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Valerie Wilson, currently associate dean of the Graduate School, will replace Brenda Allen as associate provost and director of institutional diversity starting July 1.

"It should be a very smooth transition," said Provost David Kertzer '69 P'95 P'98, adding that Wilson is an "excellent leader."  

"I'm glad for the opportunity," Wilson said, but added she will "miss the Graduate School a lot."

Wilson will be responsible for ensuring that Brown maintains a diverse community of faculty and students on a "strategic level rather than a day-to-day level," Kertzer said.

Though the job description will remain the same as it was during Allen's tenure, Wilson said her work will depend on the changing academic and economic environments. 

"Brown's uniqueness as well as its new and revised open curriculum are still valued, but that message has to go out to different groups of people," she said.

In addition to her new role in the Office of the Provost, Wilson will continue her work as coordinator of the partnership between Brown and Tougaloo College and as executive director of the Leadership Alliance — a 31-member consortium of institutions dedicated to increasing minority participation in higher education. 

Maintaining that workload is "a reflection of the whole campus taking on that extra bit and piece when we're working in this economic situation," Wilson said. 

Allen, who is leaving her position at the end of the semester to become provost of Winston-Salem State University in North Carolina, has worked at the University for six years.

Allen said Wilson will bring knowledge and leadership skills to the position. "We have very similar backgrounds, and she's been doing many aspects of her job in her other jobs that she's had, especially in her role in the Leadership Alliance."

It is important to keep up the momentum in the area of institutional diversity, Allen said, adding that administrators "started to look for someone on campus that could come in and get up to speed quickly so that we wouldn't lose the momentum we've had going for six years."

Administrators in the Grad School plan to petition the Vacancy Review Committee to fill Wilson's old position, according to Dean of the Graduate School Sheila Bonde.
President Ruth Simmons instituted a hiring freeze of staff and administrators in November as part of the University's response to the recession. 

"We hope very much" to fill the position, Bonde said, adding that she does not know when the Graduate School will receive an answer from the Vacancy Review Committee.

Allen said though she is sad to be leaving Brown, she knows her former position is in good hands. "I'm just very happy to leave this job knowing that someone will take the torch and keep the work going," she said. "I think we've found an excellent person to be able to do that."



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