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Clarke Announces Yvonne Zimmerman as Dean of Academic Affairs

By Clarke News  |  August 22, 2023

Clarke University is proud to announce Yvonne Zimmerman, Ph.D. as the new Dean of Academic Affairs.  

In her role, Yvonne will guide the development and implementation of policies and programs aimed at students and faculty success. Her work will complement student retention efforts already underway, such as Clarke’s new Academic Advising team. Additionally, Yvonne will lead the support the growth and assessment of academic programs to ensure each meets the standards of the high-quality, values-based education that Clarke is known for. 

“I am excited about this moment and what lies ahead,” Yvonne said. “This position is a fantastic opportunity to diversify my skills and experience, and Clarke has undergone some strategic visioning in the last year that makes this an important and dynamic time to be at the institution. The goals they’re developing as part of their new strategic plan are not these abstract ideals. They are real, concrete steps that can make a difference for students and employees, and I look forward to being a part of that.” 

Prior to Clarke, Yvonne was Professor of Christian Ethics at the Methodist Theological School in Ohio, a United Methodist seminary in Delaware, Ohio for fifteen years, and also served as the school’s Associate Academic Dean since 2017.   

As a Christian Ethicist, her teaching focused heavily on the humanities, including topics such as sexuality, gender, and social justice issues. Her primary area of research is the movement to end human trafficking, and she has published extensively on the topic, including Other Dreams of Freedom: Religion, Sex, and Human Trafficking. She holds a Ph.D. in Religious and Theological Studies from the University of Denver and Iliff School of Theology, as well as a Master of Theological Studies from the Candler School of Theology at Emory University.  

Yvonne says she was drawn to Clarke in part because her own interests and values align so well with Clarke’s mission, values, and heritage. 

“I strongly resonate with the Clarke ethos. Inclusivity and belonging are foundational for vibrant and just societies. Moreover, Clarke emphasizes lifelong and life-changing learning and that has been my own experience throughout my life,” Yvonne said. “I grew up on a farm in southeastern Pennsylvania and my parents did not go to college. Going to a liberal arts college for my bachelor’s degree changed the trajectory of my entire life, and I am proud to be a part of that experience of life-changing education for a new generation.”