February 10, 2020
Dear Simmons Community,
I am delighted to report that this morning the Simmons Board of Trustees unanimously voted to appoint Dr. Lynn Perry Wooten to become the ninth president of Simmons University, effective July 1, 2020.
This is an important and exciting moment for Simmons, and one I am particularly happy to share with our community today.
Lynn’s appointment comes following a thorough, inclusive and collaborative search. To those who attended one of the dozens of listening sessions we held last spring and summer, to those who submitted nominations and leads to our search partners, to those who served on the search committee, and to those who participated in interviewing finalists, I am profoundly grateful. This work that we’ve done together has culminated in the selection of a president who is uniquely suited to lead and advance the transformation that has begun at Simmons.
Here are some important things I think you should know about our ninth president:
The Board was deeply impressed with Lynn’s unique combination of experience, knowledge and engagement with students, faculty, and academic leaders — which will serve Simmons well as we build on our successes, continue to address our challenges, and build the One Simmons we envision for the future. She is collaborative, curious, and passionate about learning, education, and the student experience.
Lynn comes from an academic family. Her mother was a teacher and her father was a social worker. Lynn’s husband, David Wooten, is the Alfred L. Edwards Collegiate Professor and University Diversity and Social Transformation Professor at the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business. They have two children, Jada, who will be a freshman at Brown University this fall, and Justin, who is graduating from the University of Michigan Law School in May.
Lynn was on campus today and will be available for more trips here to Boston so that she can continue her learning about Simmons and arrive on July 1 ready to keep our momentum going.
We plan to have a community wide meeting later this spring where Lynn will be able to meet more students, faculty, staff and alumnae/i in person. We will schedule this session as soon as we can, and we will plan to live stream it.
This announcement signals the start of a transition for Simmons, but there is much work to do as we close out this academic year and deliver on the expectations Helen has for all of us in her closing months. I look forward to the many opportunities we will have to talk about Helen’s extraordinary accomplishments over the last 12 years and to honor her service and leadership to the University.
In closing, on behalf of the Board of Trustees, I would like to thank the presidential search committee, for their thoughtful deliberation, their time and their enthusiasm throughout the process. I’d also like to thank all of you for your interest, support and feedback.
All the best,
Regina Pisa, Chair
Board of Trustees