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Counseling and Psychological Services named Bill Alexander its new director last week.

He assumes his position this month after 10 years as deputy director of CAPS, according to a press release issued by the Vice Provost for University Life.

Although he has worked there a long time, Alexander explained that this is a major change in his role and duties.

"The good news is I've been working closely with the director, so I'm very familiar with the job," he said.

In fact, for the past semester, he has been doing both jobs simultaneously while also acting as the interim director.

The previous director, Ilene Rosenstein, resigned last August.

The role of deputy director, he said, involves running the counseling center daily.

By contrast, "the director is in charge of overall policy and communicating with the University, which involves a little more administrative and policy work," he explained.

Alexander does not foresee any drastic changes for CAPS in the immediate future.

Right now, its primary concern is to fill Alexander's former position, that of clinical director.

The general focus is going to remain "on underserved populations who are having trouble with academic issues," Alexander said.

Additionally, he plans to put special emphasis on "small populations who are having trouble adjusting to an Ivy League school because of language, cultural or socioeconomic barriers, which may be inhibiting students from reaching their full academic potential."

Alexander hopes to maintain the center's "clinical excellence" while increasing outreach efforts in the next few years.

Colleagues and administrators spoke highly of Alexander and his new position.

"Bill has been an integral part of CAPS' operation for many years," Vice Provost for University Life Valarie McCoullum said, in the press release. "I'm thrilled to have him assume this new responsibility, and I look forward to his exceptional leadership and vision to extend the reach and effectiveness of our mental health services to students."

Associate Vice Provost for University Life Max King also lauded Alexander.

"Bill understands the needs of Penn students, and he has gained the confidence of Penn's faculty and staff during his many years of service there," he said.

Alexander brings more than 25 years of clinical experience to his new position, including extensive leadership and practice in university counseling settings.

Before serving as the deputy director of CAPS, Alexander worked in private practice as a licensed psychologist.

He holds a Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology from Temple University.

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