Brown’s Next President


Brown University has a new president. Ruth Simmons, who’s been the head of the school for 11 years, announced in September that she would leave at the end of the school year.

Her successor will also be a woman, economist Christina Paxson (above) of Princeton. According to an article by Gina Macris in the Providence Journal:

Christina Hull Paxson, dean of the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University, will succeed Ruth Simmons as president of Brown University.

Brown University Chancellor Thomas J. Tisch made the announcement Friday morning, citing Paxson’s “breadth and depth of experience, inherent multidisciplinary approach to teaching and research and clear commitment to excellence.”

Ah yes, the crucial “inherent multidisciplinary approach” qualification, whatever that means.

Before becoming dean of the Wilson School, Paxon was chairman of the economics department at Princeton. Her research focused on how economic status affects health outcomes.

Princeton is a common feeder school for Ivy League presidencies. As Associated Press higher education reporter Justin Pope put it, “Princeton admin ranks are to other IvyLeague presidencies what the Dominican Republic is to shortstops.”

Amy Gutmann, president of the University of Pennsylvania, was the provost of Princeton from 2001 to 2004. Simmons was a dean at Princeton from 1983 to 1990. [Image via]

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Daniel Luzer

Daniel Luzer is the news editor at Governing Magazine and former web editor of the Washington Monthly. Find him on Twitter: @Daniel_Luzer