Dr. Teresa Beck plans to step in after current College of Health Professions retires


Courtesy / GVNext, Valerie Hendrickson. Teresa Beck (left), Roy Olsson (right)

Zsolt Palmer

Roy Olsson, the dean of the College of Health Professions at Grand Valley State University, is retiring June 21 of this year. First appointed to the position in 2008, Olsson was in charge of the College of Health Professions during a critical time, and helmed the addition of many new programs and initiatives, greatly expanding the college’s reach to students around the state, while maintaining a high quality of education.

“Public Health, Speech-Language Pathology, Audiology, there’s a significant number of programs we were able to bring into the college,” Olsson said. “At the time I started my career, there were some eight hundred students, now there are twenty-six hundred students in the college. We continue to grow each year, and we continue to increase credit hours generated by about five percent a year.”

Olsson is particularly proud of the quality of the education provided by the college, noting with pride the ratio of students that passed the board exam on their first attempt.

“All of these programs have obtained accreditations, and all of our students pass the board in percentages of the mid-upper nineties,” Olsson said. 

Olsson’s replacement has been announced by the Provost to be Dr. Teresa M. Beck, Associate Dean at the College of Health Professions. On June 21, she will take Olsson’s place and become Acting Dean. The transition from Olsson to Beck has already begun and has proceeded smoothly.

“It’s been easy because she’s been my Senior Associate Dean for quite some time. I keep my Associate Deans very well informed, and I think the transition is going to be fairly smooth because of that. Dr. Beck is an excellent pick,” Olsson said.

Beck has an extensive history of service at GVSU, having served the university community in multiple positions, most notably the Faculty Director of Freshman Orientation, Chair of the Faculty Personnel Policy Committee, and member of the Faculty Salary and Budget Committee.

“I’m extremely excited and honored to be put in this position to help lead our college through this next year, especially as we’re coming out of COVID, and what that means for how we do things for whatever the new normal is,” Beck said. “As an Associate Dean for the last few years, I’ve been involved with the administration of the college already, so I’m familiar with the ins and outs of running the college.” 

When asked as to what he hoped the college would continue in his absence, Olsson indicated he hoped the college would continue to maintain the quality of its programs, as well as continue outreach to students around the state.

“I would hope that they focus on the quality of the programs and continue to look at the board scores — the first attempt board scores, to ensure they’re at a level which would represent Grand Valley, and certainly, move forward to getting programs out to students who might not be able to come to here,” Olsson said. “We’ve been able to reach students who otherwise might not be able to go, in Michigan and in neighboring states, and expand our reach to more students with online initiatives.”

Though she acknowledged that the new position would not be easy, Beck affirmed her willingness to commit to the continued high quality of education, and the continued growth of the college.

“I’m going to have my hands full. We’re having a new program starting this fall in applied food and nutrition that we’ll be making sure gets up and off the ground running, and our respiratory care program starts in January of 22, and our masters in recreational therapy in fall of 22. So, it’ll be a combination of making sure things are maintained, but also making sure our new initiatives get off the ground as well,” Beck said.