PROVIDENCE, R.I. [Brown University] — After 19 years of service to the University, Vice President for Campus Life and Student Services Margaret Klawunn will leave Brown at the beginning of August to become the vice chancellor for student affairs at the University of California, Santa Barbara.
Klawunn has helped define the student experience at Brown as the senior advocate for students and their co-curricular needs. In announcing her departure to the campus community, President Christina Paxson said Klawunn’s contributions have strengthened the student experience outside the classroom in ways that “shaped a Brown education for thousands of students over the years, and that will have a lasting impact for generations of students to come.”
“Margaret Klawunn’s commitment to supporting students, cultivating their potential and contributing to their success has had an enduring influence on the student experience at Brown,” Paxson said. “She has led facilities improvements, increased services to students in the areas of advising, health, and diversity and inclusion, and has forged important partnerships with colleagues within the administration. These partnerships have strengthened the connections between academics and students’ lives beyond our lecture halls, labs and seminar rooms.”
Klawunn came to Brown in 1996 as director of the Sarah Doyle Women's Center and served as adjunct faculty in English and Gender Studies. She became associate dean of the college in 2000 and then associate vice president for campus life and dean for student life in 2004. She has served as vice president for campus life and student services since July 1, 2008.
“Brown attracts extraordinary students and employees, and I have benefited greatly by the opportunity to work with so many talented colleagues,” Klawunn said. “In particular, all of the work in Campus Life that has been accomplished during my time as vice president was the result of the commitment and dedication of the employees in the division who believe deeply in our mission to educate and support students at Brown.”
Under Klawunn’s leadership, the Office of Campus Life collaborated with the Office of the Dean of the College to strengthen support for students through many joint initiatives for advising. This has included a new model for Brown’s Faculty Advising Fellows, programs and staffing for international students, and initiatives for first-generation students.
Klawunn also led a strategic planning process for the Brown Center for Students of Color, and her office expanded hours and services in Health Services to better meet the needs of undergraduate, graduate and medical students. Counseling and Psychological Services increased the diversity of their staff under her leadership, and a significant expansion of counseling services will continue in the months ahead. Klawunn has prioritized meeting the needs of a diverse student population and has increased staffing in Student and Employee Accessibility Services, supported the hiring of a Muslim Chaplain, expanded the LGBTQ Center, and established the Office for Student Veterans and Commissioning Programs. To promote a robust residential experience, she added residential peer leaders and hired full-time professional staff as community directors.
Among the efforts to improve facilities during Klawunn’s tenure include the renovation of J. Walter Wilson into a student services building; renovation of the Stephen Robert '62 Campus Center; building the Nelson Fitness Center, the Katherine Moran Coleman Aquatics Center, and the Zucconi Strength and Conditioning Center; and major renovations of the Andrews Commons dining facility and Miller, Metcalf, Andrews, Keeney Quad and other residence halls. In the area of dining services, Klawunn oversaw the expansion of the use of local and organic food, the creation of Brown’s farmer's market, and the development of environmentally friendly and sustainable programs.
“Many of the projects I am most proud of were sparked by student initiative,” Klawunn said. “Throughout my career, I have been inspired by working closely with and supporting the ideas of students. I have had exceptional opportunities at Brown, and I am enthusiastic about continuing to advance work of importance to me in this new role, including serving the diversity of the student population and strengthening the connections between academic and co-curricular programs.”
Klawunn will assume her new position at UCSB at the beginning of September. Prior to coming to Brown, she was director of special projects in the Office of the Vice President for Student Life at Rutgers University, where she also taught and lectured in women's studies and Africana studies as well in the Department of English. Klawunn holds a bachelor’s degree in English from Colby College and a master's and Ph.D. in English literature from Rutgers.
The University will conduct a national search for Klawunn’s successor.