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Job ID: 146294

Search for the Provost
Simmons University

Date Posted Sep. 10, 2020
Title Search for the Provost
University Simmons University
Boston, MA, United States
Department Administration
Application Deadline Open until filled
Position Start Date Available immediately
  • President/Provost/Chancellor
  • Academic Affairs
    University Administration

Simmons University (Simmons), a private university in the heart of Boston offering a comprehensive undergraduate education and robust nationally recognized graduate programs, seeks an experienced and collaborative academic affairs leader to serve as its next Provost.

Simmons offers a strong undergraduate education for women and coeducational graduate programs in health sciences, media and communications, liberal arts, library and information science, business, and social work. For more than a century, Simmons has been preparing women to lead lives that impact communities around the globe. Along the way it has embraced visionary thinking, innovation, and change, adapting to shifts in higher education while remaining true to its mission. In alignment with its core purpose, Simmons launched one of the first undergraduate women's studies degree programs for women in the 1960s. Soon after, Simmons created the first MBA program designed specifically for women, with a focus on the organizational behavior of men and women. As new technologies and increased competition have caused significant disruptions in the higher education landscape, Simmons has developed and expanded high quality, nationally recognized online graduate degree and certificate programs in such areas as nursing, social work, and library and information science.

Simmons has established a model of higher education that only today other colleges and universities are beginning to adopt: the combination of education for leadership in high-demand professional fields with the intellectual foundation of the liberal arts. The result is a Simmons graduate prepared not only to work, but to lead in professional, civic, and personal life a vision of empowerment that Simmons calls preparation for life's work. The Simmons story is one of growth, innovation, and a solid foundation fueled by on-the-ground and online enrollments, and fortified investments in its campus and technology.

The next Provost will join Simmons at an exciting moment of transition, challenge, and opportunity. Dr. Lynn Perry Wooten, Simmons's ninth President and the University's first African American President, joined the campus community in July 2020, energizing the institutional legacy of and commitment to empowering women-centered leaders and social justice champions. She joins Simmons as the COVID-19 pandemic is changing the landscape of higher education around the world and elevating the criticality of remote education, pedagogical innovation, and institutional nimbleness. Simmons has been a trailblazer and an innovator over the last decade, devoting considerable institutional capital to building highquality online academic offerings at the undergraduate and graduate levels, redesigning its institutional structure to meet the demands of 21st century education and research, and launching the One Simmons initiative to enhance its strategic financial and competitive positions for years to come. Simmons is positioned to build on its many accomplishments to meet the challenges of the pandemic and post-pandemic era.

The vision for Simmons's next 100 years, first introduced in July 2017 and reaffirmed in its Strategy 2022, remains constant. The University will become a beacon of leadership in the world of higher education; a resource to our nation and world; known for our expertise in fields which improve the human condition; sought out for the findings of our highly reputable research; and seen as the global expert in educating women for their own empowerment and leadership. Working with administrators, faculty, and staff, the Provost will play a strategic leadership role in the execution of the University's strategic plan.

Reporting to the President, the Provost will serve as a senior leader of the University and a champion of Simmons's faculty, demonstrating a leadership style that is transparent and collaborative. This individual will possess the knowledge and experience to develop successful strategies that strengthen academic programs, their delivery, and their impact. The Provost has seven direct reports and oversees Academic Affairs with a total budget of $116 million (FY20). The successful candidate will be resourceful, imaginative, and forward-thinking, with a record of collaborative academic and administrative oversight.

This is an extraordinary opportunity for an accomplished administrator to join a university focused on the development of leaders to assume meaningful roles in the world and on the principles of women's rights; social justice; and diversity, equity, and inclusion. Candidates should have a successful history of academic leadership; the proven ability to build and cultivate consensus among various stakeholder groups; the financial acumen necessary to navigate the higher education landscape; and a deep and demonstrated commitment to diversity and inclusion. An earned doctorate or other terminal degree is required, as is a record of scholarship and teaching commensurate with immediate appointment to the rank of full professor.

Simmons University has retained Isaacson, Miller, a national executive search firm, to assist with this important search. Inquiries, nominations, and applications should be directed in confidence to the firm as indicated at the end of this document.

About Simmons University

In founding and endowing Simmons College in his 1899 will, Boston businessman John Simmons acted on a revolutionary idea: women should be educated like men and prepared to earn independent livelihoods for themselves and their families. Over its long history, Simmons has evolved and changed, but it has remained true to its commitment to empower women through a strong educational foundation. Combining intellectual achievement with purpose to make an impact in the world was and continues to be the broad goal of Simmons.

In 1902, Simmons opened its doors to its first class of 146 undergraduate students. Simmons built upon their undergraduate programs to offer graduate education, initially only to women, but over time to include men. Its first graduate program, the Master of Science at the Boston School for Social Workers, was launched in 1912. The Master of Science at the School of Library Science was created in 1949, followed by the establishment over the next decades of master's programs in the liberal arts, education, and business. Today, Simmons is anchored by its highly respected women's undergraduate programs and enriched by its coeducational graduate offerings, offered both on the ground and online, in health sciences, liberal arts, business, communications, social work, public health, and library and information science.

In keeping with its founding impulse, Simmons is dedicated to empowering women, developing leaders, and advancing equity and justice, both locally and globally. Simmons graduated its first African American student in 1914 and was one of the few private colleges not to impose admission quotas on Jewish students during the first half of the 1900s. In 1963, Simmons established the Dorothea Lynde Dix Scholars Program, one of the region's first and most successful programs for non-traditional students uniquely designed to support adult women age 24 and older or second bachelor's candidates. In 2014, Simmons announced a policy on the acceptance of transgender students, and its undergraduate program accepts applicants who are assigned female at birth as well as those who self-identify as women.

Simmons has sponsored the Simmons Leadership Conference, the premier women's leadership conference in the world, for the last four decades. The Conference attracts over 3,400 female middle- and senior-level managers from companies and organizations across the country and around the globe. In 2019, the University established the Institute for Leadership to advance its pivotal work in developing women leaders. Drawing on the expertise of Simmons's faculty, alumni, and students, as well as external partners, the new Institute is charged with developing new educational programs for corporate executives, conducting research, and designing other activities focused on advancing women's leadership, including hosting global conferences and conversations.

While the Simmons campus is based in Boston, Simmons is a multi-faceted university offering degree programs at off-site locations including The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art and The New England Center for Children. Undergraduate enrollment totals some 1,777 women, 11% of whom are learners through the Dix Scholars Program. The racial demographics of the undergraduate population at Simmons consists of 11% Asian, 7% Black or African American, 8% Latinx, 5% multi-racial, and 62% White students. The graduate student population numbers 4,858 men and women as of fall 2019, comprising 4% Asian, 9% Black or African American, 7% Latinx, and 56% White students. Current graduate offerings include five online master's degrees, with students from all 50 states enrolled. Simmons is a member of the Colleges of the Fenway consortium, which also includes Emmanuel College, Wentworth Institute of Technology, Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences, and Massachusetts College of Art and Design. This collaboration provides cross-registration opportunities to the more than 12,000 undergraduate students that attend these five institutions. As of July 2020, Simmons has an online graduate student population of 3,728.

The Simmons faculty comprises 231 full-time members, 72% of whom are women. Nearly 90% of liberal arts faculty members have earned terminal degrees in their fields. The faculty racial demographics are 7% Asian, 7% Black or African American, 6% Latinx, and 77% White. Faculty members are proud, dedicated, and passionate teachers and scholars who are personally engaged with their students not only as close advisors, but also as collaborators and peers in learning, research, and discovery. The Simmons classroom is an intimate and hands-on learning experience with the average undergraduate student to faculty ratio of 8:1.

Committed to its purpose as a student-centered institution, Simmons puts the needs of its students first and offers the combination of education for leadership in high-demand professional fields with the intellectual foundation of the liberal arts. In the 21st century, consistent with its 19th century founding mission, Simmons prepares students to lead meaningful lives, build successful careers, and impact the world around them.

From College to University: A Decade of Growth

While Simmons has grown and adapted to an evolving higher education landscape over its history, the story of the last 10 years is critical to understanding the Simmons of todayand of tomorrow. On September 1, 2018, Simmons College became Simmons University, a transition that was many years in planning and more accurately reflected the Institution's growth over the previous decade.

When President Helen Drinan took the helm at Simmons in 2008, the world was entering the biggest economic crisis since the Great Depression. Simmons's leadership made difficult decisions to strengthen the Institution's financial stability and flexibility including right-sizing the Institution, and diversifying revenues. While those decisions were difficult for the Simmons community, in the years since, the Institution has met self-imposed goals for net-tuition revenue growth, revenue surplus budgets, and fundraising, as well as appropriate debt ratios and cash reserves. In FY19, Simmons had revenues of approximately $195 million.

Today, the Simmons story is one of growth and innovation based on a solid foundation. On campus and online enrollment, a variety of revenue streams, renewed investments in diversity, equity, and inclusion and the modernization of the campus infrastructure have fueled this growth. The confluence of strong leadership, committed trustees, faculty, alumnae/alumni, staff, and students, and a willingness to implement new ways of doing business ignited this institutional success.

Looking to the future, Simmons's leadership has embarked on a series of far-reaching initiatives that aim to reshape the University and position it for the long term. Central to them is an explicit emphasis and focus on diversity, equity, and inclusion. At Simmons, diversity is defined as individuals of different backgrounds and identities including race, color, gender, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, religion, age, national origin, ancestry, disability, veteran status, or class/SES. At Simmons, equity is defined as the condition of fair and just inclusion into a society, a goal that will be reached when those who have been most marginalized have equal access to opportunities, power, participation, and resources and all have avenues to safe, healthy, productive, and fulfilling lives. Finally, at Simmons, inclusion is defined as the active, intentional, and ongoing engagement with diversity in people, curriculum, co-curriculum, and communities (intellectual, social, cultural, geographical). The concepts of diversity, equity, and inclusion anchor Simmons's work in the framework of Inclusive Excellence, advanced by the Association of American Colleges and Universities.

Strategy 2022

The vision for Simmons's next 100 years, articulated in its Strategy 2022, provides a roadmap to guide the University toward making that vision a reality. Central planks of the Simmons Strategy 2022 include:

Academic Redesign

Simmons had long been organized into traditional, disciplinary-focused academic units, with undergraduate programs complemented by the College of Arts and Sciences, Graduate Studies, School of Library and Information Science, the School of Nursing and Health Sciences, the School of Management, and the School of Social Work. Over the last several years, Simmons leadership and faculty collaborated on developing a new model of academic organization that would optimize learning opportunities, promote interdisciplinary pursuit, and minimize redundancy.

Having operated as a de facto university for many years, Simmons was granted that official status by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts in 2017. With this new designation, the University announced its revamped academic structure, which was the result of an intensive two-year process that involved the entire Simmons community. The Academic Redesign came in response not only to trends in higher education generally, but also to a vision for Simmons at its best: where all students can strengthen their core areas of study by learning across disciplines, and where the process of intellectual and professional inquiry embraces diversity and fuels personal development. The Academic Redesign structure brings broadly connected fields together, combines undergraduate and graduate programs in these new academic units, and facilitates study across units by standardizing credits and costs across the University. This new structure allows all students to work around disciplinary corners and open new inter-professional opportunities and pathways.

The Academic Redesign established four colleges, each encompassing undergraduate and graduate offerings and incorporating a complementary selection of academic fields. As part of this reorganization, Simmons conducted and completed four dean searches over the past two years.

  • The Gwen Ifill College of Media, Arts, and Humanities incorporates disciplines attuned to the modes of expression through which we record and interpret human experience, including communications, literature, art, music, gender and cultural studies, and the humanities.
  • The College of Natural, Behavioral, and Health Sciences sits at the core of Simmons's long tradition of education for the health professions and incorporates renowned nursing, physical therapy, nutrition, and behavior analysis programs, along with the natural and behavioral sciences.
  • The College of Organizational, Computational, and Information Sciences combines the growing information fields with Simmons's nationally-ranked Library and Information Science program, Achieves program, and the School of Business, combining the theory and practice of analytics, entrepreneurship, and technology.
  • The College of Social Sciences, Policy, and Practice incorporates Simmons's first-in-the-nation School of Social Work with programs in public health, public policy, and the social sciences, rounding out another important facet of Simmons's historic tradition of social justice and change-oriented education for human services professions.

Becoming the Most Inclusive Campus in New England

In Strategy 2022, Simmons reaffirmed its commitment to building a community that is equitable and inclusive of all its students, staff, faculty, and alumnae/alumni. Social justice is deeply engrained in the founding mission of Simmons. Over the last decade, as the societal issues of equity and inclusion around race, gender, sexuality, religion, and ethnicity have taken on increased urgency, Simmons has recognized the critical work to be done to create and sustain a fully inclusive, welcoming, and equitable community across all constituencies.

Simmons established the Organizational Culture, Inclusion, and Equity (OCIE) office in 2018. The OCIE Office seeks to facilitate fundamental cultural and institutional changes necessary to establish and maintain a fully inclusive campus, and to promote ongoing, meaningful, and authentic engagement around diversity, equity, and inclusion. President Wooten has established the Presidential Advisers on Diversity which consists of faculty and staff council members from around the University to help move this work forward.

The OCIE Office, in partnership with the campus community, is leading the work to help Simmons achieve its aspiration to be the most inclusive campus in New England. By approaching equity work in a systemic and multidimensional way, Simmons is working to embed these cultural values in all it does, to empower its students to be leaders in this important work out in the world, and to establish diversity, equity, and inclusion as the bedrock of institutional excellence.

The Student Experience: Strengthening Living and Learning in Community

Simmons developed a set of priorities and recommendations for future campus development in Strategy 2022. The planning process identified two vital needs of the University moving forward. First, updating its science facilities to respond to its growing enrollment of science-oriented students and the rising regional and national importance of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) education. Second, uniting residential accommodations and athletics facilities, currently on the Residential Campus, with existing academic and administrative facilities on the Academic Campus to create a One Simmons environment. Significant components of the second strategic priority include building a state-of-the-art learning and living environment to help students integrate in-classroom learning with social, personal, and ethical development.

Simmons initiated an institutional and master planning process to study how its aging physical plant can meet the needs of its academic future. In May 2019, it presented a 10-year plan for the Residence and Academic Campuses and details the renovation of an existing building to support the science program and laying out the transformation of the two campuses into one integrated whole, the One Simmons campus vision. Notable in the plan is the proposed creation of a new 21-story dorm on the academic campus, which could then trigger a large-scale redevelopment of its six-acre Residential Campus nearby on Brookline Avenue.

Continued Academic Innovation

The growth of online programming in higher education, sparked by advances in technology and the resulting changes in human behaviors and learning expectations, has been a prevalent theme in the sector for more than a decade. In 2012, Simmons entered into a partnership with 2U, a private, forprofit company that works with colleges and universities around the world to provide the technology and associated services platform to enable online graduate degree programs. Simmons's online academic offerings have led to the doubling of its graduate enrollment and graduate tuition revenues since that time. Simmons offers five online master's degrees in partnership with 2U, with students from all 50 states enrolled. In 2018, Simmons announced a 15-year extension to the partnership with 2U, ensuring that the University can continue to offer high-quality and innovative online graduate degree programs to a broad and dispersed community, extending the impact of a Simmons education and expanding its market reach, and student enrollment.

In May 2020, Simmons's faculty voted to expand the productive partnership with 2U to develop and deliver a fully online, reimagined undergraduate experience for new and returning Simmons students for the Fall. With the technological support of 2U, the Simmons faculty is redesigning hundreds of courses from the University's undergraduate catalog for online delivery with a blend of synchronous and asynchronous coursework. The goal is to develop and deliver an engaging, high-quality digital undergraduate option while ensuring educational continuity for students. In addition to an intentionally designed online academic experience, students and faculty will have access to the same robust support services they have always received, as well as meaningful opportunities for relationship-building and personal growth.

In conjunction with the expanding online academic offerings, Simmons reimagined its undergraduate general education core curriculum and implemented PLAN (Purpose, Leadership, and ActioN) beginning in 2016. While taking courses in the Simmons PLAN, undergraduate students substantively engage with the city of Boston, develop their own understanding of leadership, participate in integrative learning across academic disciplines, and design key components of their course of study. Simmons first-year students immerse themselves in the city through the Boston Course, develop their writing skills, and explore their new community.


In July 2020, Dr. Lynn Perry Wooten became the ninth President of Simmons University. She came to Simmons from Cornell University, where she was the David J. Nolan Dean and Professor of Management and Organizations at the Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management. Prior to Cornell, President Wooten was at the University of Michigan, where she served on the faculty of the Ross School of Business for nearly 20 years. There she taught undergraduate, graduate, and executive education courses and served as Co-Faculty Director of the Center for Positive Organizations as well as Co-Faculty Director of the Executive Leadership Institute. She became engaged in student life as an associate dean, ultimately serving as Senior Associate Dean for Student and Academic Excellence. She left Michigan in 2017 for the deanship at Cornell.

With leadership at the core of her scholarly work, Dr. Wooten's research has ranged from an NIHfunded investigation of how leadership can positively alleviate health disparities to leading in a crisis and managing workforce diversity. She is the author of two books, Positive Organizing in a Global Society: Understanding and Engaging Differences for Capacity Building and Inclusion (2016) and Leading Under Pressure: From Surviving to Thriving Before, During, and After a Crisis (2010). Sharing her work at nearly 60 symposia and conferences, she also is the author of nearly 30 journal articles and more than 15 book chapters, as well as managerial monographs and numerous teaching cases. Dr. Wooten also has had a robust clinical practice, providing leadership development, education, and training for a wide variety of companies and institutions, from the Kellogg Foundation to Harvard University's Kennedy School to Google.

Dr. Wooten earned a BS in accounting from North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University, a Historically Black College, from which she graduated as valedictorian; an MBA from the Duke University Fuqua School of Business; and a PhD in business administration from the University of Michigan Ross School of Business. She received a Certificate in Advanced Educational Leadership from the Harvard University Graduate School of Education.

The Role of Provost

The Provost serves as the University's Chief Academic Officer, working with the President, deans, faculty, staff, trustees, and students to provide vision, leadership, and overall management and direction to the academic offerings of the University. Primarily, the Provost guides the University's undergraduate and graduate educational programs; carries responsibility for the allocation of all academic resources at the University; and partners with colleagues to ensure the delivery of an intellectually stimulating and student-centered learning experience that is integrated, relevant, and purposeful. The Provost has financial responsibility for the Academic Affairs budget of $116 million (FY20). The University's annual operating budget is $179 million, and its endowment is $195 million. Simmons is governed by a 21-member Board of Trustees. They are highly engaged, effective, and supportive of the University. They serve as fiduciaries of the Institution and oversee all of Simmons's institutional affairs in accordance with the University's charter, bylaws, evolving statements of mission and purpose, and strategic plan.

The Provost serves as a key member of President Wooten's cabinet. Reporting to the Provost are the deans of the four colleges (The Gwen Ifill College of Media, Arts, and Humanities; The College of Natural, Behavioral, and Health Sciences; The College of Organizational, Computational, and Information Sciences; and The College of Social Sciences, Policy, and Practice), a deputy provost and dean of the undergraduate program, an associate provost for planning, assessment, and accreditation, and an assistant provost for budget and personnel.

Key Challenges and Opportunities for the new Provost

Simmons seeks an experienced academic leader who is knowledgeable about higher education, its operations and economics; has the integrity, values, and drive to build on the University's momentum; and can effectively partner with President Wooten. Specific opportunities and challenges for the Provost include:

Further enhance Simmons's deep commitment to student learning and success during this period of uncertainty

Higher education has undergone profound changes in a short period of time due to the COVID-19 crisis. Social distancing practices prevent faculty and students from engaging in-person in meaningful ways and online education has taken on new importance. The next Provost will have to work collaboratively across campus to ensure the quality of the Simmons student experience remains top-notch - both in today's reality and well into the future. It will be critical for the next Provost to bring experience with and passion for online education as well as the ability to guide the integration of online and in-person teaching models at Simmons.

Simmons recently announced that it will unveil a fully online and reimagined undergraduate offering to in the Fall of 2020. The new program will ensure the top-tier instruction associated with a Simmons education while enhancing student access and responding to the current public health crisis. It will also contribute to the acceleration of Simmons's digital transformation strategy and its mission to educate the next century of learners. These high-quality online courses will enable returning students to continue their studies. In the future, online undergraduate programs will give non-traditional students, including working adults and degree completers, the chance to pursue a Simmons degree fully online.

Inspire, unite, and energize the faculty around the next phase of academic success

In 2011, Simmons engaged in a comprehensive strategic planning and visioning process that led to the Strategy 2022 Plan. A forward-looking academic redesign, dramatic campus renewal, and rededication to the centrality of diversity, equity, and inclusion, were significant outcomes of that plan. Now, in this next chapter, the new President and Provost will work together to lead Simmons in fully implementing this dynamic plan and its important initiatives, bringing together all elements of the community to realize the benefits of this re-imagination.

Looking beyond 2022, the new President and Provost will also need to continue to refine, articulate, and promote Simmons's long-term sustaining identity and vision. They will take on the challenge of ensuring that the campus culture responds to and embraces changing demographics, while enhancing Simmons's commitment to women's leadership, social responsibility, academic excellence, and career preparation.

Effectively support faculty and staff, ensuring a strong record of academic and teaching excellence

The Provost must support and inspire Simmons's innovative and committed faculty so they can thrive in the University's new academic structure. With the recent academic redesign, Simmons faculty and staff have been part of transformational change that has reshaped the Institution. The redesign has been a complicated and challenging process during which the previous leadership created new colleges, moved departments and people across campus and units, and sparked important questions about faculty governance and Simmons's university identity.

Change is not easy, and the next Provost needs to bring a deep appreciation for the work done and yet to be done by faculty, staff, and academic leadership. Faculty have an exceptional opportunity to build collaborative, multidisciplinary teaching and scholarship and to bring fresh approaches to the classroom, but they need a Provost who will support and inspire them in this work. The next Provost will work to sustain and enhance Simmons's standards of academic excellence during this time of change. Simmons needs a Provost who will be a visible and active presence both on and off campus, a responsive and proactive communicator, and a champion for the core academic mission of Simmons. The Provost will listen to and work with others to support the professional development, mentorship, and day-to-day work of faculty and staff, while engaging with the principles of shared governance.

Work collaboratively across the University to enhance and strengthen infrastructure to support research excellence

The next Provost will appreciate that faculty scholarship and excellence in teaching are complementary endeavors and will encourage and enable faculty to pursue an active research agenda as part of their professional identities. The next Provost will elevate and support a culture of research on campus by leading efforts to review, promote, and support the advancement of infrastructure relevant to the mission and research goals of the University. In thoughtful collaboration with the deans, the Provost will devise creative ways to restructure teaching loads in order to incentivize and stimulate faculty research.

Lead significant cultural change and actualize the principles of diversity, equity, and inclusion Simmons has been a pioneering and transformative force around issues of gender equity, female empowerment, and gender identity. In addition to its historic and present-day commitment to principles of equity and inclusion, projected demographics changes make the Simmons's leadership on these issues a necessity for the ongoing sustainability of the university. There is important and significant work to be done. In recent years, there have been strong voices both on campus and among the alumnae community expressing disappointment with progress around racial equity and inclusion. Recognizing that it has fallen short of its goal to create a racially inclusive campus, Simmons sees cultural transformation and community building, in service to the values of inclusion, as a critical goal for the senior leadership team.

A linchpin to Simmons's success is the development and stewardship of a fully inclusive campus, one that is more racially diverse, promotes the talents of all, engages in meaningful dialogue on matters of race, and lives fully into these core values. The next Provost will be a transformative leader who not only has a deep-seated commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion but also a demonstrable record of success and courage in this work.

Build for growth

Simmons is a small but highly complex University. Its relatively small size is a tremendous asset, enabling the University to be nimble and adapt to the changing higher education landscape. However, change is difficult and many longstanding customs and ways of doing business are still in place. The next Provost must be able to establish and communicate processes, systems, and structures to rationalize work and make the recent growth and ongoing transformation more manageable. The recent creation of the four Colleges and the transition to a university, while both administratively complete, have not been fully incorporated in campus culture. Simmons's next Provost must articulate the value of a University-wide identity and work to design and implement structures and processes to ensure a successful future.

Qualifications and Characteristics

Simmons seeks a Provost with intellectual vision; a demonstrated commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion; and the capacity to champion and inspire the University community to new levels of excellence. The next Provost will combine an appreciation for Simmons's strategic direction, the skills and experience to guide the journey, and the imagination and courage to navigate a shifting higher education landscape. The Search Committee understands that no single candidate will have all the ideal qualifications, but it seeks candidates with the following experience and abilities:

Doctorate or terminal degree and a record of distinguished scholarship requisite for an appointment as a tenured full professor;

A deep professional and personal commitment to the mission of Simmons;

A demonstrable commitment to, and track record of accomplishment around racial diversity, inclusion, and equity; a record of effectively recruiting and retaining diverse talent;

Progressive academic leadership experience in higher education; experience developing and executing academic strategies in a complex and comprehensive university;

Strong management, planning, and financial skills; an astute understanding of university finances and the relationships between academic priorities, budgeting, and fundraising;

Successful experience as a visionary, strategic, innovative, and inclusive leader who can bring constituencies to actionable consensus around bold choices and execute large and ambitious plans with fiscal responsibility;

A substantial understanding of the trends and developments that will affect the future of higher education, including online education and the role of women's undergraduate education nationally and internationally;

Exceptional communication skills; able to engage effectively with the many constituencies of the University, skillfully negotiating different points of view; a knowledge of university governance, including experience working with faculty and boards of trustees, aiding both to achieve productive and meaningful outcomes;

A demonstrated personal confidence to lead, humility to listen, and the propensity to support the efforts of others and to credit their contributions.

Applications and Nominations

All inquiries, nominations/referrals, and applications with resumes and cover letters should be sent electronically and in confidence to:

Vivian Brocard, Donna Cramer or Emily McCarthy

Isaacson, Miller

Consistent with the University's goals to achieve diversity at all levels of university leadership, Simmons encourages nominations and applications from individuals in traditionally underrepresented groups and those dedicated to building a culture of inclusive excellence at Simmons.

The University is committed to equal opportunity for all persons regardless of age, ancestry, class, color, disability, ethnicity, gender identity and expression, marital status, national origin, race, religion, sexual orientation, veteran status, or any other status protected by law.


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