Five Women Who Are Stepping Down From High-Level Positions at Colleges and Universities

Suzanne Mellon, the tenth president of Carlow University in Pittsburgh, announced that she will retire at the end of the current academic year. She has served as the university’s president since 2013. Earlier, she executive vice president of Saint Anselm College in Manchester, New Hampshire, and dean of the College of Health Professions and the McAuley School of Nursing at the University of Detroit Mercy.

Dr. Mellon is a summa cum laude graduate of the University of Michigan. She holds a master’s degree from Ohio State University and a Ph.D. in philosophy from Wayne State University in Detroit.

Jill Thorngren, dean of the College of Education and Human Sciences at South Dakota State University, will step down from her post at the end of the academic year to concentrate on her private counseling practice in Bozeman, Montana. She joined the faculty at South Dakota State University in 2011.

Dr. Thorngren holds a master’s degree in mental health counseling and a Ph.D. in counseling and counselor education from Idaho State University.

Ruth Spencer, associate vice president for human resources at Vassar College in Poughkeepsie, New York, announced that she is retiring at the end of the calendar year. Spencer came to Vassar in 2006 after serving as director of human resources at Oberlin College in Ohio.

Spencer is a graduate of Oberlin College, where she majored in psychology. She holds a master of social work degree and a juris doctorate from Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland.

Susan Fritz, the University of Nebraska’s executive vice president and provost, has announced she will retire on June 30, 2021, capping a 32-year career at the university. Her tenure included a historic appointment as the first woman to lead the University of Nebraska system when she served as interim president in 2019. Dr. Fritz began her career in 1989 as an instructor in the University of Nebraska–Lincoln’s department of agricultural leadership, education and communication. She has served as provost since 2012.

Dr. Fritz holds bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees, all from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

Katharine S. Brooks will step down from her leadership of the Vanderbilt University Career Center at the conclusion of the spring 2021 semester to further pursue her writing and consulting career. Dr. Brooks has served as the Evans Family Executive Director of the Career Center since 2016. Earlier, she served as the executive director of the Office of Personal and Career Development at Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.

Dr. Brooks is a graduate of Gettysburg College in Pennsylvania, where she majored in sociology and anthropology. She holds a master’s degree in rehabilitation counseling and a doctorate in educational psychology from West Virginia University.

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