Cumberland appoints former Metro Vice Mayor to Dean’s role

Former Nashville Vice Mayor Jim Shulman has been named interim Dean of the Labry School of Science, Technology and Business (LSSTB) at Cumberland University.

Shulman, who served as Nashville’s Vice Mayor from 2018 to 2023, and prior to that served as an At-Large Councilmember and the Councilmember from District 25, joined Cumberland’s faculty a year ago as an assistant professor teaching in the area of political science.

Shulman is to assume his new role at the Lebanon school at the end of the spring semester and will replace Dean Chris Fuller, who has accepted a new position at the University as a data scientist and professor of mathematics and computer science.

“I am honored and appreciative to be placed by the University in the office of interim Dean and to continue the legacy of excellence set by Dr. Fuller,” said Shulman, who holds both an undergraduate degree and Doctorate of Jurisprudence from Vanderbilt University.

With respect to his new responsibilities at Cumberland, Shulman said he looks forward “to fostering a collaborative and innovative learning environment and ensuring the Labry School remains at the forefront of academic achievement.”

Cumberland President, Dr. Paul Stumb, said he is confident that the transition process with respect to the change in the dean’s office will be “seamless, setting the stage for continued success for the Labry School of Science, Technology and Business.”

He added that he believed Shulman is “uniquely” qualified for this new role at the University because of his diversified administrative and leadership experience, his personal academic achievements, and “perhaps most importantly he has proven during his time on our campus that he genuinely cares about our students and is committed to ensuring that they achieve success in the classroom as well as in life after their time at Cumberland.”

Under Fuller’s leadership, the LSSTB has experienced “remarkable growth and success,” said University Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, Dr. Bill McKee.

McKee noted that the number of full-time faculty positions has tripled, new academic programs have been introduced and the University has achieved what he termed “remarkable” enrollment growth, during Fuller’s tenure as dean.

“Cumberland University extends its gratitude to Dr. Fuller for his transformative leadership and welcomes Dr. Jim Shulman in his new role,” McKee said.

Shulman, an invested member of the Middle Tennessee community for more than 40 years, has held a number of administrative positions in state government including serving as executive director of the Tennessee Commission on Aging and Disability, deputy commissioner of the Tennessee Department of Health, chief of staff to Tennessee Speaker of the House, and legal counsel for the Tennessee Department of Finance and Administration.

While executive director of the state’s Commission on Aging, he is credited for addressing the need to find solutions for seniors in areas including meals, hunger, transportation and efficiencies in home care services.

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