The following email was sent to the Bryn Mawr community by Bryn Mawr President Jane McAuliffe on Thursday, April 4
Dear Members of the Bryn Mawr Community,
In July, Michele Rasmussen, Dean of the Undergraduate College, will become Dean of Students in the University at the University of Chicago. While Michele’s departure represents a great loss to our community, her appointment to this esteemed position is a significant professional recognition of her and, consequently, of Bryn Mawr. At the University of Chicago, Michele will report to the Vice President for Campus Life and Student Services and work with senior leaders around all aspects of campus and student life. She will oversee several major programs and services for more than 15,000 undergraduate and graduate students in eleven schools and divisions at the university.
Since joining Bryn Mawr as Dean of the Undergraduate College in July 2010, Michele has made a distinct impact on our community in her role, overseeing a diverse portfolio of undergraduate life offices, participating in strategic planning with the senior staff, interacting with trustees and alumnae, and developing new programs and opportunities to enhance student life at the College. During her tenure, she has worked on various initiatives to enhance the student experience, such as introducing the SEPTA fare request program, improving the College’s orientation and transition programs for international students, and funding more campus-wide recreational events. She also oversaw the physical relocation and integration of several Dean’s Office departments in Guild Hall, re-envisioned and re-organized the Office of Intercultural Affairs as the Pensby Center, coordinated an external review of the Office of International Programs, and created the Academic Support and Learning Resources Specialist position, a key component of Bryn Mawr’s efforts to improve retention. More recently, Michele has led the planning of the new Center for Leadership, Innovation and the Liberal Arts, a signature element of The Plan for Bryn Mawr.
Michele received her B.A. in history and art history from the University of California at Los Angeles and her Ph.D. in biological anthropology and anatomy from Duke University. After earning her doctorate, she spent two years working as a Career Center Fellow at Duke before transitioning to academic administration and academic advising in its Trinity College of Arts and Sciences. She then held progressively more responsible roles at Wesleyan University and Duke University before coming to Bryn Mawr.
Michele will be with us until June 30 and will work with colleagues in the Dean’s Office and across the College to bring the national search for the new Associate Dean for the Center for Leadership, Innovation and the Liberal Arts to a successful conclusion, identify housing options for returning students as Haffner goes off-line, and prepare for the arrival of the Class of 2017 this fall.
Going forward, we are fortunate to have an experienced and dedicated team of deans and directors to lead the Undergraduate Dean’s Office and its various departments and units, ensuring stability and continuity while we identify the next Dean of the Undergraduate College.
We are both immensely grateful for the work she has done to transform the College and incredibly proud of Michele’s appointment to this prestigious position at the University of Chicago. Personally, I have enjoyed having her as a close colleague and will miss Michele’s keen ability to consider the needs of the institution while promoting the best interest of our students.
Please join me in wishing her well as she begins this new adventure.