Internal - Faculty & Staff

Building Our Future: A Message to Students

June 23, 2023

Dear Students, 

Simmons University has always been defined by a unique mission that sets us apart. More than 125 years ago, John Simmons had a revolutionary idea that women should be able to earn independent livelihoods and lead meaningful lives. Throughout our history, we have expanded upon that vision to empower Simmons students and graduates from all backgrounds to lead in society and to thrive in their careers. Together, we have built a legacy that we are incredibly proud of and a legacy as a women’s-centered college that we want to thrive for the next 125 years.

Our opportunity today is to define the vision of Simmons for our future, a topic I spoke to the Boston Globe about earlier this week. As the higher education continues to rapidly evolve, so must institutions. Simmons is leading by creating an updated academic framework that meets the needs of today’s and tomorrow’s students – supported by a sustainable financial foundation. We know that students demand and deserve greater ROI from higher education, accelerated pathways to advanced degrees, greater equity in higher education and across society, and experiential opportunities that prepare them for careers. These are the very elements of the Simmons experience, and we are doubling down and investing in these areas. 

What does that mean for you as a Simmons student?  The Simmons you know today will continue to be the Simmons you value and engage with—from your chosen major to the “transformational experience” that has bonded Simmons students across generations. As we move forward, we will:   

  • Ensure you experience no interruption in your chosen majors and paths to graduation, as all majors, currently offered will be available to current students and incoming first-years; 
  • Gradually refocus our academic portfolio to better align with student demands, to focus on areas where we see future growth potential, and to invest in areas that support the goal of gender equity; 
  • Invest in our signature strengths in nursing, social work, library, and information science, the health sciences, management and technology, communications, political science, and other majors where 92% of our students are enrolled;
  • Re-envision the academic foundation to create innovative educational opportunities in liberal arts, humanities, and social sciences;
  • Introduce the Simmons Edge, an accelerated degree program that allows every undergraduate to complete an accelerated graduate degree.

Our aim is to be the institution for educating students for their life’s work, enhanced by a sustainable financial model. We will build a Simmons that is positioned to endure and thrive as a women’s-centered college for the next 125 years.  

In addition, we have created a Building our Future page that will be updated throughout this process. In the coming days, please also be on the lookout for additional information and details about a virtual “Chat with the President” – a conversation and opportunity to ask questions of me, Provost Russell Pinizzotto, and Vice President of Student Affairs, Dr. Renique Kersh. 

I am continuously inspired by the passion, dedication, and leadership of the Simmons community and am looking forward to what lies ahead. 

Lynn Perry Wooten

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