Institutional News

Li-Chen Chin Ph.D. Named Dean of Student Life

Bennington College President Laura Walker has announced that Dr. Li-Chen Chin has been appointed Dean of Student Life at the College

Dr. Chin, who will assume the new position on October 11, comes to Bennington from Duke University, where she serves as Assistant Vice President for Intercultural Programs. 

“Li-Chen Chin brings exceptional student support experience, a passion for creating a welcoming and open community, and a dedication to Bennington’s mission to be a diverse, inclusive, and anti-racist campus,” said President Walker. “As a campus leader, Dr. Chin will be a partner to our office as we work together to develop the student experience beyond the classroom, creating the prime conditions for personal, social, and intellectual transformation for all students.” 

Dr. Chin said she is excited to be joining the Bennington family, noting that “I was very impressed with the strong sense of community at Bennington College. I am thrilled to take a lead in developing, assessing, and maintaining an office that is truly student-centered and equity-driven. I look forward to working closely with the students, President Walker, the student life team, and the faculty to create the best co-curricular experiences and advance Bennington College’s mission, vision, and goals.”

At Duke, Dr. Chin was instrumental in tailoring the college experience to the needs of an increasingly diverse student body. She worked with students, faculty, and staff to ensure open lines of communication and that students had access to academic support, social and mental health services.

Additionally, she led the way in using qualitative and quantitative data from institutional and student surveys to inform planning, program development, and resource allocation. This led to improvements in onboarding and roommate assignment processes, enhancements in advising and teaching first-year students, as well as career support services. 

In a previous role, as Interim Associate Dean for Student Affairs, Dr. Chin worked closely with Duke University senior leadership and department heads to plan student life programming at Duke Kunshan University, a joint venture between Duke, Wuhan University, and the city of Kunshan, China. She welcomed the first class of undergraduates to the campus, and oversaw the establishment of culturally sensitive institutional policies and procedures, expanded student activities, and resolved student crises related to both physical and mental health. 

Before Dr. Chin’s time at Duke University, which began in 2008, she served first as Director of International Student Services and then Associate Dean and Director of International Programs at Bryn Mawr College in Pennsylvania, where she created an office to promote, coordinate, and administer international activities for the institution. Prior to her time at Bryn Mawr, she served as the International Student and Scholar Advisor at the University of Pennsylvania.

Dr. Chin holds a doctorate in Music Education and Research and a Master’s degree in Music Education from the University of Oregon. She has a BA in Music from the National Taiwan Normal University.