Brown Logo

Office of Media Relations
38 Brown Street / Box R
Providence RI 02912

401 863-2476
Fax 863-9595

Distributed June 12, 2006
Contact Deborah Goldstein

Katherine Bergeron Named Dean of the College at Brown University

Katherine Bergeron, professor and chair of the Department of Music at Brown University, has been named dean of the College. Bergeron succeeds Paul Armstrong, who has served since October 2000.

PROVIDENCE, R.I. — The Advisory and Executive Committee of the Corporation of Brown University has approved the appointment of Katherine Bergeron, professor and chair of Brown’s Department of Music, as the new dean of the College. Bergeron will begin her duties July 1, 2006.


The dean of the College is Brown’s highest undergraduate academic officer, whose responsibilities include the curriculum, academic advising, international programs, and instruction. The dean reports directly to the provost and is a member of the University’s senior academic administration.

“Professor Bergeron will lead the College at an important moment for Brown. Strengthening undergraduate education is an essential priority of the Plan for Academic Enrichment,” said Provost-designate David Kertzer in an announcement to the Brown community. Kertzer will become provost on July 1, 2006. “With Professor Bergeron as the new dean of the College, we will build on the improvements that we have made over the last several years and continue to strengthen the curriculum and the undergraduate experience at Brown,” Kertzer said.

“I have been so inspired by the students I have come to know during my short time here,” Bergeron said. They have more passion, more creativity, and a greater zeal for learning than any I have ever taught.  I am thrilled to be able to serve them as dean of the College, and to play a part in President Simmons’ ambitious plan to shape the future of Brown undergraduate education.”

Katherine Bergeron

Bergeron was recruited from the University of California–Berkeley to Brown in 2004. For the past year, she has served as a strong and energetic chair of the Department of Music and her impact can already be felt, Kertzer wrote in his campuswide e-mail announcement. She has taken a number of steps to enhance the department’s stature and to improve its curricular offerings, including the successful recruitment of a new outstanding faculty member who will join the department this fall.

Bergeron received a Ph.D. in music at Cornell University in 1989 and has held faculty appointments at the University of North Carolina, Tufts University, and the University of California–Berkeley. In her teaching, she has explored a wide range of music, classical and popular, from the middle ages to the 20th century. In her scholarship, she has specialized in the vocal repertoire of turn-of-the-century France. Her book, Decadent Enchantments (University of California Press, 1998), was a study of the 19th-century revival of plainchant by French Benedictine monks, and won the Deems-Taylor Award from the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers in 1999. She recently completed Voice Lessons, a history of the French mélodie in the years around 1900.

Bergeron will succeed Paul Armstrong, who has served as dean of the College for the last five years and now returns to full-time teaching and scholarship as a professor of English.

The dean of the College search committee included:

  • Kevin McLaughlin (chair), professor of English;
  • Barrymore Bogues, professor of Africana studies;
  • Beth Brainerd, professor of medical science;
  • Reid Cooper, professor of geological sciences;
  • Sara Damiano, undergraduate student;
  • Matt Garcia, associate professor of American civilization;
  • Cyprian Kibuka, undergraduate student;
  • Margaret Klawunn, associate vice president of campus life and dean for student life;
  • Jill Pipher, professor of mathematics;
  • Vincent Tompkins (staff), deputy provost;
  • Zachary Townsend, undergraduate student;
  • Michael Vorenberg, associate professor of history.


Media Relations Home  |  Top of File  |  e-Subscribe  |  Brown Home Page