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Douglas T. Brown, Ph.D., Phi Beta Kappa

Provost of excellence

Photo: Douglas Brown

Few people have the opportunity to shape the academic side of a university quite the way Douglas Brown has. From the day he stepped on JMU's campus in 1974 as a member of the psychology faculty, Brown's quiet confidence, collaborative leadership and academic vision have helped deliver the university to a place of prominence in higher education. Known throughout campus for his ability to assimilate and develop competing ideas into cohesive plans, Brown has, through his systematic and creative leadership, steered JMU toward many notable improvements including: eight new doctoral programs; expansion of health programs; an inventive focus on science, technology, engineering, and mathematics including a new school of engineering; expansion of the honors program; creation of the Center for Faculty Innovation; the establishment of the College of Visual and Performing Arts — and perhaps most emblematic of Brown's tenure, the acceptance of JMU into the ranks of Phi Beta Kappa. The vision Brown shared with two presidents blended a stellar liberals arts education with market-savvy professional preparation, both under the overarching philosophy that education is the foundational step for changing the world. During his 36-years at JMU, Brown has changed the university, and in doing so this soft-spoken gentleman has helped build one of the nation's most exciting and innovative universities.

"Dr. Brown's list of career achievements is long. I believe his lasting legacy to JMU will be the sense of collaboration and cooperation that permeates the operating environment across our administrative divisions and academic disciplines." — Dr. Linwood H. Rose, president, James Madison University