Distributed September 3, 2002
For Immediate Release

News Service Contact: Tracie Sweeney

Karen Newman named dean of the Brown University Graduate School

Karen Newman, University Professor and professor of comparative literature and English, has been named dean of Brown University’s Graduate School, effective Oct. 1, 2002.

PROVIDENCE, R.I. — Karen Newman, University Professor and professor of comparative literature and English, has been named dean of the Graduate School. Her service as dean will begin on Oct. 1, 2002.

“Brown has an unusual opportunity to play a leadership role in graduate education, and Karen Newman has the creativity, intelligence and stature to position Brown for this role,” said Brown University President Ruth J. Simmons.

Newman came to Brown University in 1978 as assistant professor of comparative literature. She served as the director of the Pembroke Center for Teaching and Research on Women from 1988 to 1992, and was named University Professor in 1995.

A nationally known scholar of Shakespeare and early modern literature, Newman has written three books and has edited or translated several others. Before coming to Brown she taught at the University of California–Berkeley, where she took her M.A. and Ph.D. in comparative literature. She has held visiting appointments at Harvard University, the Johns Hopkins University and Williams College, and has offered seminars at the Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington, D.C. She has been the recipient of numerous fellowships including the Guggenheim and the NEH Fellowship for University Teachers. Newman holds a B.A. from Randolph-Macon Woman’s College.

“The University is committed to enhancing the quality of its graduate programs and promoting innovative and distinctive graduate education,” said Provost Robert J. Zimmer. “I am very excited to be working with Karen in this effort. Karen brings enormous experience and intelligence to the position, and I look forward to working with her as part of the senior academic leadership of the University.”

As the senior academic officer for the Graduate School, Newman will have a leadership role in promoting graduate education at Brown by identifying ways to improve student recruitment and support and by leading the faculty in the development of graduate programs. The dean also serves as the University’s chief spokesperson and advocate in national discussions about graduate education.

“In its Initiatives for Academic Enrichment, the University has set a near-term goal of recruiting and retaining the best graduate students in order to improve the overall competitive position of its Graduate School, but recruitment and retention are only a beginning,” said Newman. “I look forward to working with President Simmons, Provost Zimmer, the Brown faculty and our graduate students to implement that immediate goal, to improve Brown’s research environment and to tackle the challenges presented by graduate education at Brown.”

Newman succeeds Peder Estrup, the Newport Rogers Professor of Chemistry and professor of physics, who also held the title of dean of the Graduate School and research. He announced last April that he would be stepping down to return to the faculty. Zimmer announced that the position held by Estrup would be replaced by two positions: dean of the Graduate School and vice president for research.

Brown University has approximately 1,350 graduate students. During Commencement 2002, Brown awarded 280 master’s degrees and 148 Ph.D.s.