As recently-retired president of the Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U), Paula P. Brownlee headed the only higher education organization of member institutions that focuses on strengthening liberal education on our nation's campuses. AAC&U was founded in 1915 and is now composed of more than 675 public and private colleges and universities, whose presidents, deans, and faculty members are the a active participants. The goals of AAC&U are carried out through its research and publications, projects, national meetings, and specialized workshops.
Before becoming president of AAC&U in September, 1990, Dr. Brownlee was president and professor of chemistry at Union College for nine years. Previously, she was dean of the faculty and professor of chemistry at Union College for five years and a dean and tenured faculty member in chemistry at Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey. She received her bachelor's and doctoral degrees in chemistry from Oxford University and held post-doctoral fellowship at the University of Rochester before working briefly in chemical industry. She was recently elected Honorary Fellow of her college, Somerville College, Oxford University. She is now actively consulting on institution-wide issues with presidents and other academic administrators as a principal with The Presidents' Group, LLP.
Dr. Brownlee serves currently in the boards of the University of Rochester, the Wye Faculty Seminar Governing Council, and the Association for Religion in Intellectual Life, and chairs the board of the Academic Search Consultation Service. She is a member of Sigma Xi, the honorary scientific research society, and of the American Chemical Society, the Royal Chemical Society, and the Society for Values in Higher Education. Dr. Brownlee is listed in Who's Who in America, in the World Who's Who of Women, and in American Men and Women in Science.
Dr. Brownlee was identified as "one of the one hundred most effective presidents" in a 1986 study conducted be the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education. She has chaired the board of the American Association for Higher Education, the board of the Educational Testing service, and the long-range planning committee of the board of the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities. She has served on the board of directors of Bell Atlantic, Virginia.
Paula Brownlee is married to Thomas H. Brownlee, who retired recently from teaching chemistry at the American University. They have three adult children. Among her interests, she includes, painting, gardening, music, skiing and travel.
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