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Renée Baernstein is appointed new CAS dean

Baernstein speaks at her open forum on Feb. 6.
Baernstein speaks at her open forum on Feb. 6.

For months, Miami University has been searching, interviewing and holding forums for the new College of Arts and Science (CAS) dean. On March 2, The Board of Trustees and assigned committees chose Renée Baernstein, the current senior associate dean of CAS, to hold the position.

“When this position opened, [it] seemed like a good way for me to give back to the institution that supported me and to help others have a good experience here both the students and faculty,” Baernstein said. “We have a great school with a great tradition and a long history behind us, and I want to help keep that strong.”

Baernstein officially transitions into her new position in July 2024. She said her first steps will be visiting the different groups within the college to hear their concerns, interests, goals and projects in order to start collaboration efforts.

She said CAS is currently working on a new interdisciplinary curriculum, and in recent years, the college has created a bachelor’s degree in data analytics, organizational leadership and public health. She said as the college moves forward, it will see more interdisciplinary degrees, certificates and micro-credentials.

Not only is she going to work on bringing different sections together, but she will also have broad conversations about creating a CAS slogan.

“We want the student voice to be in there,” Baernstein said. “Students have a great sense of what's current and students are our core audience.  They're our core constituency, we want to be sure their views are represented.”

Provost Elizabeth Mullenix wrote in an email response that she’s excited to work with Baernstein in her new position.

“She has a great vision for the future of the college and has many years of experience working at Miami,” Mullenix wrote. “She has a deep understanding of a large, diverse division and has cultivated valuable partnerships both within and outside the university."

Overall, Baernstein said she would like for people to think of CAS as the core and heart of Miami education because of the diverse fields available compared to other colleges at the university.

“CAS is all about exploring and understanding the world, whether it's the physical world, the social world, the cultural world [or] the world of imagination,” Baernstein said, “and we want to help students do that better, no matter what their profession or what degree they get.”

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