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Robert Brown to Lead Boston University

Robert Brown To Lead Boston University

by Sophie L. Rovner
June 9, 2005

Credit: Courtesy of Boston University
Credit: Courtesy of Boston University


Chemical engineer Robert A. Brown has been appointed the ninth president of Boston University. Brown, who is currently provost at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, will take up his new duties on Sept. 1. Founded in 1839, Boston U has more than 30,000 students and is the fourth largest independent university in the U.S.

A Boston U search committee considered more than 200 people for president. Brown emerged as “the search committee’s first, only, and unanimous choice,” according to the committee’s chair, David F. D’Alessandro.

Born in 1951, Brown earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in chemical engineering in 1973 and 1975, respectively, from the University of Texas, Austin. He earned a Ph.D. in chemical engineering at the University of Minnesota in 1979 and then joined the MIT faculty. By 1984, he was a full professor of chemical engineering. Brown served as dean of engineering from 1996 to 1998, at which time he was appointed provost of MIT.

Brown says his research centers on transport processes and chemical physics involved in the processing of materials with microstructure. He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering.

Brown succeeds Boston U’s interim president, Aram V. Chobanian. Chobanian filled in after the university clashed with its previous pick for president, former NASA administrator Daniel S. Goldin, and revoked his job offer in 2003.


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