Russell to retire at end of fall term
Dr. Bernadette Russell, Palm Beach State College’s vice president of e-Learning and Instructional Technology and Boca Raton campus provost, is retiring Dec. 18, capping a 30-year career in higher education.
She has led the campus for 13 years, and she assumed leadership for e-learning collegewide five years ago. A national search is underway for her replacement, who will lead the campus as provost and dean of Student Services.
The College recognized Russell for her service at a recent District Board of Trustees meeting.
As leader of the more than 9,000-student campus since 2007, Russell placed a deeper focus on enhancing the quality of the teaching and learning experience. She garnered more support and involvement from business and community leaders and helped secure, for example, a scholarship for students from the Rotary Club. She implemented such initiatives as a Technology Summit and Study Abroad program, as well as Women of Distinction events that recognized students and women in the community. She pushed for new entrepreneurship certificate and degree programs at the College. Under her leadership enrollment in online classes rose 43% even before the pandemic.
“For over a decade Dr. Russell has been a tremendous asset to the College, our students, and the community. She has been a strong advocate for the College in the Boca Raton community, and she has created a caring family atmosphere on the Boca Raton campus. Her commitment to academic excellence has been a common thread throughout her service to the College,’’ said PBSC President Ava L. Parker, J.D. “As we prepared to respond to the pandemic, her leadership on the e-Learning and instructional technology front really helped us through an unprecedented transition from in-person to remote learning this summer. I wish her well in her retirement. She will be missed.”
In 2019, she received the inaugural Anchor Award from Best Foot Forward for her support of the Boca Raton-based nonprofit organization that provides academic support and advocacy for foster care students.
Russell said she has had an enriching life at PBSC and has enjoyed working with the faculty and staff. “I am very proud of the work done at the College —where it is right now and where it is going. I know that e-learning will be an important segment of the institution.