BREAKING: Burwell announces administrative promotions, retirements
Seth Grossman to become vice president and chief administrative officer
American University President Sylvia Burwell announced in an email to the community that Seth Grossman will be taking on the position of vice president and chief administrative officer.
She also announced the retirements of Billy Walker, the director of athletics and recreation, and Beth Muha, the assistant vice president for human resources.
Grossman came to the University in 2017 to serve as chief of staff and counselor to the president, as well as vice president for people and external affairs. As a member of Burwell’s cabinet, Grossman has overseen the University’s community and government relations, WAMU, human resources and the development and implementation of the “Changemakers” strategic plan. He also led various University initiatives including the Supervisory Academy, approval of the 2021 campus plan and growing AU’s wellness programs. Under his new position, he will assume responsibility for the Katzen Arts Museum.
“Seth’s work has been essential to both sustaining and evolving AU’s operations during unprecedented times as well as strengthening and expanding connections between the university and our broader DC community,” Burwell wrote in the email.
Walker has led the University’s athletics and recreation since 2013 and has 15 Patriot League Championships and 15 NCAA tournament appearances under his belt. Burwell noted that he forged partnerships with other D.C. schools and the broader community and that under his leadership, student-athletes excelled academically. Walker was also heavily involved in the development of the Alan and Amy Meltzer Center for Athletic Performance, which will be part of the University’s forthcoming Student Thriving Complex.
“Billy’s tireless support for our student-athletes has led to sustained success in the classroom and in competition and helped set the stage for a bright future for AU Athletics,” Burwell wrote.
Muha first came to AU in 1989 as a benefits manager,before becoming a graduate student in the School of Public Affairs in 1994. In 1997, she became the executive director of human resources. She is responsible for many of AU’s employee best-practice programs, such as AhealthyU, and staff leadership and development programs, including the Supervisors Academy, Mentoring Matters and the 21st Century Leadership Institute.
“Beth played a critical role in supporting faculty and staff during the pandemic and helped the workforce return to campus in our hybrid work modalities,” Burwell wrote. “Throughout her AU career, Beth has focused on supporting our people while navigating the changing needs of the workplace.”
The University will begin searches to replace Walker and Muha immediately, so their successors can collaborate with them during their transitions in the spring.
“Every day, we are working together to support the people that make our AU community great–our students, our faculty and staff, and one another,” Burwell wrote. “It is an exciting time at AU, as we recognize the impactful work of dedicated Eagles like Billy and Beth, advance the ongoing contributions of leaders like Seth, and collaborate to shape our bright future.”
This article was edited by Tyler Davis and Abigail Pritchard. Copy editing done by Isabelle Kravis.