Berkeley Administrator and Active Alumna to Return to Alma Mater
October 26, 2010Avis Hinkson '84
New York, NY – Barnard President Debora L. Spar today announced the appointment of Avis Hinkson '84 as the new Dean of the College, beginning February 14, 2011. She will serve as an advocate for students and oversee the Offices of the Dean of Studies, Admissions and Financial Aid, Registrar, Residential Life, Student Life, and Health Services.
Hinkson brings nearly thirty years of experience in higher education, most recently as Director of Undergraduate Advising at the University of California-Berkeley. "Avis Hinkson is that unique combination—a Barnard alumna, a native New Yorker, and a proven leader with tremendous spirit and great ideas," said President Spar. "Through decades of service at a range of prestigious academic institutions, she has proven in her strengths and values that she is the leader we were seeking. Ms. Hinkson is sure to be a tireless advocate for Barnard students and student life, and we are thrilled to have her on board."
Hinkson describes her return to the College as "a dream come true. Barnard gave so much to me as a first-generation student of color and now, in my role as an advocate for students, I am humbled by the opportunity to give back. I am also thrilled to join the amazing leadership of the College as we work together to develop women leaders and change agents who will enhance our global community."
Hinkson succeeds Dorothy Denburg '70 who has served as Dean of the College since 1993 and as a Barnard administrator for nearly four decades. "We owe Dean Denburg an immeasurable debt of gratitude for her service to the College and look forward to all that she will continue to do for Barnard in the years ahead," said President Spar.
In her new role as Vice President for College Relations, Denburg will oversee the Offices of Alumnae Affairs and Career Development. She will also provide support for Barnard’s pre-college programs.
"I've watched Avis's professional career unfold over the last 26 years and I have every confidence that her broad experience in higher education, especially in admissions and academic advising, will enable her to make important contributions to our students and the College," said Denburg. "It also makes me enormously happy to be succeeded in this role by another Barnard alumna. I know Avis will bring energy and passion to her work as Dean."
Greg Brown, Chief Operating Officer and Chair of the Dean of the College Steering Committee, added, "I want to thank our diligent and thoughtful steering committee which included students, faculty, staff and alumnae. Ms. Hinkson was selected from a deep and strong applicant pool. We were especially pleased to present President Spar with such exceptional finalists, and we are eager to welcome Ms. Hinkson back to campus."
Jorie Dugan '11, Barnard senior and member of the steering committee, said of Hinkson, "When you're with Avis, you completely feel her 'Barnard Love,' as she calls it, which is something students embrace. She is an innovative thinker with a deep understanding of Barnard's mission and a passion for the overall student experience. She will most definitely be a wonderful addition to the campus and a terrific advocate for students."
About Avis Hinkson '84
For the past six years at the University of California-Berkeley, Hinkson has orchestrated the academic advising of over 18,000 undergraduate liberal arts students as Director of the Office of Undergraduate Advising. In strategic and creative ways, she has advised individual students, small groups, and cohorts at critical points in their undergraduate education, from pre-orientation to graduation. Hinkson worked in close collaboration with deans, faculty, department chairs and student service staff across the University to build the kind of bridges that benefit students most as they navigate their college careers.
Prior to her arrival at UC-Berkeley, Hinkson spent more than twenty years in enrollment management, beginning as a work-study student in Barnard's Admissions Office and culminating with her position as Dean of Admission and Enrollment Planning at Mills College. Committed to addressing issues of access to higher education throughout her career, Hinkson developed and implemented the strategic plan for minority recruitment at a number of institutions including Pomona College and the liberal arts college at Cornell University.
Hinkson holds a B.A. in psychology from Barnard College, an M.A. from Teachers College, Columbia University, and an Ed.D. from the University of Pennsylvania. Nearly every year of the past 26, Hinkson has served as fundraising chair for her Barnard class.