Dean of the College of Natural, Behavioral, and Health Sciences

The College

The College of Natural, Behavioral, and Health Sciences (“CNBHS” or “the College”) was named in 2017 when the following units were combined:

  • School of Nursing;
  • Department of Behavior Analysis;
  • Department of Biology;
  • Department of Chemistry and Physics;
  • Department of Nutrition;
  • Department of Physical Therapy; and
  • Department of Psychology.

The College's mission is to “create and sustain a learning community of scientist practitioners” and its vision statement is to “envision a College community in which faculty, staff, and students in the natural, behavioral, and health sciences are working together and across disciplines to advance practice and research.” Its core values are the following:

  • Excellence in research, teaching, and practice;
  • Integration of research, teaching, and practice/application in the natural, behavioral, and health sciences;
  • Student-centered learning; and
  • Collaboration and a sense of community.

CNBHS is the largest college at Simmons, offering an education at the intersection of life and science and cultivating innovative practices and procedures required to advance the scientific future and save lives. The College prepares the next generation of STEM leaders, broadly defined to include everyone from bench scientists to health care leaders, to provide an education that links passion with lifelong purpose.

CNBHS is a community in which all faculty, staff, and students work together and across disciplines to advance both practice and research. The College produces leaders for careers in such fields as STEM research, nursing, health professions, neuroscience, behavioral science, biotech, and engineering. CNBHS prepares graduates to serve the communities in which they live and equips them with the skills, knowledge, perspective, and confidence to become effective and principled leaders, build successful careers, and lead meaningful lives.

The College includes a broad range of disciplines, all aligned with the institution's historical mission of advancing women's professional livelihoods. Some departments offer baccalaureate education, including minors and concentrations; others offer master's and doctorates with concentration, while some offer a combination of undergraduate and graduate programs.

Members of the College's faculty are leaders in their fields and pride themselves on serving as caring mentors. The total number of students enrolled in courses in the College is 2,720, including 1,960 graduate students.

Students work with faculty to master the fundamentals and put knowledge into practice through hands-on learning in interactive labs. Together, CNBHS faculty and students consider the natural world from every angle, blending social, mathematical, and life science to address intriguing issues related to behavior and experience.

The Simmons campus is surrounded by world-renowned teaching hospitals and research facilities including Brigham and Women's Hospital, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Boston Children's Hospital, and Massachusetts General Hospital. Known for being especially well prepared, Simmons students are highly sought after for clinical rotations, research, and employment opportunities with leading experts in the industry.

The Role

Reporting to the Provost, the Dean of CNBHS is responsible for supporting, strengthening, and advancing the diversification of a strong faculty, promoting innovative teaching and engaged learning, and building a culture of research, scholarly productivity, inclusion and equity. The Dean collaborates closely with the deans of the other three colleges.

Reporting to the Dean are the following:

  • Associate Dean for Natural Sciences;
  • Associate Dean for Health Sciences; and
  • The department chairs and faculty of the College.

The Dean oversees an operating budget of approximately $15 million and works with the Vice President of Strategic Initiatives who oversees an operating budget for the Nursing@Simmons program, which is about $7.6 million.

Download the Dean of the College of Natural, Behavioral, and Health Sciences Leadership Profile.


During this transformative time in the history of the University, the next Dean will have the chance to focus on the following exciting opportunities in the development of the next generation of leaders while advancing diversity and inclusion in all areas of focus.

Provide Visionary Leadership

  • Cultivate a climate of intellectual and creative vitality that unifies constituents around a shared vision for the College;
  • Ensure, as the goals of the College evolve, that they continue to align with the University-wide goals outlined in Strategy 2022;
  • Foster an integrated academic community, collaborating with the deans of the other three colleges to enhance interdisciplinary opportunities, such as in inclusive leadership, social justice, global engagement, and inter-professional preparation, through joint academic appointments and new academic programs and ventures;
  • Support the key partnerships that maintain and provide access to high-quality practitioners and opportunities for distance learning, clinical learning, and research; and
  • Keep the College focused on the future of undergraduate and graduate and professional education.

Build Institutional Capacity

  • Encourage synergistic research and student-focused teaching opportunities among faculty members across the College;
  • Foster and advance a culture of diversity and inclusive excellence in every way, through engagement with affinity groups and through all of the College's endeavors;
  • Support, nurture and promote distinguished programs such as Dotson Mentor Program and Operation House Call;
  • Improve operational effectiveness by such measures as integrating traditional and online learning offerings, strengthening the infrastructure to support interdisciplinary collaboration, and enhancing the sharing of departmental budgets; and
  • Help departments to own a CNBHS identity while also taking pride in distinct departmental identities.

Raise Recognition and Resources

  • Build and promote the reputation and name recognition of CNBHS around a clear set of priorities and outcomes;
  • Ensure the continuous accreditation of the behavior analysis, chemistry, nursing, nutrition, and physical therapy programs;
  • Proactively engage, develop and strengthen external relationships and community partnerships in the greater Boston area, and beyond, which are critical to advancing clinical placements and internships;
  • Activate network for purchasing and investments in services and resources from diverse business owners;
  • Develop an ambitious fundraising strategy to support the College's mission, including strengthening alumni engagement and growing corporate and foundation relations efforts;
  • Serve as a vital partner in the recruitment and retention of students, utilizing both data-based decision-making and high-touch personal interaction; and
  • Build and strengthen external relationships and industry partnerships in the greater Boston area and beyond.

Key Relationships and Collaborations

To advance the mission, vision, and goals of Simmons University, the Dean will work collaboratively and intently with senior leaders, including the President, the Provost, fellow Deans, the Senior Vice President of Institutional Advancement, Senior Vice President and General Counsel, the Senior Vice President of Organizational Culture, Inclusion, and Equity (OCIE), the Vice President of Strategic Initiatives and the Chief of Staff.

Key Qualifications

The next Dean of CNBHS will have either an academic background, with advanced academic credentials, including a terminal degree in a relevant field and deep experience as an educator and administrator in natural, behavioral, or health sciences, or will have demonstrated experience leading either complex corporate or non-profit organizations through significant change and innovation. Strong candidates will also demonstrate excellence in the following:

  • Track record of hiring, developing, and retaining talented and culturally diverse employees and diverse faculty, staff and students; ability to mentor and support faculty and staff from underrepresented groups;
  • Experience managing the budget and finances for a complex institution;
  • Knowledge of both residential and online learning;
  • Demonstrated history of creating and supporting a workplace committed to collaboration, teamwork, diversity, equity and inclusion;
  • Ability to seize opportunities for the College to advance;
  • Known as a creative problem solver;
  • Demonstrated experience building consensus, nurturing relationships, and collaborating across campus units;
  • Ability to manage change deftly, including comfort leading within an evolving institutional environment;
  • Demonstrated commitment to the education and empowerment of women and to social justice, diversity, equity, and inclusion;
  • Track record of fostering innovation and collaboration across disciplines;
  • Fundraising track record or the interpersonal skills that would suggest potential to effectively cultivate, solicit, and steward donors; and
  • Strong communication skills, both in writing and public speaking, with a variety of audiences, both external and internal.

Procedure for Candidacy

Inquiries, nominations, and applications are all welcome. Consistent with University's goals to achieve diversity at all levels of university leadership, Simmons encourages nominations and applications from individuals in traditionally underrepresented groups and those dedicated to building a culture of inclusive excellence at Simmons.

The University is committed to equal opportunity for all persons regardless of age, ancestry, class, color, disability, ethnicity, gender identify and expression, marital status, national origin, race, religion, sexual orientation, veteran status or any other status protected by law.

Inquiries, nominations, and applications should be directed to Simmons University's consultants at Russell Reynolds at Review of applications will begin immediately and continue until the position is filled.

Executive Search Committee

Anne-Marie Barron
Associate Dean, CNBHS 

Lisa Brown
Associate Professor of Nutrition, CNBHS 

LaDonna Christian
Associate Professor of Practice, Nursing and Director of the Dotson Bridge and Mentoring Program, CNBHS 

April Evans

Gregory Feldman
Professor and Chair, Psychology, CNBHS 

Tema Fodje

Millicent Gorham

Mariam Ismail
Assistant Professor of Chemistry and Physics, CNBHS 

Catherine Paden, chair
Associate Provost and Dean of the Undergraduate Program 

Debra Perez
Senior Vice President, Organizational Culture, Inclusion, and Equity 

Elizabeth Scott
Associate Dean, CNBHS 

Roslyn Taylor
Director of Academic Budgets, Provost Office