the interim vice president for academic affairs. Since 2015, she has served as the associate vice president for academic affairs, overseeing assessment and accreditation at Dona Ana Community College. She also served as the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) accreditation liaison officer.
Wood has regional and national experience in assessment and accreditation and regularly presents on these topics. She currently serves the HLC as both a mentor in the Student Success Academy and as a peer reviewer. She has served on several HLC teams for both Academic Quality Improvement Program and Pathway reviews. Since 2014, she has been the director for the New Mexico Higher Education Assessment and Retention Conference and is a member of the New Mexico Education Assessment Association Board. From 2010 to 2013, she served on the board of the Association for the Assessment of Learning in Higher Education.
Wood earned her Bachelor of Arts in Russian and her Master of Arts in Linguistics with an emphasis in Teaching English as a Second Language from the University of Utah. She earned her Ph.D. in Rhetoric and Professional Communication from New Mexico State University.
Wood succeeds Jeanne Bryce as vice president of academic and student affairs. Bryce retired last month after more than 30 years of dedicated service to Eastern Arizona College.