Jean Morrison (professor)

American geologist and university administrator

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Jean Morrison
University Provost and Chief Academic Officer of
Boston University
Assumed office
Preceded byDavid Campbell
Personal details
Born (1958-05-19) May 19, 1958 (age 64)
Alma materColgate University
University of Georgia
University of Wisconsin–Madison

Jean Morrison (born May 19, 1958) is an American university academic. She is provost, chief academic officer and professor of earth and environment at Boston University; she is the first woman to be appointed provost of the university. She was formerly executive vice provost for academic affairs and graduate programs at the University of Southern California.


Morrison is a metamorphic petrologist by training, whose research explores the evolution of the Earth’s crust. A native of Pawling, New York, she received her BA from Colgate University, an MS from the University of Georgia, and a PhD from the University of Wisconsin–Madison.[1]

Morrison joined the faculty of USC in 1988 as assistant professor. She served as a member of USC's earth sciences faculty for 22 years before taking the role of provost at Boston University. While at USC, Morrison became the inaugural director of the university's Women in Science and Engineering Program and served as vice provost for academic affairs and graduate programs. She was also director of the university's graduate school for six years.[2] Morrison has served on several National Science Foundation panels, as an editor of the Journal of Metamorphic Geology, and as an associate editor of American Mineralogist and the Geological Society of America Bulletin. In 2000, she was named Sigma Chi Professor of the Year, and she received Sigma Gamma Epsilon’s Excellence in Teaching Award.[3] She also received USC's Associates Award for Excellence in Teaching, the university's highest teaching award.[4]

In January 2011, Morrison joined Boston University as its second highest ranking officer and the first woman provost in its history, succeeding previous provost David Campbell.[5]

Work as provost

As provost, Morrison has overseen several efforts designed to enhance BU’s academic quality and global competitiveness, including the launch of the BU Hub, a university-wide general education program for all undergraduates;[6] a university-wide arts initiative;[7] new divisions in digital learning, diversity, and graduate education; and initiatives to expand BU's footprint in the data sciences[8] and opportunities for women in the STEM fields.[9]

Boston University's progress has been acknowledged in many ways under Morrison's tenure, including improved academic rankings. Most notably, in 2012, Boston University was admitted to the Association of American Universities (AAU), the group of premier public and private research universities in the United States and Canada.[10] The university has also launched two new colleges during this time: the Arvind and Chandan Nandlal Kilachand Honors College, a residential honors college for Boston University undergraduates, which was dedicated in 2011; and the Frederick S. Pardee School of Global Studies, established in 2014, which combines traditional international relations with faculty in the humanities and social sciences interested in global students, as well as the traditional area studies centers.

Research and teaching

Morrison’s research in stable isotope geochemistry focuses on understanding the evolution and properties of the Earth's deep crust, with particular emphasis on the physiochemical characteristics in earthquake fault systems and the origins of rocks and minerals.[1] She has received numerous National Science Foundation grants supporting her research and published dozens of articles in leading scientific journals, including Science,[11] Geology,[12] and International Geology Review.[13] Her teaching at the collegiate level has explored geology, mineralogy, petrology, and the process of change in science.


On September 23, 2022, Jean Morrison sent an anti-union email to Boston University graduate students on behalf of the Office of the Provost to prevent their unionization.[14] In the email, she described the unionization effort as a "one-size-fits-all" model that is "fundamentally incompatible" with Boston University. In early November, graduate students rejected an offer from the university which would have voluntarily recognized a unit of doctoral candidates, but not other graduate students.[15]


Morrison lives in Brookline, Massachusetts, with her husband, Lawford Anderson, who works at Boston University as a professor of earth and environment. They have two grown children.

Awards and affiliations


  1. ^ a b "University Provost and Chief Academic Officer Named | BU Today". Boston University.
  2. ^ "Provost Announces New Appointments". USC News. August 10, 2010.
  3. ^ "University Appoints New Provost — Bostonia Winter-Spring 2011".
  4. ^ a b "Associates Award for Excellence in Teaching: Award Winners : USC Center for Excellence in Teaching".
  5. ^ "Boston University Announces New Provost, First Woman In BU History".
  6. ^ "University-Wide BU Hub General Education Program on Track for 2018 Launch | BU Today". Boston University.
  7. ^ "BU Launches New Campus-Wide Arts Initiative | BU Today". Boston University.
  8. ^ "BU Expanding Its Ranks of Data Scientists | BU Today". Boston University.
  9. ^ "New BU Initiative to Boost STEM Education | BU Today". Boston University.
  10. ^ "BOSTON UNIVERSITY JOINS AAU". July 18, 2014. Archived from the original on July 18, 2014.
  11. ^ Morrison, Jean; Anderson, J. Lawford (January 2, 1998). "Footwall Refrigeration Along a Detachment Fault: Implications for the Thermal Evolution of Core Complexes". Science. 279 (5347): 63–66. doi:10.1126/science.279.5347.63. PMID 9417023 – via
  12. ^ Woods, Adam D.; Bottjer, David J.; Mutti, Maria; Morrison, Jean (July 1, 1999). "Lower Triassic large sea-floor carbonate cements: Their origin and a mechanism for the prolonged biotic recovery from the end-Permian mass extinction". Geology. 27 (7): 645–648. Bibcode:1999Geo....27..645W. doi:10.1130/0091-7613(1999)027<0645:LTLSFC>2.3.CO;2 – via
  13. ^ Anderson, J. Lawford; Morrison, Jean; Paterson, Scott R. (2012). "Post-emplacement fluids and pluton thermobarometry: Mount Stuart batholith, Washington Cascades". International Geology Review. 54 (5): 491–508. Bibcode:2012IGRv...54..491A. doi:10.1080/00206814.2012.663165. S2CID 129349975.
  14. ^ Twitter Retrieved 2022-09-25. {{cite web}}: Missing or empty |title= (help)
  15. ^ Lawrence, Charlotte (2022-11-08). "BU Graduate Workers Union rejects BU's voluntary recognition offer". The Daily Free Press. Retrieved 2022-12-05.
  16. ^ "Colgate University 2022 Commencement Speaker and Honorary Degree Recipients".
  17. ^ "Distinguished Alumni". Department of Geoscience.
  18. ^ "ISI Leader Named Remarkable Woman". Information Sciences Institute.

External links

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