Communications Office: Stephen Mease
BURLINGTON, Vt.— Champlain College Provost and Chief Academic Officer Robin Abramson plans to step down from her position on June 30. The announcement was made Thursday to the campus by President David F. Finney, who will also be retiring at the end of June. His replacement, Donald J. Laackman, president of Harold Washington College in Chicago, will begin July 1 as the College's eighth president.
Abramson, who has served as Champlain's Provost since July 2007, plans to take a year-long leave from Champlain and then return to the classroom as a Professor of Science in September 2015.
"Robin has determined that, with the change in Presidents at the College, the opportune moment for her to step down has arrived. Her decision is one with which I disagreed. I have not, however, been successful in deterring her. She is very much looking forward to a more relaxed pace after a spectacular run as Provost and Chief Academic Officer," Finney wrote in a campus email to staff and faculty.
He cited Abramson's significant strides in academics and her accomplishments in nearly eight years in the academic leadership role. Her work with the administration, the academic affairs team, and the faculty has resulted in the following notable initiatives:
"Champlain has been strengthened and improved because of her leadership and commitment. She is a fierce advocate for faculty and students and always — always — is looking for ways to improve Champlain. Her unwavering commitment to excellence has provided the steady vision needed to move the College forward. Simply put, we would not be as well positioned as we are today without Robin's leadership, commitment and wise counsel," Finney added.
Abramson, who lives in South Burlington, has been with Champlain College for 18 years, serving as interim provost, interim dean of the Division of Information Technology and Sciences, and the College's math and science coordinator. She has also been a professor of biology and the director of Champlain's former overseas program in Israel.
She earned a doctorate in cell and molecular biology from the University of Vermont and her undergraduate degree in biology from State University of New York at Binghamton. Her research work has included a postdoctoral research fellowship for the American Heart Association of Vermont, a National Institutes of Health Pre-doctoral Environmental Pathology Research Training Grant and a Postdoctoral Research Fellowship at the National Cancer Institute's Frederick Cancer Research Facility.
Since 1878, Champlain College has provided career-focused education to students from its hilltop campus in Burlington, Vt. Champlain's distinctive educational approach embodies the notion that true learning only occurs when information and experience come together to create knowledge. Champlain offers traditional undergraduate and online undergraduate courses, along with online certificate and degree programs and 11 master's degree programs. Champlain offers study abroad programs at its campuses in Montreal, Quebec and Dublin, Ireland. Champlain College is included in the Princeton Review's The Best 378 Colleges: 2014 Edition. Champlain was named a "Top-Up-and-Coming School" by U.S. News & World Report's America's Best Colleges and is ranked in the top tier of 2014 Regional Colleges in the North. For more information, visit www.champlain.edu