Katherine Bergeron became the 11th president of Connecticut College on Jan. 1, 2014.
Bergeron is a passionate teacher, an award-winning scholar and a talented administrator with a record of successful innovation in liberal education. From 2006-2013 she served as Brown University’s dean of the college, the chief academic officer for undergraduate education, and is credited with renewing the University’s focus on teaching and advising during a period of historic growth. Under her leadership, Brown strengthened the undergraduate concentrations; transformed academic and career advising; bolstered support for underrepresented students; created innovative programs in public service; launched initiatives in online learning; and developed new approaches to undergraduate research, STEM education, and the internationalization of the curriculum.
Trained as a music historian, Bergeron was recruited to join Brown University as professor of music in 2004 after 12 years as a member of the music faculty at the University of California, Berkeley. She was named chair of the music department at Brown in 2005 and, a year later, appointed dean of the college. Earlier in her career, she taught at Tufts University and at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Bergeron’s interdisciplinary research focuses on French cultural history of the 19th and 20th centuries, with an emphasis on music and language. She is the author and editor of numerous scholarly articles and books, including two prize-winning monographs, Decadent Enchantments (University of California Press, 1998), about the revival of Gregorian chant, and Voice Lessons (Oxford University Press, 2010), a study of French language education, linguistic science and the emergence of the vocal art known as la mélodie française.
Throughout her career, Bergeron’s teaching and research have been enlivened by performance. A singer of eclectic tastes, she has performed Gregorian chant, the blues, the court music of central Java, contemporary pop music, experimental music, and French art song. Bergeron and her husband Joseph Butch Rovan, a composer and multimedia artist who chairs the music department at Brown, performed Rovan’s experimental work, “Vis-à-vis,” at the 2003 biennial symposium of Connecticut College's Ammerman Center for Arts & Technology. Rovan was an Ammerman Center visiting artist in 2008.
A native of Old Lyme, Conn., Bergeron is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Wesleyan University with a Bachelor of Arts in music. She earned her master’s and doctoral degrees in music history at Cornell University. She is a member of the Editorial Advisory Board of “Liberal Education,” the flagship journal of the Association of American Colleges and Universities.