Elizabeth H. Simmons

Elizabeth H. Simmons, author of the Mend the Gap column, is executive vice chancellor of academic affairs at the University of California, San Diego. Previously she was Associate Provost for Faculty and Academic Staff Development at Michigan State University, where she led the Academic Advancement Network and was dean of Lyman Briggs College at Michigan State University and University Distinguished Professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy. Simmons’ physics research focuses on the origins of the masses of the elementary subatomic particles -- particularly the W and Z bosons that transmit the weak nuclear force and the heaviest known particle, the top quark. She earned her Ph.D. in theoretical particle physics from Harvard University, her M.Phil. as a Churchill Scholar at Cambridge University, and her undergraduate physics degree at Harvard. As an academic leader, her interests include evidence-based and interdisciplinary STEM education, faculty professional development, and creating inclusive academic communities. She leads workshops and offers consulting on diversity, faculty development, and academic finance. Her professional website is here. Mend the Gap addresses topics bridging the divide between faculty and administrators, in order to foster better communication and collaboration. Readers are welcome to suggest topics for future columns.

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August 19, 2011
To make joint faculty appointments work, colleges should use memorandums of understanding to clearly define expectations, write Elizabeth H. Simmons and Michael P. Nelson.

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