Brown University issued the following announcement on June 8.
Rashid Zia, a Brown University alumnus, distinguished faculty member and administrator, will become the University’s new dean of the college, effective July 1.
The dean of the college is Brown’s senior undergraduate academic officer, whose responsibilities include overseeing Brown’s student-centered Open Curriculum, academic advising, international study programs and classroom instruction. The dean reports directly to the provost and is a member of the president’s cabinet and the executive committee. Zia succeeds Maud Mandel, who will depart to become the 18th president of Williams College in Massachusetts.
Brown Provost Richard M. Locke announced Zia’s appointment on June 7 in a message to the University community. He cited Zia’s deep personal connection to Brown, his teaching excellence during more than a decade on the Brown faculty and his mentorship of students in his research lab in Brown’s School of Engineering.
“Rashid is an accomplished scholar and dedicated teacher, and his love for Brown was apparent throughout the selection process,” Locke said. “As a Brown alumnus who was a double concentrator in English and engineering, Rashid brings a unique understanding of the value of Brown’s Open Curriculum and the importance of a liberal arts education.”
Zia also has done exceptional work to understand and strengthen Brown’s approach to recruiting the very best scholars to Brown, Locke said. As assistant provost for special projects since January 2018, Zia has led efforts to use data to improve strategic decision making at Brown around faculty and graduate student recruitment and hiring.
“Rashid has demonstrated a strong commitment to diversity and inclusion both as a faculty member in engineering and in his work in the Office of the Provost,” Locke said. “I know he will be an outstanding dean of the college."
Zia, who is currently an associate professor of engineering and physics, said this is a particularly exciting time to take the helm to advance Brown’s innovation in undergraduate education, as the University approaches the 50th anniversary of its Open Curriculum.
“As we continue to dedicate ourselves to a truly student-focused curriculum, we know it has to be a dynamic, responsive and living entity,” Zia said. “The 50th anniversary of the Open Curriculum gives us an opportunity to re-energize our efforts to engage students and the campus as a whole in constantly improving the excellence of the undergraduate experience at Brown.”
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