Honoring Dr. Reuben Ellis

Dr. Reuben Ellis, Dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, retires this year after 40 years of service to higher education. He has been honored as a professor emeritus in recognition of his distinguished career.  

Dr. Ellis joined the Woodbury faculty in 2010 as a member of the Writing Department and became Chair of the Department in 2013. He was appointed Interim Dean of the College of Liberal Arts in 2018 and elevated to Dean in 2021. An accomplished writer and poet, his books include Vertical Margins: Mountaineering and the Landscapes of Neo-Imperialism; Stories and Stone: Writing the Ancestral Pueblo Homeland; Beyond Borders: The Selected Essays of Mary Austin, and a book of poems titled Formula. Dr. Ellis has also published essays and other works of fiction, creative non-fiction, and poetry.  

Dr. Reuben Ellis at Camp CoLA, 2020

Dr. Ellis’s many accomplishments leave their mark on our community. His eloquent responses to our biggest challenges inspired us and called us to action. At the height of the pandemic, he wrote a letter to our campus community in which he described the Liberal Arts as “an experience and an environment” and stated, “the righteous protests in our streets are part of that environment.” Under his leadership and in partnership with CLAS faculty, Dr. Ellis was responsible for many university-wide programs. He reintroduced the One Book, One Campus program, spearheaded MORIA Literary Magazine, and helped launch the Woodbury University Honors, PASS, and First Year Experience Programs. Dr. Ellis also helped usher in two new STEM majors, Computer Science in Data Analytics and Environmental Science. To better reflect the College’s dedication to STEM education, he supported faculty in adopting a new title, the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. 

A trusted colleague, thoughtful administrator, and friend, we thank Dr. Ellis for his dedication to the liberal arts and our Woodbury community. As he enters retirement, Dr. Ellis wanted to share these words with Woodbury: 

“I have been honored to serve as Dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences for the last four years and to have been a Woodbury faculty member before that. Working with my wonderful and inspiring colleagues in our shared commitment to the success of Woodbury’s creative and diligent students has been both challenging and enriching. I value our community of teachers and learners and have grown a great deal while being part of it.

“When I started graduate school in 1983, the Modern Language Association sent new English graduate students a letter warning us that because the academic job market was so bad in our field, most of us would probably never find faculty positions. Despite that dire prediction, I was reckless enough to pursue the academic career I love anyway, and compared to 1983, every day since has been a kind of gift. Thanks, everyone.” 


Last Updated on May 11, 2023. 

Translate »