A Message From the President: Ruth Spencer

Dear All,

I am writing to share the significant news that Ruth Spencer, Associate Vice President for Human Resources (HR), has decided to retire from Vassar College at the end of this calendar year.  This is a great loss for so many of us here at the College, and I am very grateful for her partnership and skill in leading Human Resources at Vassar.  Ruth has given tirelessly to Vassar during her tenure. I know how many of you have had the pleasure of working together with Ruth and her department to solve problems and make Vassar’s systems better.  You have seen her values of supporting employees and maintaining integrity in HR decision making.  Whether advocating for air conditioning in the dish room in the Gordon Commons, mediating interactions between supervisors and supervisees, or resolving grievances so arbitration or litigation would not be necessary, Ruth brought forth the best of her social work and legal skills.

Ruth started with Vassar in 2006 as Director of Human Resources and was the first African-American to rise to the rank of Associate Vice President within the Vassar administration, in 2008.  She received her BA in Psychology from Oberlin College and both her Master of Social Work and Juris Doctor from Case Western Reserve University.  In addition to her role at Vassar, Ruth is an adjunct professor at Smith College School of Social Work and has taught there since 1996.

Ruth brought to Vassar a passion for improving human relations to the Office of Human Resources. During her time with the College, she assembled a highly-qualified human resources team; navigated the transition from Banner to Workday; expanded the Professional Development program from brown bag lunches to an informational and experiential lecture series with identified experts in their fields; enhanced the annual goal setting and review process; and most recently coordinated Vassar’s careful response to the employment and workplace issues associated with the COVID 19 pandemic.

Please join me in congratulating Ruth on her outstanding career and contributions to Vassar.  Ruth told me that she looks forward to Vassar being able to celebrate all of our retirees, in person, before too long.  Thank you, Ruth!

Elizabeth H. Bradley, President

Poughkeepsie, NY 12604