Lynn Perry Wooten Will Be the First African American President of Simmons University

The board of trustees of Simmons University in Boston announced that Lynn Perry Wooten has been unanimously selected to serve as the university’s ninth president. When she takes office on July 1, 2020, she will be the first African American to lead the university.

Simmons University enrolls just over 1,800 women in its single-sex undergraduate programs, according to the latest data supplied to the U.S. Department of Education. The university also enrolls more than 4,600 students in co-educational graduate programs. African Americans make up 7 percent of the undergraduate student body.

In accepting the appointment, Dr. Wooten said that “with its robust graduate programs and commitment to educating the next generation of female leaders, Simmons University plays a significant role in today’s world. The university’s model – with its focus on liberal arts and professional development – is the future of higher education. I couldn’t be more excited to join this community and to further the institution’s distinctive and vital mission.”

Most recently, Dr. Wooten has been serving as the David J. Nolan Dean and Professor of Management and Organizations at Cornell University’s Charles H. Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management. Prior to her position at Cornell, Dr. Wooten served on the faculty at the University of Michigan for nearly two decades, where she was the senior associate dean for student and academic excellence and clinical professor of strategy, management & organizations at the university’s Ross School of Business.

Dr. Wooten is the co-editor of – Positive Organizing in a Global Society: Understanding and Engaging Differences for Capacity Building and Inclusion (Routledge, 2015), and the co-author of Leading Under Pressure: From Surviving to Thriving Before, During, and After a Crisis (Routledge, 2010).

A native of Philadelphia, Dr. Wooten was the valedictorian of her graduating class at North Carolina A&T State University. She earned an MBA at Duke University in Durham, North Carolina, and a Ph.D. from the University of Michigan.


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