Jean Morrison, executive vice provost for academic affairs and graduate programs at the University of Southern California, has been named University provost and chief academic officer. Morrison, who is also a professor of earth sciences, has been director of the USC Women in Science and Engineering program for the past eight years. She has been a faculty member at USC since 1988.
President Robert A. Brown praises Morrison’s experience and skills. “I am very excited to bring Jean Morrison to Boston University in this key academic leadership role,” says Brown. “She has the academic experience, skills, and vision to help the University continue on the path of increasing quality and impact.”
Morrison, who starts her new job in January, succeeds Provost David Campbell, who will return to teaching and to the research projects he set aside more than five years ago when he assumed the position of BU’s chief academic officer.
“I’m incredibly excited about the opportunity at Boston University,” says Morrison. “Large research universities have a kind of energy that’s unique, and BU’s a big place. That makes for some unique and creative possibilities. It’s one of the nation’s upcoming research universities, and it has outstanding faculty, which is the heart of a research university.”
Morrison believes that the many similarities between the two institutions will serve her well. “Both USC and BU are large, urban research universities that serve large undergraduate populations, but also have a significant cohort of graduate students,” she says. “They’re both characterized by a college of arts and sciences and an array of professional schools. Having had experience with the full breadth of disciplines and size and shape and form should be very helpful.”
The job of a provost, she says, has two critical components. “The first is to support the president and work within the university to implement the president’s vision,” she says. “The other is to support the academic deans. They are the experts. A good provost allows the deans to be as successful as they can be. The provost provides processes and procedures that help the deans do what they need to do to run their schools.”
At USC, Morrison has guided the office of undergraduate programs, the USC Graduate School, and the office of continuing education and summer programs, and she has had important roles on several committees.