This article has been updated to reflect the version in print on Jan. 25.
In the latest of a series of administrative changes within the residential college system, Trumbull College Dean Jasmina Besirevic-Regan announced to the Trumbull community Friday that she will be stepping down from her position at the end of this term to take on a new role in the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences.
Besirevic-Regan, who is in the 12th year of her deanship, wrote in an email to the college that she would be taking on the role of assistant dean in academic affairs at the graduate school, writing that this was the “most difficult professional decision” she has made.
“I will cherish my 12 years in Trumbull College as the best years of my adult life. I never dreamt about how amazing the experience of living and growing with all of you was going to be,” Besirevic-Regan wrote. “I learned enormously and laughed greatly, I cried sometimes too, but most of all, I loved so much.”
Besirevic-Regan singled out memorable experiences from her Trumbull deanship, including the college winning the Gimbel Cup for academics twice, and the Tyng Cup for intramurals in 2012–13. She also listed chaperoning and celebrating with Yalies in Pittsburgh during the men’s hockey team’s 2013 national championship win as another particular highlight.
Her new position at the graduate school will be similar to her current role with undergraduates, as she will continue to follow students’ academic progress throughout their time at Yale. More specifically, she will help administer and develop academic programs, master’s and Ph.D. programs, as well as manage fellowships and international exchange programs.
Besirevic-Regan said she made the decision because she wanted to broaden her career and grow professionally, and she saw the graduate school position as a “great opportunity and a natural transition.” She added that she will be able to spend more time with her family.
Besirevic-Regan’s announcement also signifies a larger trend in the career track of residential college deans, according to Yale College Dean Jonathan Holloway. Holloway said there is now a trend of residential college deans moving up in the administrative ladder, something that was not always the case. For example, Ezra Stiles College Dean Camille Lizarríbar was recently announced as Yale College’s new dean of student affairs. Michelle Morgan GRD ’16 will serve as interim dean of the college until the appointment of a new dean, who will be selected by a search committee of students and Stiles fellows before the next academic year.
Holloway explained that the unique position of the residential college deanship means that other universities have difficulty placing it within a normal administrative hierarchy. However, he said, the YCDO is now committed to creating development opportunities for residential college deans.
Trumbull College Master Margaret Clark praised Besirevic-Regan’s “infectious” enthusiasm for Trumbull, adding that she has enjoyed sharing both the good times and stressful times in the college with her.
“I’ve loved planning and sharing freshman counselor retreats in Rhode Island, Mellon Forums and college celebrations with Dean B,” Clark said. “Perhaps most importantly, Dean B has [been] there to share with me the pain that all people in our roles endure when something distressing happens to one’s student. Your dean is one of the very few people with whom you can truly share that pain.”
Sarah Armstrong ’18 said Besirevic-Regan is a vibrant, encouraging presence, adding that the welcoming environment the dean created in Trumbull helped her transition into college.
Joel Bervell ’17 said Besirevic-Regan brought a “genuine desire” to listen to and help Trumbull students. He said that when he first met Besirevic-Regan during his freshman year, she already knew his name and some of his interests.
“She showed a sincere desire to get to know me as a student, and find out how I could best fit into Yale’s culture,” Bervell said. “I honestly couldn’t have asked for a better dean, and I hope that she is able to change just as many lives in her next position.”