Dear Members of the Brown Community,

I am writing to inform you of Dr. Edward Wing’s decision to step down as dean of medicine and biological sciences at the end of the current academic year. Ed has served the University and the community for more than a decade, bringing admirable leadership and distinguished service to Brown. Having achieved significant progress and success during his five years as dean, Ed will continue to make innumerable contributions to Brown and the broader community as he returns to the faculty and has more time to devote to practicing medicine and conducting global health research.

Those of you who have been part of the Brown community for even a year or two have witnessed the growth of the Division of Biology and Medicine under Ed’s stewardship. The Alpert Medical School is nearly halfway through its second year in the Jewelry District, with expanded classes, innovative approaches to instruction and digital technology, and stronger partnerships with affiliated hospitals and the Providence community. Ed oversaw not only the renovation of the remarkable facility that is now home to the Warren Alpert Medical School, he also advocated for investments in neighborhood enhancements that have contributed significantly to the area, including streetscape improvements and the creation of Ship Street Square. He also navigated this during the depths of the economic crisis.

Ed focused early attention on the essentials. He reorganized the Division of Biology and Medicine to create a strong leadership team, which focused on the planning and implementation required to achieve a new level of excellence in biology, medicine and public health. A steady stream of investments in faculty and facilities followed, bringing the University to the point where it is well positioned to move forward with a School of Public Health.

He has worked tirelessly with hospital leaders to forge stronger and more strategic partnerships and collaborative relationships with our affiliated teaching hospitals. During Ed’s tenure, combined sponsored research funding has grown from $180 million in 2008 to $207 million in 2012, and important new collaborations among biology, engineering, computer science, and other disciplines are making the biological sciences an ever more creative and productive area of the University.

In short, Ed has been a leader in the University’s remarkable period of progress — first as chair of the Department of Medicine (and physician-in-chief at our affiliated hospitals) and, for the last five years, as dean of medicine and biological sciences.

Fortunately, Ed is not leaving Brown. After a well-deserved sabbatical, he will return to the faculty, pursuing his interests in international health, medical education, patient care, and a number of writing and editing projects. He has also agreed to continue to work directly with me to pursue opportunities to strengthen our primary care offerings at Brown, for which I am most grateful.

I have asked Provost Schlissel to convene a selection committee that will identify and recruit our next dean, a task that will benefit immensely from Ed’s thoughtful and considerate timing of his decision.

In the meantime, please join me in congratulating Ed on his many enduring accomplishments and thanking him for his devoted service to the medical and biological sciences at Brown.


Christina H. Paxson President