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CAPS director Bill Alexander in his office in October 2017.

Credit: Ananya Chandra

Counseling and Psychological Services Director Bill Alexander and Career Services Director Pat Rose will both be retiring this August after decades of working at Penn in their respective departments.

This year marks Alexander's 19th year at CAPS, where he has been the director since 2009. Rose has worked at Penn's Career Services for nearly 40 years, serving as director since 1982. 

“Alexander has presided over CAPS during a period of dramatic growth in staffing, outreach, and utilization,” a written statement from the Vice Provost for University Life reads. 

The statement also indicated that throughout Alexander’s tenure, Counseling and Psychological Services created the Sexual Trauma Treatment Outreach and Prevention team, expanded its hours to some nights and weekends, and implemented an embedding system through which therapists serve specific graduate schools from within.

“I am enormously grateful for Bill’s years of service and leadership to VPUL and the entire Penn community,” said Valarie Swain-Cade McCoullum, the vice provost for University Life, in the statement. “He has led CAPS thoughtfully, with kindness and compassion, innovating and employing best practices to deliver world-class clinical care for our diverse student body.” 

Alexander has also served as director at a time when mental health has been a prominent topic of discussion within the Penn community and on a broader national stage. 

Since February 2013, 14 Penn students are confirmed to have died by suicide, and in 2017 alone, eight students at the University died by various causes. 

Alexander also oversaw the creation and implementation of I CARE, a mental health program that trains representatives from groups to recognize problems, support peers, and learn the proper steps to take when a mental health issue arises. The statement indicated that the program "has educated nearly 2,000 students, faculty, and staff in active listening, response, and referrals."

Pat Rose

In a separate statement announcing Rose’s retirement, VPUL notes the technological changes Rose has overseen, including online job postings and Career Services’ "chat bot.”

“Pat is a Penn pioneer in an iconic position,” McCoullum wrote in the statement. “She has personally guided thousands of students and alumni through the exhilarating process of discovering their passions and embarking on their professional path.”

The statement indicated that she has, most recently, led “efforts to increase internship assistance for high-need students,” offering attire through the “Quaker Career Wardrobe” service and taking students on “networking trips.” 

Alexander’s retirement will be effective Aug. 31 and Rose’s retirement will be effective Aug. 3. There is no comment of any potential candidates to fill their administrative positions.

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