Mar 11, 2009 - Claremont, Calif. -
In a statement to the HMC community, President Klawe wrote:
"…the search committee concluded that Maggie's experience and affinity for Mudd and its unique community were a perfect fit. Notably, she was immediately able to connect with the many students she met, and they with her. She describes herself as a 'science nerd, with a deep love of the arts and a strong commitment to social justice.' She will be a wonderful fit for the college and we look forward to her arrival in July."
Browning's tenure at Princeton began in 1990 when she joined the Linguistics Program as assistant professor. During her time at Princeton, she earned tenure and the rank of associate professor, and directed the Program in Linguistics from 1997 to 2001. She took on the role of master of Wilson College in 2004.
In her role as master, Browning provides leadership to approximately 500 freshmen and sophomores, 17 residential college advisors, 10 resident graduate students and a professional staff of six.
Browning gives up her tenured faculty status at Princeton to assume her role at HMC. She described the process of her decision with a story about a fellow equestrian:
"A friend of mine who rides horses wanted to learn to jump. Her teacher got her up on the horse and said, 'OK, go ahead.'"
"'But how do I get the horse to go over the fence?' she asked."
"The teacher said, 'When you get to the fence, throw your heart over. The horse will follow.'"
"I think that's something to live by. The decision to come to Harvey Mudd and give up tenure at Princeton was an extremely difficult one, but I felt like I needed to take my own advice and throw my heart over the fence. Harvey Mudd is certainly where my heart was leading me. During my time here, I've experienced a wonderful connection with everyone I've met. I'm thrilled at the prospect of becoming part of this very special community."
Browning earned her B.A., summa cum laude, in English and linguistics from the University of Massachusetts, Boston, and her Ph.D. in linguistics from Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where Noam Chomsky was her dissertation advisor. She won numerous honors and awards during her academic career, notably a National Science Foundation Fellowship from 1983-87 and the Harold Willis Dodd Preceptorship at Princeton from 1993-96.
Browning was selected by a search committee of HMC faculty, students, trustees, alumni and administrators after a nationwide search. She will lead the 14-person Office of Student Affairs, which includes residence life, student activities, emotional health, careers services, institutional diversity and registrar.
Browning succeeds Emeritus Vice President and Dean of Students Jeanne Noda, who left in fall 2008 after 15 years at HMC to become senior program officer for the Medical Scholars and Medical Fellows Programs at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute in Washington, D.C.