Four Women in High-Level University Posts Are Stepping Down

Penny LauransPenelope Laurans, master of Jonathan Edwards College and special assistant to the president at Yale University, announced that she will retire at the end of the academic year. Dr. Laurans joined the faculty at Yale University in 1973 as an assistant professor of English. During her time at Yale, she has also served as associate director of admissions, associate editor and then editor of The Yale Review, associate dean of Yale College, and dean of summer programs.

Dr. Laurans is a graduate of Mount Holyoke College in South Hadley, Massachusetts. She earned a master’s degree and a Ph.D. in English at Harvard University.

Christine-OrtizChristine Ortiz has announced that she will step down at the end of the academic year as dean for graduate education at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Dr. Ortiz will take a one-year sabbatical and then return to MIT to continue as the Morris Cohen Professor of Materials Science and Engineering.

Professor Ortiz is a graduate of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, New York. She holds a master’s degree and a Ph.D. in materials science and engineering from Cornell University.

mccormickChristine McCormick, dean of the College of Education at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, is stepping down. She has been dean of the College of Education since 2005. Earlier, she taught at the University of New Mexico and the University of South Carolina. Dr. McCormick is the co-author of Child and Adolescent Development for Educators (Guilford Press, 2006).

Dr. McCormick is a graduate of Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana. She holds a master’s degree and a Ph.D. from the University of Massachusetts.

GraceHarrisGrace E. Harris has retired as a distinguished professor of public policy at the leadership institute that bears her name at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond. Dr. Harris’ career at the university spanned 48 years and included terms as dean of the School of Social Work, provost, and acting president.

Professor Harris is a graduate of Hampton University in Virginia. She earned a master of social work degree from Virginia Commonwealth University and a master’s degree and a Ph.D. in sociology from the University of Virginia.

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