Elizabeth H. Simmons

Elizabeth H. Simmons, author of the Mend the Gap column, is Associate Provost for Faculty and Academic Staff Development at Michigan State University, where she leads the Academic Advancement Network.  She is also dean of Lyman Briggs College at Michigan State University and University Distinguished Professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy. Lyman Briggs is a residential undergraduate college focused on the study of science in its historical, philosophical, and sociological context. 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

June 6, 2012
Elizabeth Simmons offers tips on finding the resources you need to get your great idea off the ground.
April 18, 2012
Elizabeth H. Simmons shares a set of inexpensive, reinforcing strategies that have worked to inspire faculty members at her institution -- and might apply to yours, too.
February 10, 2012
In the second essay in a two-part series, Elizabeth Simmons advises instructors on how they can best evaluate their faculty peers.
February 3, 2012
In the first of a two-part series on yearly reviews, Elizabeth Simmons suggests how faculty members can frame their self-evaluative essays in ways that help them and their institutions.
January 6, 2012
Elizabeth Simmons offers a dean's perspective on how faculty members up for tenure should approach deal with the process of identifying external evaluators.
November 23, 2011
Deciding whether a candidate is right for a faculty job should be based not on intuition but on evidence, writes Elizabeth H. Simmons.
October 12, 2011
Many professors are wary of their campuses’ development offices. In the debut of a new column, Elizabeth H. Simmons explains how successful interactions can help the faculty and the institution alike.
September 16, 2011
Better understanding of how the money flows can help professors navigate their campuses' budget processes. Elizabeth H. Simmons offers a primer.
August 19, 2011
To make joint faculty appointments work, colleges should use memorandums of understanding to clearly define expectations, write Elizabeth H. Simmons and Michael P. Nelson.

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