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Ruth Simmons, renowned ex-Brown University president, to lead Prairie View as interim head

Jun 19, 2017 by

Texas A&M University System regents on Monday tapped Ruth Simmons to lead Prairie View A&M University as interim president.

Simmons, the first-ever black president of an Ivy League university, has lived in Houston since her retirement from Brown University in Rhode Island in 2012, Prairie View A&M said in a press release.

“I have deep roots in Texas, and I was looking for a way to do something helpful for my community,” she said in a statement.

Simmons will start at Prairie View A&M on July 1. Before leading Brown, she served as president at Smith College in Massachusetts and held leadership positions at Princeton University in New Jersey and Spelman College, a historically black college in Atlanta.

She grew up and went to public school in Houston before graduating from Dillard University in New Orleans.

“We are fortunate to have such a high-caliber scholar and administrator who can step in without missing a beat,” Texas A&M System Chancellor John Sharp said in a statement. “Dr. Simmons has been an important figure on the national stage for decades. She has the credentials to be the president of any university in America. I am so excited to have her join us.”

Longtime Prairie View A&M president George Wright said last week that he would step down as president after 14 years to focus on research and teaching.

Lauretta Byars, Prairie View A&M’s vice president for student affairs and institutional advancement, said last week that the next president must balance Prairie View A&M’s commitment to teaching underserved students with state demands to graduate students on time.

Source: Ruth Simmons, renowned ex-Brown University president, to lead Prairie View as interim head – Houston Chronicle

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