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SEAS Dean Francis Doyle to Serve as Provost of Brown

Francis J. Doyle III, the dean of the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, talks to reporters for an interview in 2020.
Francis J. Doyle III, the dean of the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, talks to reporters for an interview in 2020. By Kathryn S. Kuhar
By Claire Yuan, Crimson Staff Writer

Francis J. Doyle III, dean of Harvard’s School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, will step down from his post at the end of the academic year to serve as Provost of Brown University, the school announced in a press release Thursday morning.

Doyle, who has served as SEAS dean since 2015, will begin his tenure as Brown’s chief academic officer in July 2023, leading the school’s efforts to expand its research presence and promote diversity and inclusion.

“They’ve done a lot of thoughtful work about growing their program, in particular growing research, expanding the campus,” Doyle said in a Thursday interview with The Crimson. “I want to jump in and participate in that.”

Brown President Christina H. Paxson said Doyle is the “right leader at the right time for the University” in Thursday’s press release.

“Frank has an exceptional record of leading a complex academic enterprise through extensive development of new programs, capital planning, faculty recruitment, and cultivation of philanthropic investment, all while building and strengthening community,” she said in the release.

Doyle’s predecessor, Richard M. Locke, will complete his tenure as Provost this month and assume a position as dean and vice president of Apple University.

Doyle said he finds his current post “incredibly rewarding” but hopes to “try to take my skills to a university scale.”

The departure continues a major reshuffling of Harvard’s top administrators. Faculty of Arts and Sciences Dean Claudine Gay will succeed University President Lawrence S. Bacow to become Harvard’s 30th president in July, the school announced Thursday. Two other academic deans are set to depart at the end of the academic year, as well as the school’s Chief Financial Officer. Harvard Alumni Association Executive Director Philip W. Lovejoy is also retiring at the end of the calendar year.

As SEAS Dean, Doyle oversaw an expansion of the school’s master’s and Ph.D. programs. The number of undergraduates pursuing degrees in engineering and applied sciences disciplines also rose from 18 to 23 percent under his tenure, according to Harvard’s press release announcing his departure.

“SEAS has flourished and grown in innovative ways under Frank Doyle’s leadership,” Bacow said in the release. “Since 2015, the School has advanced Harvard’s teaching and research mission, attracted more students into engineering and the applied sciences, and forged new and creative partnerships across the University.

Gay praised Doyle for expanding research collaborations between SEAS and other schools.

“Frank is an eager connector and collaborator, who has enthusiastically formed partnerships both within and beyond Harvard to advance the mission and open up new and promising opportunities for research and teaching at SEAS,” she said in the release. “I’m deeply grateful for his leadership, service, and most importantly to have been one of those partners.”

— Staff writer Cara J. Chang contributed reporting.

— Staff writer Claire Yuan can be reached at Follow her on Twitter @claireyuan33.

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