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Simmons College Announces University Designation

BOSTON – Simmons College has announced that it will become Simmons University effective September 1, 2018, and will introduce a new academic structure, including four new colleges led by four recently appointed deans. The announcement is the culmination of a strategic planning and visioning process begun in 2011.

“The hard work we've been doing on our academic redesign; on real estate use and opportunities; on improving student services and retention; and on strengthening our academic programs has positioned Simmons very well,” says Helen G. Drinan, president of Simmons College. “Given the size and scope of our programs, including online graduate programs with national and international reach, ‘university’ is a more accurate description of who we are and where we are going. We’re looking forward to a very exciting future.”

Founded as a women’s college in 1899, Simmons has evolved to become a complex urban university dedicated to innovative teaching and engaged learning in the liberal arts and the professions. In the new structure, Simmons University will continue to offer an undergraduate program for women and numerous graduate programs open to all. Simmons University will consist of the Gwen Ifill College of Media, Arts, and Humanities; the College of Social Sciences, Policy, and Practice; the College of Organizational, Computational, and Information Sciences; and the College of Natural, Behavioral, and Health Sciences. Several of Simmons’ well-known professional schools—including the School of Nursing, the School of Social Work, the School of Library and Information Science, and the School of Business—will retain their identities and live within the colleges alongside other existing departments and programs.

“The new Colleges each underscore Simmons’ signature strengths, combining distinct disciplinary preparation with interdisciplinary emphases, inter-professional approaches, and attention to rapidly evolving fields of study and practice,” says Katie Conboy, Ph.D., provost and senior vice president. “Together, the four new Colleges reflect the university’s commitment to a culture of inclusive leadership, social justice, global perspective, and civic engagement.”

In the last several years, Simmons has experienced growing enrollments in its undergraduate program; doubled its graduate enrollments; and launched an international version of its successful women’s leadership conference. Simmons also completed the largest fundraising campaign in the college's history.

The new academic structure is the result of an intensive two-year process that involved the entire Simmons community in designing a forward-looking organizational structure that honors Simmons’ ongoing commitment to women’s undergraduate education and serves the entire student population. “All Simmons University graduates will be equipped with the knowledge and collaborative skills needed to engage the complex challenges of an interconnected world,” says President Drinan.

The Class of 2019 will be the first graduates under the Simmons University designation. 

Learn more about Simmons' university designation.

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