Key departments realigned to meet new opportunities

Stephen W. Director, provost and senior vice president for academic affairs and Philly Mantella, senior vice president for enrollment management and student affairs, have announced the reorganization of several units in order to strengthen Northeastern University’s ability to advance its Academic Plan.

Much of the reorganization is driven by the need to integrate key academic functions. For example, all experiential learning programs—including an expanding array of global opportunities—will be brought together under a single vice provost. Co-op will be aligned more closely with career services to strengthen the ability of students to turn successful co-ops into job opportunities. These changes, and others, will better support today’s students.

Other moves are designed to strengthen the Northeastern’s position as a leading research institution with doctoral programs that align with the university’s primary research themes of health, security and sustainability.

Specific changes are as follows:

Undergraduate Education
Bruce Ronkin, professor of music and former associate dean and then acting dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, has been appointed vice provost for undergraduate education. In this new role, Dr. Ronkin will manage a portfolio that integrates the campus-based undergraduate academic program with co-op, career services, the Co-op Connections program, and a broad range of international programs, including study abroad, Dialogue of Civilizations and international co-op.

The integration of these departments and programs will advance the university’s goal of providing all undergraduates with a global experience. The Registrar’s Office will also now report to Dr. Ronkin.

“Consistent with our history, Northeastern is adapting to better meet the challenges we face in today’s world,” Director said. “By integrating many of these academic programs and departments, we can offer our students a richer experience, with particular emphasis on global opportunities.”

Susan Powers-Lee, who has served as vice provost for undergraduate education for the last five years, is being appointed vice provost for honors and first year programs. This appointment will provide leadership in two areas of growing importance to Northeastern: the Honors Program and the first year experience. In this role, Dr. Powers-Lee will have responsibility for programs serving undeclared students and for the university’s General Studies Program. She will also oversee peer tutoring operations and Army ROTC.

The position of vice provost for international affairs, held by Robert Lowndes, is being redefined to focus on Northeastern’s global strategy and the development of partnerships between Northeastern and institutions located abroad. In keeping with this new focus, this position is renamed vice provost for global relations.

Vice provost for academic affairs Mary Loeffelholz will take over responsibility for the Center for Innovation and Excellence in Teaching and Learning. This transition will make more prominent the Center’s role in faculty development across the university, in support of both undergraduate and graduate programs. 

Research and Graduate Education
Vice provost for research Melvin Bernstein has been appointed to the new position of senior vice provost for research and graduate education. In this position, Bernstein will assume the duties of vice provost for graduate education Luis Falcon, who is returning to the faculty to pursue his research and teaching interests. Combining research and graduate education will strengthen the linkage between the university’s doctoral programs and its research enterprise. This change will also better position Northeastern to develop new Ph.D. programs aligned with the university’s major research thrusts and to recruit outstanding Ph.D. candidates into existing and new programs. In these and allied efforts Bernstein will be supported by an associate vice provost for graduate education.

Recruitment of students for the university’s professional master’s degree programs will be shifted to enrollment management under the leadership of vice president for enrollment Jane Brown. Brown will work closely with each of the colleges to market their master’s programs and with Bernstein to broaden the visibility and attractiveness of all Northeastern’s graduate programs. While individual colleges will retain responsibility for graduate admissions decisions, this change will enhance efforts to reach and serve master’s students interested in online programs and assist academic units across the university in offering programs both nationally and internationally.

Student Life and Wellness
Several student-related departments are being combined in order to achieve a more integrated and holistic approach to student life and wellness. Associate vice president for student affairs Madeleine Estabrook will lead University Health and Counseling Services, Disability Resources, the Learning Disabilities Program, the Office of Prevention & Education and Student-Athlete Support Services. Estabrook will also serve as interim vice president of student affairs as a national search is launched.

“As part of our student-centered approach, this reorganization will make it much easier for our students to access the valuable resources they need,” Mantella said. “These changes have been guided by what is best for our students.”