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Jim Terhune Named Interim Dean of Students

Jim Terhune in blue shirt

President Valerie Smith announced today that Jim Terhune will join the Swarthmore College community as Interim Dean of Students on July 30. Terhune brings more than 30 years of experience in student affairs to the role, as well as expertise honed in serving a number of education clients as founder and principal of his own consulting firm.

“Jim brings valuable experience and knowledge to this critical role,” Smith said. “I look forward to working with him, and I know that his expertise and insights will serve us well as we strive to support the intellectual and social development of all students.”

At Colby College from 2006-2017, Terhune served as vice president for student affairs and dean of students and, in his last year, as vice president for strategic initiatives. Prior to his arrival at Colby, he worked at Colgate University for 15 years in a number of leadership roles including associate dean of the college and dean of student affairs, dean of first-year students, and director of student activities. At both institutions, Terhune led holistic student life programs built around clearly articulated student learning outcomes. He partnered with faculty on numerous initiatives, including efforts to enrich new student orientation, and academic advising and support programs. He also led efforts to enhance and expand diversity and inclusion education as well as support for underrepresented, international, LGBTQ, and first-generation-to-college students. 

Terhune earned an A.B. in English from Middlebury College and an Ed.M. in administration, planning, and social policy from Harvard University. Prior to Colgate, he worked at Middlebury as assistant to the dean of the college and assistant director of student activities.

“This is an exciting time at Swarthmore, and I am eager to partner with students, faculty, and staff, to think about ways to further enrich student experiences and best position the Dean of Students Division for a smooth and successful transition to a new permanent dean,” Terhune says. “I am both humbled by and grateful for the chance to be part of this important work and look forward to welcoming all students, especially the Class of 2022, to campus.”

In his role as Interim Dean, Terhune will oversee all aspects of the Dean of Students Division, including academic affairs and advising, diversity, inclusion, and community development, student conduct, first-generation-to-college initiatives, and the Office of Student Engagement. He will also direct the efforts of the Registrar’s Office, International Student Services, Health and Wellness Services, Counseling and Psychological Services, Career Services, the Black Cultural Center, the Intercultural Center, the Interfaith Center, and the Center for Innovation and Leadership.

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