Courtesy of Cornell University

Dyson Dean Lynn Perry Wooten is slated to leave Cornell to become president of Simmons University.

February 9, 2020

Revolving Door Turns Again As Dyson Dean Becomes Simmons University President

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Correction appended.

After leading the Dyson School for Applied Economics, Management and Business for around three years, Dean Lynn Perry Wooten will depart Cornell to become the ninth president of Simmons University in Boston.

Simmons announced its decision to appoint Wooten to the presidency on Feb. 6, after its Board of Trustees unanimously elected her. Simmons offers an intimate women’s undergraduate program with 1,837 students and a coeducational graduate program of 2,179 full-time students, according to its website.

In February 2017, Wooten was named the dean of the Dyson School, succeeding interim dean Prof. Emeritus Edward McLaughlin, marketing and management communication.

Under Wooten’s leadership, Dyson held its inaugural Diversity Week, which took place from Sept. 24 to 28, 2018. The event featured the “My Story, Our Story” photo campaign where students and University faculty were photographed with words or phrases that referred to a meaningful experience they had.

“I couldn’t be more excited to join this community and to further the institution’s distinctive and vital mission,” Wooten said in a statement released by Simmons.

Wooten declined The Sun’s request for comment.

According to the statement, Wooten will be Simmons’ first African-American president and was selected by a search committee comprised of Simmons faculty, alumni, students and administration.

“The Board was deeply impressed with Lynn’s unique combination of experience, knowledge and engagement with students, faculty, and academic leaders,” Simmons wrote in an email to students and alumni.

Before Cornell, Wooten served as a clinical professor of strategy, management and organizations at the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business. At Michigan, Wooten also worked as an associate dean of undergraduate programs, according to a 2017 University press release.

The announcement of Wooten’s departure was made just three days after the University announced the departure of Dean Lance Collins, the Joseph Silbert Dean of the College of Engineering. He was tapped to serve as vice president of Virginia Tech’s Innovation Campus, an offshoot of the school that aims to boost its footprint in STEM-related disciplines.

Art, Architecture and Planning, the School of Industrial and Labor Relations, Cornell Tech, the College of Arts and Sciences and the S.C. Johnson School of Business have changed deans in the past two years. Seven deans — including Wooten and Collins — have either left Cornell or have taken on bigger positions at the University.

Last year, Cornell Tech Dean Dan Huttenlocher left for a position at his alma mater Massachusetts Institute of Technology, while former School of Industrial and Labor Relations Dean Kevin Hallock took helm of the S.C. Johnson College of Business.

The College of Agriculture and Life Sciences announced it would search for a new dean in September, after current dean Kathryn Boor ’80 said she would step down when her term ends in 2020. A new CALS dean is set to assume the role on July 1.

The University did not respond to a request for comment by time of publication and has not released a statement on the Dyson dean’s departure.

Correction: An earlier version of this article inaccurately stated the number of years Wooten served as Dyson dean. Wooten was the dean of Dyson for three years, not two.