99-005 (William Simmons)

Distributed July 29, 1999
For Immediate Release
News Service Contact: Mark Nickel



Simmons named senior VP for academic outreach, affiliated programs
Provost William S. Simmons will undertake a new assignment as senior vice president for academic outreach and affiliated programs, effective July 31, 1999. Dean of the Faculty Kathryn Spoehr will serve as interim provost.

PROVIDENCE, R.I. -- William S. Simmons, executive vice president and provost of Brown University, will leave that post to become senior vice president for academic outreach and affiliated programs, effective July 31, 1999. In his new position, Simmons will have overall responsibility for a variety of academic centers and institutes as well as for the University's museums, galleries and programs of public outreach.

A University search committee chaired by Sheila Blumstein, professor of cognitive and linguistic sciences, will identify a new provost from within the Brown community. Dean of the Faculty Kathryn Spoehr will serve as interim provost until a new provost is selected.

"The prospect of a major new museum on campus and the significant growth of our centers and institutes are dramatically expanding the public dimension of our academic mission," said Brown President E. Gordon Gee. "Bill Simmons is the perfect choice for this crucial and rapidly developing area, and I am delighted that he has agreed to assume this new responsibility."

Under a reorganization of the University's senior administration announced in February 1998, all Brown-affiliated institutes, centers and museums, including the Annenberg Institute, the John Carter Brown Library, the Haffenreffer Museum, the Watson Institute, Campus Compact and others, reported to a vice provost for affiliated programs, who has since retired. The affiliated programs will be separated from the provost's office to give those organizations the attention they require, but they will continue to be closely coordinated with campus academic programs in collaboration with the provost's office.

One of Simmons' high-priority projects will be to oversee the design and academic planning for a new art and anthropology museum on Brown's East Side campus. The new museum, announced by the University last month, will include the Haffenreffer anthropology collections, currently in Bristol, R.I.

"Brown's museums and institutes are a tremendous asset in the academic life of the University and the cultural life of Providence," Simmons said. "I am excited by the opportunity to enhance their contributions to the campus and the community and eager to help build support for their programs."

Simmons, a native of Providence, R.I., and a graduate of Classical High School and Brown University, is an anthropologist specializing in the study of North American Indian societies, especially those of New England and California. He came to Brown last summer from the University of California-Berkeley, where he had been dean of the Division of Social Sciences.

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99-005