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There are 23 comments on Jean Morrison to Step Down as BU Provost July 1

  1. Provost Morrison is an exceptional leader and a wonderful human being. She inspires the best from everyone around her, and she has guided, supported, and mentored other leaders, including me, with incredible skill, strategy, and poise. Boston University would not be as stellar as it is today without her hard work, innovations, and many transformational contributions. It has truly been a great honor to work with her.

  2. The inability to not appoint her President ad interim is extremely disappointing. She has the skills and knowledge to take this University to the next level. Nothing against Mr. Freeman.

  3. Jean Morrison is truly a hands-on leader, whose vast knowledge extends to almost every corner and every function of the University, and she has transformed BU for the better. Despite having a portfolio that dwarfs most of our peers, Provost Morrison is open and accessible and generous with her counsel. But perhaps equally important in a leader are fairness, candor, and good humor; Jean Morrison demonstrates these qualities in abundance. She has been an inspiration to me and many others.

  4. Alumni

    Excellent article and timely. At a time that BU is at the absolute very top of the game it is a problem that three key offices do not have permanent leaders. Succession planning is vital. The President, the Dean of Students and Provost are now effected.

    Does the community realize that under the tenure of the President and Provost came the creation of dozens and dozens of VPs. Dozens of staff in the Office of the President. Chiefs of Staffs and aids to the President. And with all the resources the student facing engagement remains confusing.

  5. I just started at BU, but was thrilled to be working with Jean Morrisson. She shares insight and knowledge in every interaction. Her candor and accessibility was surprising and welcome.

  6. Past faculty who has now worked at multiple universities- Morrison is exceptionally phenomenal — it’s insane that she’s not going to be BU’s next president. I’m guessing she quit because she was told it wouldn’t happen?

  7. Many are incredulous that the Board of Trustees (BOT) does not see that “President Morrison” would be best suited to maintain and improve BU’s successful trajectory. Who do they imagine would do better? Nothing needs to be fixed here except the BU community members’ trust in the BOT, who have let them down.

  8. Provost Morrison has been an incredible leader through very difficult recent years. I’m not sure why she is not being appointed as BU’s next President, considering her successes here. Especially weird considering we do not have a permanent replacement for President Brown named yet. No permanent presidential or provost appointments at the same time? What happened here?

  9. It is time for new leaders, new directions, and new ideas!
    Hopefully, the successors to Brown and Morrison will dismantle and clean up the BU administrator’s overpaid mutual admiration society!

    1. Alumnus

      Agree. Just do a head count of the Provost support staff in the inner office. And the multiple VPs that are redundant. The growing bureaucratic channels and personnel is astounding. Has she been accessible, no, has the President been accessible, no.

  10. From all accounts, Provost Jean Morrison is a very astute and accomplished leader. However, I am confident that the Board of Trustees will make an excellent decision about who will serve Boston University (BU) as the next President. I am equally confident that Provost Morrison’s candidacy for the post of President (should she decides to apply) will be given the utmost consideration. As members of the BU community we should be patient and let the process take place. Of course, like you, I am sorry to see such great people like President Brown and Provost Morrison step down from leading the University. Notwithstanding, I’m optimistic that BU’s future will guided by careful hands (like some of yours who now lead LAW and PARDEE for example).

  11. I don’t want to rain on anyone’s parade. Provost Morrison deserves thanks from the BU community for her hard work and service, and this is clearly the moment to celebrate her many accomplishments. However, since so many comments here ask why Morrison is not being promoted to the presidency, some candor regarding the Provost’s shortcomings as a leader are necessary.

    I truly believe that Provost Morrison has always acted out of the best intentions. She has striven for excellence. Unfortunately, her methods always default to installing systems of reporting and review that have resulted in layers upon layers of bureaucracy. Instead of creating a workplace that rewards agility and innovation, she has built up a set of rote protocols and a clerical culture that is at once sprawling and ultra-centralized. As a result, even the most modest steps—launching a new course, changing a job description—involve byzantine and ponderous oversight. Deans complain—and yes, notwithstanding the praise by some Deans in these comments, they do complain—of having to seek approval for basic operational expenditures.

    Working under such a regime has been profoundly demoralizing. Lest you think my views are an outlier, I can tell you that, in faculty gatherings large and small, every time the suggestion that Provost Morrison might become the next President has come up, the response from my colleagues has been the same: “God forbid.” If you felt a breeze blowing down Commonwealth Avenue last week, that was just the faculty exhaling a sigh of relief.

    Despite the tenor of these remarks, I don’t want to leave the impression that I would give Provost Morrison a failing grade. She tried hard—perhaps too hard—and gave the job her all. I thank her for her dedication to the University and wish her well.

  12. So I take there will be no discussion of the fact that former Provost Jean Morrison was also considered to be a major obstacle in getting trans students to be treated as well at Boston University as they are at similar schools? And her difficulties interacting with minority students will also be left out?
    I know she’s leaving and we want to be respectful, but it seems a bit deceptive to portray her in such a positive manner without mentioning that there were legitimate issues associated with her.

    1. Jean is a Pro’s Pro, my politics most likely do NOT line up with Jean’s, but nobody has done more to advance the DEI agenda at BU.

  13. Alumni

    A successful tenure. Boston University is at the top of its game. With the departures, whether folks want to hear it or not. The size, redundancies and inflated importance of the inner office of the President and Provost needs to be addressed. If you ask alumni and staff they agree it is bloated beyond believe.

  14. Alumni

    Perhaps the BU community is missing something. Given the excellent notice and planning by the President of his retirement the timing of the Provost is puzzling. The President did a good job of advance notice of his retirement. There was plenty of time to work towards succession planning. The Provost does not dedicate herself to that handoff but rather leaves within hours of the appointment of an interim President.

  15. Alumni

    The new provost will hopefully clean house of the inexperienced and overinflated self important of current inner staff and multiple provosts in the office of provost.

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