After more than four decades with East Tennessee State University, Interim Provost and Senior Vice President for Academics Dr. Wilsie Bishop is calling it a career at the end of June.

In honor of her dedication to the university, ETSU’s Board of Trustees named its Interprofessional Education and Research Center, also known as Building 60 on the Mountain Home Veterans Affairs campus, Bishop Hall. The university hosted a celebration on Friday, drawing a large crowd to congratulate Bishop on her retirement.

“I feel excited, I’m honored and, of course, I’m humbled,” Bishop said Friday. “When (ETSU President) Dr. (Brian) Noland told me about it I was speechless. I love this building, and to me it’s a symbol of our interprofessional education — to me its a symbol of what happens when people work together in teams because the five health sciences colleges came together to make this happen, and the five health sciences colleges have classwork in there, students learn together in there.

“So much of what I’ve done is building teams, empowering people and, to me, it’s really nice to have my name on a building where that’s taught, where people get to practice that, and hopefully it’s going to make a difference for years to come,” Bishop continued.

Bishop began her career at ETSU in 1978 as a temporary faculty member in the College of Nursing, moving up the ranks to serve as a department chair, dean and associate vice president before becoming a vice president in 2005. In an interview last year, after her retirement announcement, Bishop said she was particularly proud of her work to create the Interprofessional Education and Research Center and ETSU Health, which launched in 2019 to consolidate the university’s health science colleges’ clinical, educational and research efforts.

Bishop said it’s been wonderful to watch the university grow throughout her tenure, and said she has a sense of pride and feels good about her life’s work at the university.

“It sounds like a cliché, but I do stand on the shoulders of giants,” Bishop said. “A lot of people helped me get to this point, and I’m appreciative of that, and hope that, in some way, my work will inspire other people to do some of the same things. Leadership is not about the person doing the leading, it’s about the people who come together to make things happen.”

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