Early life and education
Dr. Mary Cullinan (born 1950) grew up in Washington D.C. Her father was Assistant Postmaster-General under President Dwight Eisenhower and later a speech writer for various senators, congressmen and other influential politicians-including Presidents John F. Kennedy and Lyndon Johnson. Her early passion for storytelling foreshadowed her future career in English. She graduated magna cum laude with a degree in English from the University of Pennsylvania in 1972. Dr. Cullinan obtained her master's degree in 1973 and her Ph.D. in 1978 in English literature at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
After becoming a tenured professor of English at California State University-Hayward (now CSU East Bay) in 1991, she received her first administrative position as chair of the department of English at the University (1991–1992; 1993–1994). At California State University-Hayward, she was also interim dean of the School of Arts, Letters, and Social Sciences (1992–1993) and Director of the Office of Faculty Development and Faculty Center for Excellence in Teaching (1994–1996).
Later, she served as Dean of the College of Arts, Letters and Sciences and English professor at California State University, Stanislaus from 1996 to 2003. She served as Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs as well as Professor of English at Stephen F. Austin State University from 2003-2006.
From 2006-2014 Cullinan was the president of Southern Oregon University in Ashland, Oregon. She is responsible for authoring the two largest retrenchment programs in the history of the University. In the spring of 2014 the faculty of Southern Oregon University held a vote of no confidence in Cullinan and two of her top administrators. 83% of the faculty participated in the vote, with 76% of those faculty voting no confidence in Cullinan's leadership. 
In 2011 Cullinan received from the CASE District VIII Leader of the Year from the Council for the Advancement and Support of Higher Education.
- "Susan Ferrier", G. K. Hall & Co. (1984)
- "Business English for Industry and the Professions", Dryden Press (1986)
- "American Women Writers: Diverse Voices in Prose Since 1845" [ed. with E. Barrett]. St. Martin's Press (1992)
- "Business Communication: Principles and Processes", second edition. Harcourt Brace Jovanovich (1993). First edition: Holt, Rinehart & Winston (1988)