Friday, January 24, 2014
Members of the Brown Community,
I write to share news that, earlier this morning, the University of Michigan Board of Regents voted to appoint Brown University Provost Mark S. Schlissel, M.D., Ph.D., as its 14th president, succeeding President Mary Sue Coleman. Mark will continue his service as provost through July 1, 2014, when he takes up his new position. I am grateful for the opportunity to have worked with Mark since July 2012, and I am pleased that he will be my colleague in the Association of American Universities (AAU). I credit the University of Michigan’s presidential search committee for their exceptional wisdom and judgment in choosing Mark to lead one of our nation's preeminent public research universities.
Mark has served as Brown’s 11th provost since July 1, 2011, having come to Brown from the University of California–Berkeley, where he was dean of biological sciences. Since his arrival, Mark has applied a rare combination of energy, thoughtfulness and discipline to strengthen every aspect of Brown. He was a valuable partner in the strategic planning process that led to Building on Distinction: A New Plan for Brown. Mark oversaw the work of the strategic planning committees, which inspired the interest and involvement of numerous students, faculty and staff.
As chair of the Academic Priorities Committee, the University Resources Committee and the Space Committee, he has championed ideas and guided decisions that have advanced Brown. He provided leadership in the establishment of the School of Public Health; the decision to expand the size, breadth, and influence of the School of Engineering; the formulation of Brown’s initial strategy for online education; and in a range of external reviews designed to ensure continued academic excellence, in areas ranging from brain science to environment to foreign languages. He helped to rethink Brown’s approach to global engagement, has propelled the Humanities Initiative, and was instrumental in Brown’s STEM education initiative, which seeks to introduce innovative teaching methods to first and second year science courses and increase retention.
As chair of the University Resources Committee, Mark has worked with faculty, students and staff to craft budgets that advance the University’s priorities while promoting transparency and fiscal responsibility. He has been integrally involved in space and capital planning efforts, guiding $200 million in investments to bolster the University's teaching, research and campus life infrastructure. This has included support for expanding core research facilities across the campus and the successful opening this semester of the Building for Environmental Research and Teaching.
Mark has successfully led a number of critical searches, attracting exceptional candidates for positions such as the vice president for research, and the dean of medicine and biological sciences. Mark is an exceptional scholar, teacher, and academic leader. He has been an esteemed and valued colleague to many here at Brown. His many contributions will be realized for decades to come.
In the coming weeks I will announce a plan for identifying Brown’s 12th provost. We will have an opportunity later this semester to celebrate Mark’s service to Brown and to extend our best wishes for continued success. Until then, please join me in congratulating Mark on this substantial achievement.