First Black Ivy League President Announces She Will Step Down

Ruth Simmons, president of Brown University, says that she will step down at the end of the academic year.

Posted: 09/15/2011 05:36 PM EDT
Filed Under College, education

Ruth Simmons

The first African-American woman to head an Ivy League university is handing over her administrative throne.


Ruth J. Simmons, 66, announced that she will be leaving her position as president of Brown University at the end of this academic year.


Simmons says that her time at the school, which was founded in 1764, was “deeply satisfying” but now it is the right time for new leadership.


Simmons became president in 2001 after serving as president of Smith College. She is not leaving the university altogether, however. The Texas native plans to continue teaching as a professor of comparative literature and Africana studies.


Named the first Black president of a Seven Sisters school, the first African-American at the helm of an Ivy League institution and the first female president of Brown, wishes Simmons the best and many more “firsts” to come.


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(Photo: Scott Gries/PictureGroup)