Aaron Brower (born January 9, 1958) is serving as interim chancellor at the University of Wisconsin Colleges & University of Wisconsin-Extension. Brower formerly served as interim provost and vice chancellor at the University of Wisconsin-Extension and as special assistant to UW System President Kevin P. Reilly for new educational strategies, where he created and led the innovative UW Flexible Option Program, the first competency-based educational model delivered by a public higher education system. Previously, he served as vice provost for teaching and learning at UW-Madison, and he continues there as a professor in the School of Social Work, Integrated Liberal Studies, and Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis. He received his B.A. in Psychology from the University of Michigan in 1980, and by 1985 had received his M.S.W., M.A. in Psychology, and Ph.D. in Social Work and Psychology from the University of Michigan.
Brower's early work focused on small groups and social cognition, producing four books, including Social Cognition and Individual Change (ISBN 0-8039-3884-5) and What's Social about Social Cognition? (ISBN 0-8039-7205-9), both by Sage Publications. His work evolved to study group and community processes related to college life as experienced by students from diverse backgrounds, student drinking, and college student success.
Brower's research finds that academic and social outcomes are produced when college environments blend in-class and out-of-class learning and experiences to create communities of students, faculty, and staff who share common learning goals (i.e., learning communities). He has been instrumental in the creation of many residential and nonresidential learning communities at UW–Madison and across the U.S., including first-year student transition programs, summer "bridge" and orientation programs, undergraduate research scholars programs, and living-learning programs. Along with his colleague, Karen K. Inkelas, he has created the first national survey and study of living-learning programs.
- Brower at the National Study of Living-Learning Programs
- Brower at the University of Wisconsin–Madison School of Social Work