Robin Hart Ruthenbeck, assistant dean of students at Macalester College, joins Kenyon as dean of students Aug. 1, 2017.
Hart Ruthenbeck has served as assistant dean since 2014 at Macalester, a highly selective, residential liberal arts college in St. Paul, Minnesota, with an enrollment of approximately 2,100 undergraduate students. As assistant dean, Hart Ruthenbeck coordinated services for students with disabilities and implemented programming to support first-generation students.
“The committee was deeply impressed by Robin’s reflective, authentic and student-centered approach,” said Vice President for Student Affairs Meredith Harper Bonham ’92. “She is a careful and thoughtful listener who is especially attuned to individual student concerns, but also demonstrates sensitivity to the needs of the larger campus community. We were struck in particular by Robin’s focus on developing relationships, which is so important at a college like Kenyon, and her facilitation of student self-advocacy. I am thrilled to have the opportunity to partner with Robin for many years to come.”
Prior to her role as assistant dean, Hart Ruthenbeck worked for six years as associate director for campus programs at Macalester. In this role, she coordinated orientation programming for incoming students and led student activities and events. She also participated in numerous committees, including a sexual misconduct policy review committee, and served as chair of a conduct hearing board.
“I have long had a great appreciation for the role that liberal arts colleges play in our country, and am very excited to join the sort of purposeful community that Kenyon promises to be,” Hart Ruthenbeck said. “As I get to know Kenyon, I look forward to discovering how I can best contribute.”
Hart Ruthenbeck takes over as dean of students from Janet Lohmann, who after a year at Kenyon is returning to Bowdoin College, where she worked for more than 13 years. Hart Ruthenbeck was selected by a committee chaired by Bonham that included faculty, staff and students. The executive search firm Isaacson, Miller helped conduct the national search.
As dean of students, Hart Ruthenbeck will oversee Kenyon’s health and counseling services as well as the Office of Student Rights and Responsibilities. She also will manage oversight of individual student issues and conflict resolution with students and families, and she will work closely with partners across campus to enhance student life at Kenyon.
Hart Ruthenbeck earned a bachelor’s degree in interdisciplinary studies from Miami University of Ohio in 1991 and a master’s degree in college student personnel services from Miami in 1993. She earned a doctorate of education from the University of Minnesota in 2015, focusing on organizational leadership, policy, and development. In addition to her work at Macalester, Hart Ruthenbeck has served as an adjunct faculty member at University of St. Thomas, as an associate lecturer at the University of Wisconsin–La Crosse, and as director of campus activities at Carleton College, a position she held for nine years.