Dr. Elizabeth H. Simmons is the Executive Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs at the University of California San Diego. She is UC San Diego’s second-ranking executive and chief academic officer. In this capacity, she is responsible for policies and decisions relating to all academic programs and curriculum, instructional support programs, and faculty appointments and performance.
Dr. Simmons previously served as Associate Provost for Faculty and Academic Staff Development, Dean of Lyman Briggs College, and University Distinguished Professor of Physics at Michigan State University (MSU). In her Associate Provost's role, Simmons led the Academic Advancement Network, which promotes an inclusive, proactive culture of professional development for all MSU faculty, academic staff, and academic leaders. Simmons served as Dean of Lyman Briggs College for over a decade and in 2004, successfully led the college on a 25% expansion of its student body, nearly 50% growth in faculty, and renovation of all teaching laboratories.
Simmons is a theoretical high-energy physicist and Distinguished Professor in the UC San Diego Department of Physics. She is currently studying how physics beyond the Standard Model might manifest in experiments in progress at the CERN Large Hadron Collider. She enjoys teaching physics courses at all levels, from introductory to graduate.
Simmons is a champion for building diversity in STEM fields and encourages underrepresented groups to engage in the physical sciences. She won the ACE Michigan Network's Distinguished Woman in Higher Education Leadership Award in 2005 and MSU’s Robert F. Banks Award for Institutional Leadership in 2013. Simmons served as a US Delegate to the International Conference on Women in Physics in 2008 (Korea) and 2011 (South Africa) and coorganized conferences on professional development for women physicists. She is a 2017 Top Write on Quora and writes a regular column “Mend the Gap” for Inside Higher Ed, addressing issues that bridge the divide between administrators and faculty. Simmons is a member of the Organizing Board for the advocacy group lgbt+physicists and a co-author of the recent LGBT Climate Report commissioned by the American Physical Society.