The Faculty History Project documents faculty members who have been associated with the University of Michigan since 1837. Key in this effort is to celebrate the intellectual life of the University. This Faculty History Website is intended as a component of the effort to document the extraordinary academic achievements of Michigan’s faculty in building and sustaining one of the world’s great universities. It provides access to a comprehensive database of information concerning the thousands of faculty members who have served the University of Michigan.
Find out more.

The Bentley Historical Library serves as the official archives for the University.


Donald R. Brown
Regents' Proceedings 432

Donald R. Brown, professor of psychology in the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts and research scientist in the Center for Research on Learning and Teaching, will retire from active faculty status on June 30, 1996.

A native of Albany, New York, Professor Brown enlisted in the U.S. Army in 1943 and was among the first American soldiers to arrive at the Dachau concentration camp. After World War II, he received his A.B. degree from Harvard University in 1948 and his Ph.D. degree from the University of California at Berkeley in 1951. From 1951-64, he was on the faculty of Bryn Mawr College. He joined the University of Michigan in 1964 as professor of psychology and research scientist at the Center for Research on Learning and Teaching (CRLT).

While on the faculty at Bryn Mawr, Professor Brown collaborated with Nevitt Sanford on a famous longitudinal study of Vassar women. His collaborations put Professor Brown in the middle of one of the most exciting theoretical debates in social psychology at the time, involving the "new look in perception." His research findings on perception and social judgment were published in an article in the Journal of Abnormal Psychology in 1952.

During the early 1960s, Professor Brown's research had motivated him to consider alternative educational models; so upon arriving at the University of Michigan in 1964, he became a founder of the Pilot Program. In 1967, he also helped create the Residential College. It was his involvement with the Inteflex Program, however, which allowed him to combine his intellectual interests in understanding the factors that shape students' educational experiences and outcomes with his social and political concerns about educational efforts. He co-directed the Inteflex Program from 1973-94- and was responsible for the LS&A undergraduate component. He also served as director of CRLT from 1983-94. The one major leitmotiv of Professor Brown's work is that intelligence and intellectual ability alone are not the single predictors of academic success; personality and social factors, along with structural and environmental factors, also play a crucial role in determining which students will live up to their potentials.

The Regents now salute this dedicated faculty member by naming Donald R. Brown professor emeritus of psychology and research scientist emeritus.