Updated March 4 at 7:04pm

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Ruth Simmons to retire as Brown president

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PROVIDENCE – Ruth J. Simmons announced that she plans to step down as the president of Brown University at the end of the current academic year.

She will have led the university for 11 years.

Simmons said in an email to the Brown community that it was her original intention to retire at the end of 10 years of service, but was dissuaded from doing so by Corporation officers.

“However, after much thought, I recently decided that this is the ideal time both for Brown and for me personally to begin the process of transitioning to new leadership,” she said.

The Corporation will soon begin a search for a new president, she said noting her last day as president will be June 30, 2012, but she will continue at Brown as a Professor of Comparative Literature and Africana Studies.

“My work at Brown has been the most satisfying of a long and, from my perspective, nearly idyllic career. I began life in circumstances that argued against the possibility that I could ever attend college. That financial aid enabled my desire not only to get a college education but also to devote my life to extending that same opportunity to others has been a benefaction of incomparable personal meaning,” she said in her email.

“I shall neither forget nor minimize in any way the import of Brown’s decision to name me president. I only hope that my efforts over these years have been sufficient to repay this community for the honor and joy I derive from being able to lead this unique and distinguished university.”

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