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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Most Recent Articles

August 8, 2014
Elizabeth Simmons discusses fair and efficient selection processes for distributing raises, grant funds, workshop seats and other resources.
June 20, 2014
Elizabeth Simmons discusses how "productivity software" can smooth the path for new administrators -- and offers tips on the tools she finds most useful.
March 28, 2014
Hiring? About to make an offer? Elizabeth Simmons offers advice on what you need to know to make your upcoming negotiation a success.
February 21, 2014
Need reliable information about promotions, leaves and other work-life issues? Elizabeth Simmons offers advice on how to research these matters at your institution.
February 14, 2014
The coursework and research from your postgraduate training have equipped you with the scholarly skills to help you master the mysteries of faculty life, Elizabeth Simmons writes.
November 25, 2013
On the job market? Anticipating an offer? Elizabeth Simmons offers advice on what you need to know to make your upcoming negotiation a success.
March 15, 2013
Early career faculty should demonstrate leadership through projects that also advance their teaching and research programs, Elizabeth Simmons writes.
February 15, 2013
Why become an academic leader? Elizabeth Simmons contends that it enables you to extend your love of learning into a new arena.
November 30, 2012
Why become an academic leader? Elizabeth Simmons argues that it offers a unique opportunity to extend a love of teaching into novel realms.
September 21, 2012
Considering whether to seek an external offer? Elizabeth Simmons discusses how your home institution is likely to respond.

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