Salem College Names Woods Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean of the College

Salem College Names Woods Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean of the College

Press Release For Immediate Release
August 18, 2023
Brett Woods - courtesy Salem Academy and College

WINSTON-SALEM, NC (AUGUST 18, 2023)—Salem College has named Brett C. Woods, Ph.D., vice president for academic affairs and dean of the college. Woods is a highly respected scientist, professor and academic administrator with extensive experience creating programs and implementing systems to increase inclusivity, student retention and student success.

He previously served as interim dean of the Wanek School of Natural Sciences at High Point University. While at High Point University, Woods provided critical leadership at the height of the pandemic from 2020 to 2022. He also served as director of the pre-health advising program and chair of the biology department. Previously, Woods served on the faculty at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, where he earned tenure in the Department of Biological Sciences.

“Dr. Woods is exactly the right leader for Salem College at this time. He brings the scholarly breadth and depth we were seeking at the College to continue our commitment to the liberal arts as well as a strong vision for our thematic focus on Health Leadership,” Salem Academy and College President Summer Johnson McGee, Ph.D., CPH, said. “His extensive experience in equity, diversity, inclusion and belonging in the sciences will be particularly helpful as Salem continues to evolve, grow and become a more inclusive community committed to ensuring diversity in health leadership and the sciences.”

Woods has received numerous awards, including the Southeast Regional PULSE (SERP) Fellowship 2021; High Point University Think Big Grant from 2018 to 2019, University of Wisconsin System Board of Regents Award 2013, NSF Research Opportunity Award in 2011, UW System Institute on Race and Ethnicity Faculty Diversity Research Award in 2010, President Beloit Scholarship in 2005, United Negro College Fund/Merck Laboratories Postdoctoral Science Research Fellowship in 2002 and University of Kansas Summer Fellowship in 1998.

“I am excited to work at an institution that prides itself on celebrating the relationships built with students. There is a reason that so many alumnae of Salem College maintain a relationship with the College well beyond graduation,” Woods said. “I am excited to join this tight community and build my own lifelong relationships with faculty, staff and students. I can make a difference at Salem College, but more importantly, I am joining a community that wants to make a difference in young students’ lives.”

“I am a strong believer in the importance of the liberal arts, and I am deeply excited about the opportunities for embedding a health leadership focus within a liberal arts curriculum,” Woods added. “I look forward to working with Salem faculty, staff and students to move the institution’s focus on Health Leadership forward, together.”

A resident of Winston-Salem, Woods received a B.A. degree in integrative biology in 1993 from the University of California, Berkeley. In addition, he received a Ph.D. in biology in 2001 from the University of Kansas, Lawrence. Woods is widely respected for his body of research and is a noted author.

About Salem Academy and College

Salem Academy and College is the nation’s oldest educational institution for girls and women in the United States. Salem Academy is intentionally focused on STEAM to transform students’ education through the holistic integration of rigorous academic and co-curricular experiences that build character and leadership. Salem College provides a liberal arts education with a distinctive focus on health across the curriculum and co-curriculum, preparing students to make the world a better, healthier and more equitable place. Salem College is the only national liberal arts college exclusively focused on developing the health leaders of tomorrow.

For more than 250 years, Salem Academy and College has empowered and prepared girls and women from all around the world to effect change, shatter expectations and lead. Salem Academy and College is located in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, a vibrant educational community known for arts and innovation. For more information about Salem Academy, please visit For more information about Salem College, please visit

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