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Dean Karen McLaurin '74 announced Monday that she will step down from her position as director of the Third World Center on June 30. 

McLaurin, better known to the Brown community as Dean K, will take a year-long leave to care for her father's ailing health, according to an e-mail to be sent to the community Tuesday by Vice President for Campus Life and Student Services Margaret Klawunn and Senior Director for Student Engagement Ricky Gresh. According to the e-mail, McLaurin plans to "transition into a new role at Brown" after her leave.

Klawuun said there are "no plans" so far for finding McLaurin's replacement, but regardless of what decisions are made, the strength of the TWC will be "preserved and grown." A plan for "insuring continuity, program support and leadership" of the center will also be announced in the coming weeks, Klawunn and Gresh wrote in the e-mail.

McLaurin, who has served as director of the TWC for 17 years, directed the center during a period of "significant growth and expansion," Klawunn and Gresh wrote. Beyond her work at the center, McLaurin "has built a commitment among Brown students to advancing issues of diversity at Brown and beyond," according to the e-mail.

"Dean K is a Brown institution," Klawuun said. "She is a treasure, and her departure will be a big loss for Brown." 

McLaurin said she looks forward to her return to Brown and the center's future under new leadership.

"I have high hopes for the growth and development of the center," McLaurin said. "The TWC can and will, hopefully, remain in the hearts and minds of the University." 

According to the e-mail, details of a celebration of McLaurin's achievements at Brown, to be held in early May, will soon be announced.



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