Karen Warren Coleman announced today that she will step down from her position as Vice President for Campus Life and Student Services at the end of this academic year. Dean of Students in the University Michele Rasmussen will assume leadership of the Campus and Student Life (CSL) office.
“This was a very difficult decision, and I regret the prospect of leaving all of the colleagues whom I have come to admire and respect so much,” reads Coleman’s announcement on the CSL website. “At the same time I am excited about the future and the opportunity to pursue new professional challenges.”
Rasmussen will keep her current title when she takes over at the CSL office on June 1. Coleman, who cited the changing national “field of student life” in her announcement as the reason for her departure, will step away at the end of June.
“The field of student life has recently undergone profound change, and there is a need nationally for strong leadership and expertise, especially in all areas of campus climate and inclusion,” Coleman wrote in the announcement. “At this time I have decided to assess the manner in which I can contribute the most to this changing landscape.”
In an e-mail to undergraduate and graduate students, Coleman said that through her administrative experience, she has “gained a perspective that will allow [her] to provide thought leadership for [her] field.” She said she is considering how she can best “influence the national dialogue” and “have a positive impact on higher education.”
In her announcement, Coleman cited her work in examining the campus climate, launching the Center for Identity + Inclusion, building new residence halls, and modifying dining services. Last week, The Maroon reported that Coleman made the final decision to switch food service providers from Aramark to Bon Appétit.
“We reorganized almost every piece of our CSL structure and built one of the finest student life teams anywhere in the country,” she said.