Boehm has served as interim dean since September 2009. She is the first permanent dean SIGS has had since it replaced the Graduate School in 2008.

“Beth will bring a great vision for graduate education that she has developed both from her three years as interim dean at SIGS and from many years working as graduate adviser in the English department,” said Provost Shirley Willihnganz. “I cannot imagine that we could have found anyone as well-suited to the job as Beth is, and I am delighted that she has agreed to serve.”

SIGS’ focus is advocacy for graduate students and interdisciplinary programs. The school is the home unit for students enrolled in the interdisciplinary studies doctoral program but also serves graduate students in other units.

Under Boehm’s interim direction, SIGS has implemented the PLAN program to help graduate students have the professional development, life skills, academic development and networking skills they need to overcome the challenges of graduate school, and she has grown the Graduate Teaching Assistant Academy in conjunction with the Delphi Center for Teaching and Learning.

Her vision going forward includes working with UofL centers and institutes to develop more tracks for SIGS’ doctoral program in interdisciplinary studies.

“We are already working with faculty who are part of the James Graham Brown Cancer Center to develop an interdisciplinary track in translational cancer biology,” she said, noting that many of today’s health and social problems will require solutions that cross traditional disciplinary boundaries.

Boehm said she also wants to improve doctoral student retention and the time it takes for degree completion to help graduate education resources go farther.

Besides serving as dean, Boehm will continue to hold the post of vice provost for graduate affairs.