JMU’s Provost and Senior Vice President Announces Retirement

From: Public Affairs

Dr. Douglas T. Brown, Dr. A. Jerry Benson

Dr. Douglas T. Brown, who has served James Madison University as an administrator and faculty member for 36 years, most recently as the institution’s chief academic officer, will retire at the end of June.

Under Brown’s leadership as provost and senior vice president of academic affairs, more than 350 new faculty members joined JMU as curricular improvements, including the liberal arts core and 20 new major programs throughout the university, were implemented. As Brown headed the academic affairs division, there were a number of key growth areas ¬— the expansion of health programs, the addition of eight doctoral programs, the implementation of the School of Engineering, the formation of new liberal arts programs and the establishment of the College of Visual and Performing Arts.

Brown directed the expansion of the university’s Honors Program and the creation of the Center for Faculty Innovation for professional development and the division of Outreach Programs for continuing education and workforce development. Advancements in Libraries and Educational Technologies, Assessment and Research Studies, Sponsored Programs and International Programs, all benefiting students and faculty, were achieved under Brown’s watch. JMU is recognized as having one of the best higher education assessment systems in the country.

“I am very pleased with the progress that James Madison University has made in its academic programs during my tenure as provost,” Brown said. “We have assembled a truly talented team of professionals who have developed a series of cross-disciplinary programs that will serve the needs of our students well into the future. These programs are carefully attuned to the needs of the commonwealth and the nation and reflect the university’s mission to educate enlightened citizens who truly make a difference throughout their careers.”

Brown joined the JMU psychology faculty in 1974 and was named coordinator of the school psychology program in 1978. A full professor since 1983, Brown was head of JMU’s psychology department from 1992 to 1994, when he was appointed associate vice president for academic affairs. In 1997 Brown began his tenure as vice president for academic affairs and later became the university’s first provost and senior vice president.

“Doug has been an extraordinary partner in the leadership team of the university,” said JMU President Linwood H. Rose. “He enjoys immense respect and admiration from those with whom he has worked over the years. He should be extremely proud of all that has been accomplished during the time he has provided leadership for the academic division of the university.”

Brown earned his doctoral degree in school and clinical psychology from Indiana University, his master’s degree in school psychology from George Peabody College of Vanderbilt University and his bachelor’s degree in psychology from Monmouth College.

Rose announced that Dr. A. Jerry Benson, JMU’s current vice provost for science, technology, engineering, mathematics, health and human services and professor of graduate psychology, will serve as the interim provost and academic vice president until a new provost is recruited and hired.

Benson has held numerous roles at JMU since joining the faculty in 1980 as an assistant professor of psychology and director of the JMU Human Development Center and the Shenandoah Valley Child Development Clinic. He served as dean of the College of Education and Psychology from 1991 to 1999 and dean of the College of Integrated Science and Technology from 1999 to 2008. As vice provost, Benson is responsible for the College of Science and Mathematics, College of Integrated Science and Technology, School of Engineering and Center for STEM Education and Outreach.

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Feb. 17, 2010