The dean of Cal State San Bernardino Palm Desert announced Wednesday that she will retire, effective June 30.

Sharon Brown-Welty said it has been her “great privilege” to serve as dean of the campus since the summer of 2014.

“The faculty and staff at PDC are hardworking and dedicated to higher education and Coachella Valley students,” she said. “Faculty and staff’s love and commitment to this campus is the reason it is an outstanding university in the Coachella Valley. The community’s support in building and expanding the campus is unprecedented, and all of these partnerships made my job as dean enjoyable.”

Brown-Welty said she would continue to serve on campus in a teaching role, in addition to working in campus program development.

CSUSB officials credited her with bringing programs like the Student Success Studio, the PAWS Radio Station, the Student Ambassadors Society, the student Recreation and Fitness Center and the Leadership and Community Service certificate program to the campus, where enrollment grew 60 percent during her tenure.

“Through Sharon’s efforts in leading our Palm Desert campus, more and more students in the valley see a college degree as something that they can strive for and achieve,” said CSUSB Provost Shari McMahan. “The staff at our Palm Desert campus really go the extra mile for our students to create a warm, nurturing and positive student environment. Thanks to Sharon’s commitment, the PDC continues to evolve as a leader in the Coachella Valley.”

CSUSB President Tomas D. Morales said Brown-Welty “has done an amazing job in the Coachella Valley. She has elevated virtually every aspect of our PDC community, including student life, academic enrichment and community engagement. Sharon has given our PDC students a remarkable experience, advocating on their behalf and bringing a new sense of community and family. Our students’ experience has been made richer thanks to Sharon’s passion and hard work.”

Bruce Shepard, who most recently served as the president of Western Washington University, will serve as interim dean.

A national search for a new dean is expected to begin this fall, according to CSUSB officials.

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