Bev King bids farewell to the Faculty of Arts and Science | Arts and Science ONLINE

Bev King bids farewell to the Faculty of Arts & Science

Bev King, Faculty of Arts and Science, has announced her retirement from the position of Assistant Dean, Teaching and Learning, effective today.

Bev started at Queen’s University in 1979 on her birthday, March 8, and she leaves behind an enormous legacy, putting the university on the map as a leader in online and distance education.

Before starting at Queen’s, she was a FAS student but unfortunately suffered from mental health issues before anyone knew what they were and withdrew from Queen’s in her second year. She next attended Metzler’s business school for six months to learn secretarial skills.

“My typing speed was enough to be hired at Queen’s, but I filled up a lot of waste baskets for my first couple of weeks in the MBA Office at the School of Business,” says Bev. “In those days we had IBM typewriters, used ditto paper to make carbon copies, and fixed errors by hand with white out and Exacto knives.

With her foot in the door, Bev joined FAS and spent 42 years here, starting out as secretary to the Admissions Officer in Part-Time Studies. She then held a variety of positions in Student Services and Arts and Science Online, which was formerly Continuing and Distance, Part-Time Studies, Correspondence Studies, and is soon to be renamed Learning Enhancement and Distance Studies.

When asked about highlights, Bev admits with such a long career it’s difficult to pin down just a few but there are definitely some stories she enjoys sharing.

“In 1989, to celebrate Queen’s 100 anniversary of correspondence studies, we hosted the Ontario Council of University Continuing Education (OCUCE, now called Ontario Council for University Lifelong Learning) and ‘bridged in’ participants using the Contract North’s state of the art teleconferencing system,” she says. “I was new in the position of Associate Director, Part-time Studies, succeeding Dee Wilson.”

“I also remember my first travels on my own - to Barrie for an OCUCE conference, for which I rented a car and a mobile phone (which was as big as a shoe box) and an OCUCE conference in Hamilton (all alone on my birthday for the first time ever).”

After 42 years with retirement on the horizon, Bev says her contributions to the university would not have been possible without a number of mentors.

“I was so fortunate to work with so many great people over the years. While I learned a lot from everyone I worked with, Queen’s University Staff Association member Marilyn Hood and former Associate Dean (Teaching and Learning) in FAS and Professor of Music Theory and Analysis at Queen’s Brenda Ravenscroft stand out as mentors for me. Marilyn taught me to put students first, opened my eyes to issues around women’s rights, equal pay for work of equal value, and the work of the National Action Committee on the Status of Women, and the politics of unionization.”

“Brenda challenged me intellectually and professionally beyond my comfort zone - and making it possible for me to contribute to visioning and taking on leadership roles in blended learning initiatives, course redesign projects, and the eCampusOntario calls for proposals which allowed us to demonstrate the quality of our work in and be recognized province-wide as a leader in online teaching and learning.”

With Bev’s departure, FAS has announced that Wanda Beyer has been chosen as the incoming Director of the LEADS unit. She brings strong leadership, excellent interpersonal communication with faculty, staff and institutional leaders, and extensive experience developing and supporting teaching online and blended courses using evidence-based approaches.

Having returned to FAS in 2019 as the Associate Director, Instructional Design and Curriculum Development, she moved quickly last spring to design a successful remote learning strategy for the Faculty when the pandemic forced us off campus.

“Bev has been such a dedicated member of the Queen’s community and deserves this recognition,” says Wanda. “Her work in supporting distance students, creating new online learning opportunities and mentoring emerging leaders are only a few of her many accomplishments.”