The University of Chicago’s Independent Student Newspaper since 1892

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The University of Chicago’s Independent Student Newspaper since 1892

Chicago Maroon

The University of Chicago’s Independent Student Newspaper since 1892

Chicago Maroon

Getting to Know Your University Administrators

A summary of University leadership for first-years and continuing students alike
University+President+Paul+Alivisatos
The University of Chicago
University President Paul Alivisatos

The University of Chicago community has seen some turnover in leadership over the past year. Before the school year starts, here’s a rundown of the University’s major administrative players.

Paul Alivisatos, President

Armand Paul Alivisatos became the 14th president of the University of Chicago on September 1, 2021, after former president Robert Zimmer stepped down due to health complications. Before joining the University of Chicago faculty, Alivisatos served as provost and executive vice chancellor of the University of California, Berkeley, where he also held numerous faculty appointments beginning in 1988.

As president, Alivisatos collaborates closely with the Board of Trustees, provost, deans, and other University administrators to develop comprehensive programs aligning with the University’s mission. He also oversees the University’s partnerships with businesses, government bodies, and the community at large.

A Chicago native, Alivisatos earned his A.B. with honors in Chemistry from the University of Chicago in 1981. His research accolades include a National Medal of Science in 2014 and a Priestley Medal in 2021. Alongside serving as University president, Alivisatos holds a joint faculty position in the Department of Chemistry, the Pritzker School of Molecular Engineering, and the College.

Katherine Baicker, Provost

Katherine Baicker became the 15th Provost of the University of Chicago on March 20, 2023, after former provost Ka Yee C. Lee transitioned into the newly created role of executive vice president for strategic initiatives. As provost, Baicker oversees the University’s academics and research programs.

Having previously held leadership roles at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government and T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Baicker’s expertise is firmly rooted in public policy. A graduate of Yale University, she earned her Ph.D. in economics from Harvard in 1998 and has held notable positions at Dartmouth, at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), and in President George W. Bush’s Council of Economic Advisers.

As a leading researcher in the economics of health care policy, Baicker also serves as the Emmett Dedmon Professor at the Harris School of Public Policy. She is a research associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research and serves as a board member at Eli Lilly and the Mayo Clinic.

Melina Hale, Dean of the College

Melina Hale became dean of the College on July 1, 2023, after John Boyer stepped down from his decades-long career as College dean to become senior advisor to University President Paul Alivisatos. As dean, Hale is in charge of improving students’ experience in the College and upholding the University’s foundational values through collaboration with other administrators and students.

Before being named dean of the College, Hale served as vice provost. She is currently the William Rainey Harper Professor in the Department of Organismal Biology and Anatomy. Hale’s research focuses on the interaction between biomechanics and neurobiology.

Hale received her S.B. in zoology from Duke University in 1992 and her Ph.D. in organismal biology from the University of Chicago in 1998. Before joining the University faculty in 2002, she was a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Neurobiology at the State University of New York at Stony Brook.

Michele Rasmussen, Dean of Students

Michele Rasmussen is entering her tenth year as the dean of students at the University, a role that involves working with administrators and other leaders across campus to provide support to students during their academic careers and in preparation for their postgraduate lives.

Among other campus services, Rasmussen holds direct responsibility for Student Wellness, Housing and Residence Life, Student Disability Services, and the offices of the University Registrar and the Bursar.

Rasmussen received a A.B. in history from UCLA in 1992 and a Ph.D. in biological anthropology and anatomy from Duke University in 1999. She served as an associate dean and adjunct professor at Duke from 2004 to 2010, after which she became the dean of Bryn Mawr College for three years before joining the University’s administrative team.

James Nondorf, Vice President for Enrollment and Student Advancement and Dean of Admissions and Financial Aid

James G. Nondorf has served as the University’s vice president for enrollment and student advancement and dean of College admissions and financial aid since 2009. Out of the 11 vice presidents that contribute to the University’s administrative team, Nondorf’s position has the most impact on day-to-day student life: His role entails oversight over undergraduate admissions, financial aid, and the career advancement office.

Nondorf came to the University of Chicago after serving as vice president for enrollment at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI). He was previously the director of student outreach and associate director of admissions at Yale University. He received an A.B. in economics from Yale, along with a master’s in ethics from Valparaiso.

John Boyer, Senior Advisor to the President

Following a 31-year tenure as dean of the College, John W. Boyer assumed the role of senior advisor to the president in June 2023. During his time as Dean, Boyer expanded the College’s curriculum to include new courses and programs of study. He was the longest-tenured dean in the College’s history.

A Chicago native, Boyer received his A.B. from Loyola University Chicago in 1968 and an M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Chicago in 1969 and 1975, respectively. He studied European political and cultural history, with a special focus on Germany and the Habsburg monarchy.

Along with serving as senior advisor to the president, Boyer is the Martin A. Ryerson Distinguished Service Professor and teaches courses on European civilization, religion, and politics.

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About the Contributor
Austin Zeglis
Austin Zeglis, Senior News Reporter, Senior Sports Reporter
Austin is a member of the class of 2024 who hails from Ann Arbor, Michigan. He studies economics and music in the College and contributes to the Sports and News sections of The Maroon.
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