November 2014 Archways

Campus Buzz

In July, Kim Cassidy, Bryn Mawr’s newly appointed president, joined colleagues from around the country for the Harvard Seminar for New Presidents. The seminar welcomes first-year college and university presidents for a practical and conceptual orientation to the presidency. Between sessions, Cassidy caught up with Bryn Mawr alumna and president of Harvard University Drew Gilpin Faust ’68. Photo by Justin Knight.

In July, Kim Cassidy, Bryn Mawr’s newly appointed president, joined colleagues from around the country for the Harvard Seminar for New Presidents. The seminar welcomes first-year college and university presidents for a practical and conceptual orientation to the presidency. Between sessions, Cassidy caught up with Bryn Mawr alumna and president of Harvard University Drew Gilpin Faust ’68. Photo by Justin Knight.

BMC Welcomes New CFO

In October, Kari A. Fazio joined Bryn Mawr as the College’s chief financial officer.

“Kari brings a terrific combination of technical expertise and personal attributes, along with a deep understanding of the complex issues facing liberal arts colleges today,” BMC President Kim Cassidy says. “She has significant experience in both finance and administration that will benefit the College.”

Before coming to Bryn Mawr, Fazio served as acting vice president of finance and administration at Lafayette College with responsibilities in financial analysis, debt management, treasury services, and development of the operating budget, as well as administrative operations such as purchasing, dining services, property management, and transportation.

Prior to Lafayette, she worked in the public finance groups at Wells Fargo and PNC Bank, in small business development for the Peace Corps, and in the Office of Budget and Program Evaluation for the City of Philadelphia. She earned her M.P.A. from the School of International and Public Affairs at Columbia University and her bachelor’s degree in English from Georgetown University.

Race Matters

In recent months, Bryn Mawr has been engaged in a community-wide discussion of the racial climate on campus. These conversations have taken place in settings formal and informal—town hall meetings, deans’ offices, classrooms—but wherever they are occurring, those involved have been confronting the ongoing challenge of race in America and at Bryn Mawr.

Several incidents—one involving a racially demeaning image and another the appearance of a Confederate flag on a dorm hall—sparked the conversation about the larger issue of the racial climate at the College, the microaggressions encountered by students of color, and the institutional response to these issues. In April, President Kim Cassidy hosted a town hall on race, inclusion, and diversity. In September, students organized a demonstration against racism attended by students, faculty, staff, trustees, and the president.

In a letter to the campus community, Cassidy wrote, “I want to assure you that I heard you last spring at the town hall and other gatherings when you called for change and asked that change be visible and tangible…. In that spirit, I want to share with you some concrete progress we have made.”

From the robust conversation that took place in April, Cassidy charged Provost Mary Osirim and the faculty committees with oversight of academic priorities and appointments to take steps toward diversifying both faculty and curriculum.

Community education efforts have also been launched, with diversity on the docket for Customs Week programs, new faculty orientation, and the first-year Wellness course. A teach-in on higher education, race, and responsibilities took place this fall; the spring professional development day will focus on diversity
and inclusion.

On the academic side, the Dissent, Violence, Justice series—a joint project of offices across campus—will bring events on the topic to campus throughout the year (see opposite page). In addition, Bryn Mawr will be among the sponsors of the White Privilege Conference, to be held in Philadelphia in 2016.

BMC Scores a Hat Trick

For the third year in a row, Bryn Mawr has been ranked No. 1 among liberal arts colleges in the Washington Monthly annual ranking of U.S. colleges and universities that contribute most to society.

“Our liberal arts college ranking also reveals institutions that excel in surprising ways,” the Monthly article explains. “Bryn Mawr comes in first for the third consecutive year. While expensive, it combines a strong commitment to service with a research focus unusual for liberal arts colleges.”

To compile the list, the Monthly editors gathered reams of publicly available data and settled on three criteria: social mobility, research, and service. America’s best colleges, the editors reasoned, are those that produce new scientific discoveries and a high percentage of students who become Ph.D.s, help economically disadvantaged students earn degrees, and emphasize students’ obligation to serve their communities and the nation.

In a related development, the 2014 Princeton Review College Guide also gave the College high marks. BMC ranked sixth, eighth, and ninth in the categories LGBT Friendly, Best Campus Food, and Best College Dorms, respectively.

 

 

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