WPI Names Janet Begin Richardson Vice President for Student Affairs

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE/September 13, 2004
Contact: WPI Media Relations, +1-508-831-5706

WORCESTER, Mass. -- September 13, 2004 -- The Executive Committee of the Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) Board of Trustees has appointed Janet Begin Richardson as the university's new vice president for Student Affairs. Richardson rises to this position after a distinguished 24-year career in Student Affairs at WPI, most recently as acting vice president of Student Affairs and dean of Student Life. She had been serving as acting vice president since May, and she succeeds her mentor, Bernard H. Brown, an institution at WPI for 38 years, who passed away in August after a brief illness. She is the first woman to be named to a vice presidential post at WPI.

As vice president for Student Affairs, Richardson is responsible for the oversight and delivery of student services to more than 3,600 undergraduates and graduate students. This includes management of the Division of Student Affair's six departments: Admissions (undergraduate), Career Development Center, Enrollment Management, Financial Aid, Physical Education and Athletics, and Student Life. She supervises six department heads and a professional staff of more than 80. She is also a member of the WPI President's Cabinet, and numerous university committees.

"Janet Richardson has had a long and distinguished tenure at WPI as a truly outstanding student affairs professional," says WPI President Dennis D. Berkey. "Her exceptional qualities were evident to me long before I joined WPI, and have been doubly evident in the period since my arrival. Her general management abilities, as well as her expertise in the areas within the Student Affairs portfolio, make this a well-deserved promotion."

Richardson joined WPI in 1980 as assistant dean of students. During her more than 20 years in Student Affairs, she has touched upon all aspects of student life, and has held the positions of assistant vice president for Student Affairs, dean of Student Life, associate dean of students and assistant dean of students. She has supervised countless offices and programs, such as the Campus Center and Student Activities, Diversity and Women's Programs, English as a Second Language, Greek life, Health Services, Healthy Alternatives, International Student Services, Judicial Affairs, leadership programs, Minority Affairs, parents' programs, New Student Orientation, Residential Services, and Student Development and Counseling.

Off campus, Richardson is involved with numerous professional organizations associated with student services, including the American Council on Education (ACE), the Association of Student Judicial Affairs (ASJA), and the Massachusetts College Personnel Association (MCPA). Richardson's contributions to her field have been recognized by MCPA, which honored her with its Distinguished Accomplishment Award and Outstanding Service Award. She is often asked to speak on subjects such as computer misuse and computer harassment, and the use of technology in student affairs.

Richardson earned a B.A. degree in history and education from Salem State College, and an M.S. and Ed.S. in student personnel and counseling services from the State University of New York at Albany. She resides in Holden, Mass., with her husband, Donald – a systems librarian at WPI's George C. Gordon Library – and her son, Matthew.