The Provost was originally a general executive officer for the University taking over the main duties of administrative management in order to free the president for matters of policy and special projects. The office was created in June 1949 by the Advisory and Executive Committee. The first provost was Samuel T. Arnold, who had formerly been Dean of the University. Zenas Bliss was appointed after the death of Arnold, and the post was vacant from the retirement of Bliss in June 1965 until the appointment of Merton Stoltz after the arrival of President Heffner in 1966. The present Provost is the senior academic officer of the University, in charge of libraries, computing, and other academic areas including administration and budgets of various deans. In 1978, when Maurice Glicksman assumed the office of provost, he continued with many of his former responsibilities as Dean of the Faculty and Academic Affairs, and was given a new title, Provost and Dean of the Faculty.
The Provosts of Brown have been:
- Samuel T. Arnold from 1949 to 1956;
- Zenas R. Bliss from 1957 to 1965;
- Merton P. Stoltz from 1966 to 1978;
- Maurice Glicksman from 1978 to 1990;
- Frank G. Rothman from 1990 to 1994;
- James T. Pomerantz from 1995 to 1998;
- William S. Simmons from 1998 to 1999;
- Kathryn T. Spoehr from 1999 to 2001;
- Robert J. Zimmer from 2002 to 2006;
- David I. Kertzer from 2006 to 2011;
- Mark S. Schlissel from 2011 to 2014;
- Vicki Leigh Colvin from 2014 to 2015; and
- Richard M. Locke as of July 1, 2015.
[Updated June 1, 2015]