John Beckman Announces Retirement

After nine years of serving the Claremont University Consortium (CUC) as Chief Operating Officer and Vice President of Student Services, Dr. John Beckman has announced his retirement.

Though most students know little about Beckman’s job, he has influenced student life through his administrative role at CUC, where he worked since September 2001.

“My primary responsibilities cover student services that CUC offers for The Claremont Colleges—[the] Office of Black Student Affairs (OBSA), Chicano/Latino Student Affairs (CLSA), Office of the Chaplains, and Student Health and Counseling Services (SHACS),” Beckman wrote in an email to The Student Life.

Beckman manages the contract for the Huntley Bookstore, the Bernard Field Station, and Campus Safety as well. He also meets regularly with fellow administrators to discuss “consortium-wide business.”

Before coming to Claremont, Beckman served in student affairs positions at the University of San Diego and California State University, Bakersfield, and he published articles on organizational health and the wellness model of health care in professional journals.

When the CUC separated from CGU, the Chief Administrative Officer position was created and Beckman was attracted by this opportunity to get in “on the ground floor of building a new organization.” Beckman said he enjoyed the challenge posed by the CUC’s complexity and potential for future development.

One of Beckman’s first contributions to CUC was to bring the consortium’s three major health and counseling services under one roof. Beckman was chair of the design team for the Tranquada Student Services Center. In this position, he was involved in a major 2002-03 overhaul of Monsour Counseling and Psychological Services, resulting in what he describes as a “state-of-the-art counseling program for our students.”

“I definitely feel that I have had an opportunity to improve CUC during my nine-plus years working here,” he said.

After more than forty years as a higher-education administrator, Beckman is ready to experience another way of life.

“I have so many interests that settling on a coherent direction isn’t an easy process,” he said. “I plan to travel, spend more time with family and friends, explore areas of interest in the arts, philosophy, and psychology, and do more surfing.”

Acting on friends’ advice, he intends to live a less structured life for a year or so before making any long-term decisions.

At this time, the efforts by CUC CEO Bob Walton and the Student Deans Committee to find a new Chief Operating Officer are confidential. However, Beckman said Walton “is aggressively pursuing the process of finding a replacement for [Dr. Beckman’s] position and would like to have the position filled by July 2011.”

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