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Shirley M. Ramirez to return to Middlebury College as dean of the college and chief diversity officer

February 1, 2010

MIDDLEBURY, Vt. ― Shirley M. Ramirez, vice president for institutional planning and community engagement at Lafayette College, will return to Middlebury College July 1 and rejoin the administration as dean of the college and chief diversity officer. She will also teach on occasion as a member of Middlebury’s psychology department. Ramirez came to Middlebury in January 2007 from The Posse Foundation, where she was executive vice president.  At Middlebury, she served first as dean for institutional diversity and then as vice president for institutional planning and diversity before leaving in December 2008 for Lafayette.

Middlebury’s current dean of the college, Timothy B. Spears, who has served in that position since 2004, will assume a different portfolio of administrative responsibilities, effective July 1.   Details of that appointment will be shared sometime this spring.

In commenting on Ramirez’s appointment, Middlebury College President Ronald D. Liebowitz said, “The position of chief diversity officer is important to our goal of supporting a more diverse student body and academic community.  In her dual role, Shirley will help further our efforts to create an environment where diversity is an integral part of students’ residential and academic experience. I know I speak for many when I say I am delighted that Shirley will be rejoining us.”

Ramirez said, “I am truly excited about returning to Middlebury in this critical role, which will allow me to contribute significantly to the experience of students and the campus community.  It is an honor to do this work at Middlebury — a place I love and value deeply.”

A former Posse scholar and the daughter of Dominican immigrants, Ramirez is the first person in her family to go to college.  She has taught at a number of colleges and universities, including New York University and Georgetown University, and worked as a clinical psychologist. Ramirez is co-founder and co-chair of the national organization of Liberal Arts Diversity Officers, and a board member of the National Association of Diversity Officers in Higher Education.  She earned her undergraduate degree at Vanderbilt University, and received masters and doctoral degrees in clinical psychology from Duke University.