Dr. Selase Williams named Provost of Lesley University
Lesley University announces the appointment of Dr. Selase W. Williams as Provost, the chief academic officer of Lesley University.
Williams comes to Lesley from Southern Connecticut State University, where he has served as Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs since 2005. He previously served for 17 years in the California State University System, beginning as Chair of the Pan African Studies Department at the Northridge campus and rising to Dean of College of Arts and Sciences at the Dominguez Hills campus.
“Selase Williams’ career is marked by excellence in areas central to Lesley’s mission,” said Lesley University President Joseph B. Moore. “He has a passion for building linkages between K-12 education institutions and higher education to improve student achievement; has a played a key role in academic programs in the arts and interdisciplinary programs; and he’s demonstrated a commitment to community partnerships that is central to the Lesley experience. I look forward to working with him in advancing the mission and goals of the university for the benefit of our students.”
While at Southern State Connecticut University, Williams worked collectively with faculty, students and staff to create a comprehensive First-Experience Program that increased graduation and retention rates, and included: the re-design of the New Student Orientation; the establishment of learning communities; a freshman seminar course “Introduction to Intellectual and Creative Inquiry”; and a Summer Teaching Academy.
He chaired the institution’s strategic planning process, and through strategic faculty recruitment and professional development increased federal and private foundation grant funding for research and research training. Outgrowths of these efforts have been the establishment of various centers, such as the Center for Excellence in Mathematics and Science, the Center for Marine and Coastal Studies, the Center for Nanotechnology, and the Center for Excellence on Autism Spectrum Disorders.
As Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at California State University, Dominiguez Hills, Williams established procedures and practices that increased faculty diversity by 25%, secured funding to create programs to prepare under-represented minority and women students for careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. Williams and his colleagues solicited funding from the Ford Foundation to support scholarship and curriculum in the new field of Global Diasporic Studies.
“I believe strongly in the transformative nature of a higher education. Given the challenges facing us in the 21st century educators, have a responsibility much more important than preparing people for jobs, we have the responsibility of preparing leaders for a highly technological, global society,” said Williams. “Lesley University, with its mission to prepare graduates to help shape a more just, humane, and sustainable world, has already positioned itself to take on larger leadership role, and extended its reach across the continent.”
“I am honored that Lesley is giving me the opportunity to contribute my skills and experience to achieving this goal and am proud to become a member of the Lesley University family,” Williams said.