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Lohmann to step down as dean at the end of the year

Exactly 10 months after being named dean of students at Kenyon, a News Bulletin emailed to the student body on April 3 announced Janet Lohmann will return to Bowdoin College in Brunswick, Maine to serve as the dean of students. Prior to coming to Kenyon, Lohmann was the associate dean of student affairs and dean of first-year students at Bowdoin, where she had worked in various roles for 14 years.

In the coming weeks, Vice President of Student Affairs Meredith Bonham ’92 is expected to appoint a search committee to find a replacement. 

“I did not plan on leaving,” Lohmann said. She explained that she cut her stay short only because this role opened up at Bowdoin and she could not refuse it.

While at Kenyon, Lohmann oversaw the Health and Counseling Center and the Office of Student Rights and Responsibilities. Whereas the Student Affairs division of the College deals with student life as a whole, the dean of students pays particular attention to the needs of individual students and ensures they have access to the resources they need.

“I’m proud of the fact that Protocol is an initiative that happened while I was here,” Lohmann said, referring to an on-call mental health service that the Cox Health and Counseling Center began offering this past semester.

Generally, turnover within college administrations occurs regularly at the more rank-and-file positions. As Bonham pointed out, this short stint by Dean Lohmann is atypical.

“[Dean Lohmann] was committed to Kenyon,” Bonham said. “If not for this particular opportunity at Bowdoin she would have remained at Kenyon for many years to come.”

Despite this unexpected and unusual change, Bonham stressed that students should not expect a disruption in the services they expect from Student Affairs. “I will commit to making sure that the care of individual students will not in any way suffer if we do not have a dean of students in place,” Bonham said.

“I will do everything in my power to ensure that any transition will go as smoothly as possible,” Lohmann said. She emphasized that her commitment to Kenyon will continue until she assumes her new role at Bowdoin. “I cannot thank Kenyon enough,” she said, expressing her gratitude for an opportunity cut short.

Dean Lohmann will continue in her current role through June and assume her new position in July. The College hopes to complete its search process by the start of the 2017-18 academic year.