leaves Georgetown to join U.Va.
Innovative Educator/Student Champion To Become Dean
8, 1999 -- After a national search, the University
of Virginia has chosen a creative educator and champion of students
as its new dean of students, President John T. Casteen III announced
E. "Penny" Rue, 46, senior associate dean of students at Georgetown
University in Washington, D.C., will take her new post at U.Va.
in late July.
Georgetown, Rue holds the No. 2 position in the office of the dean
of students, directs several departments, and manages special projects.
In this capacity, she led an initiative to redesign Georgetown's
student orientation program, working to increase faculty involvement
and develop a strong academic component that focuses on the school's
intellectual community. She created a sexual assault committee,
a group she continues to chair, to develop improved programs and
services for prevention, awareness, and response to sexual assault.
Rue is widely respected among her peers, and has the proven capabilities
as an administrator to make her an ideal choice to lead the Dean
of Students office into the next century," Casteen said. "This is
a critical position for the University. Penny's track record shows
strength in all the necessary areas of experience that we were seeking
-- student, faculty, and operations."
with solid academic credentials in the field of counseling and student
personnel services, Rue's career has included three years at the
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, six years at the University
of Maryland, and 12 at Georgetown. She joined Georgetown in 1987
as director of student programs, became associate dean of students
in 1995, and senior associate in 1997. She holds both a master's
and a Ph.D. in counseling and student personnel services from Ohio
State University and the University of Maryland, respectively, and
an undergraduate degree in English literature and religion from
succeeds Robert T. Canevari, who as dean for the past 29 years helped
lead the University through an era of dramatic growth and diversification.
Canevari announced last year that he planned to retire when his
current appointment ends June 30.
lauded Canevari's dedication. "He has been sympathetic, wise and
generous in representing student interests in the University's ongoing
discussion about how to be a better university and a better community.
He stands for excellence and decency within the University." Rue
is well aware of the Canevari legacy and said that she will approach
her new job with care and sensitivity. "To follow Bob Canevari,
who has been so deeply a part of the institution, is going to be
a challenge. There are many things about his tenure -- his deep
student-centeredness, for one -- that are crucial to what makes
this University unique, and that one must preserve," she said. "I
will have to balance continuity versus change."
first priority will be to build relationships with students, faculty
and colleagues. "Being a dean of students is really about relationships,"
she said. These, she said, she will forge wherever she goes -- at
meetings, social functions, or athletic events.
has a history of strong relationships with academic faculty, and
has made every effort to pull them into dean of students' projects.
"It's important to know what motivates faculty. They have substantive
ideas about student life and we need to be able to partner with
new dean must be able to share a solid vision for the Dean of Students
office, a strong mission that suits a wide array of constituencies
-- students, faculty, and parents -- in a world that is continually
changing and growing, said Senior Vice President Ernest H. Ern,
search committee chairman and himself a former vice president of
student affairs. "Our committee interviewed four strong, highly
qualified candidates from across the country. They all were exceptional,"
Ern said. "Penny brings an outstanding record of accomplishment
to U.Va. Her collaborative style, breadth of experience at top-notch
institutions, and high aspirations for student affairs make for
an especially good fit."
Georgetown, Rue worked to strengthen the school's student services
and programs while supervising the areas of volunteer and public
services, student programs, health insurance and public safety.
She also chaired a staff development committee to meet the needs
of a diverse staff, and started a technology assessment committee
to generate appropriate technology support for student affairs programs
1994, she received the Georgetown University Student Affairs Distinguished
Service Award, and in 1997 was awarded the Scholarship Award from
the Jesuit Association for Student Personnel Administrators. She
is active in the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators
and the National Association for Women in Education. She was recently
appointed by Duke University President Nannerl Keohane to serve
on the school's Council on Women's Studies.
Rue brings a broad perspective of a dean of students' operation
that will benefit the University of Virginia," said William H. Harmon,
vice president for student affairs. "She comes from institutions
not unlike our own, universities that are grounded in strong academics,
ethical values, and a commitment to student self-governance."
was these things that attracted Rue to the University. But, it was
U.Va.'s ingrained sense of community building that made her write
a letter of application. "Every alum I've ever known from the University
has such a fond feeling about this place," she said. "Everyone,
overwhelmingly, loved being here - not uncritically - but they loved
the experience. It was that sense of community that intrigued me."
it was the makeup and spirit of the search committee that pushed
her to want to join the University community that she had heard
so much about. "I loved the way the search was conducted," Rue said
of the group that included eight students. "It showed a place that
took student self-governance seriously."
Contact: Carol Wood, (804) 924-6189