President Christina Paxson P’19 P’MD’20’s contract will last until June 30, 2026, one year longer than previously announced, according to a Tuesday morning announcement from Chancellor Samuel Mencoff ’78 P’11 P’15.
The Corporation, the University’s highest governing body, previously announced in February 2020 that it would extend Paxson’s appointment through June 2025. That announcement came just over a month before the University sent students home at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to Mencoff’s announcement, that extension was never finalized due to the “uncertainty” of the early pandemic and the “need for leadership of the University to remain wholly focused on the health and safety of the Brown community.”
In 2021, Paxson agreed to an extension with the Corporation that runs through June 30, 2026, which was not announced to the public until Tuesday. Terms of appointment for University presidents can be “extended by mutual agreement at any time,” according to Tuesday’s announcement.
Executive Vice President for Planning and Policy Russell Carey ’91 MA’06, who oversees the Corporation Office, wrote in an email to The Herald that the early stages of the pandemic required full administrative attention, preventing the Corporation from initially formalizing the extension.
“In the midst of those difficult challenges for our entire community, the postponed extension was seen as somewhat procedural, considering that leadership continuity and ensuring the well-being of the community were the main priorities,” he wrote.
“But as we have continued discussions about the roadmap for new and ongoing priorities … we realized that our community would benefit from a full understanding of President Paxson’s ongoing leadership to advance them,” Carey added.
In an email to The Herald, Paxson wrote that she is “committed to continuing the momentum we have built together over the past 11 years.”
“I remain very proud to be a part of this exceptional community of learners and scholars,” she wrote. “I have said before, and it’s as true as ever, that I think I have the best job in higher education.”
“I am inspired by the creativity, intellectual engagement, and unwavering commitment to serving people, communities and society that is part of the DNA of Brown, and I am excited to lead Brown at a time when we continue to pursue ambitious priorities that will make us stronger as a community and as a university,” she continued.
The University “is fortunate to benefit from President Paxson’s unshakeable commitment to elevate Brown’s excellence and value to the world,” Mencoff wrote in the announcement.
Sofia Barnett is a University News editor overseeing the faculty and higher education beat. She is a junior from Texas studying history and English nonfiction and enjoys freelancing in her free time.