2009-2010

WPI Announces Executive Appointments, Promotions

Promotions recognize outstanding leadership in key areas of institutional strategy, corporate relationships, and academic excellence

WORCESTER, Mass. - May 26, 2010 - Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has announced the promotions of three members of the university's senior leadership team. 

Kristin Tichenor has been promoted to senior vice president for enrollment and institutional strategy. Since 2007 she has served as vice president for enrollment management. Tichenor's additional responsibilities will include overseeing the university's Division of Marketing and Communications and helping guide the Institute on major strategic challenges and opportunities.

Through Tichenor's leadership, WPI's applications for admission, both undergraduate and graduate, have increased dramatically. She has been highly successful in attracting women and underrepresented minorities to the university. Applications from women have grown 140 percent over the past five years, while applications from underrepresented students of color have increased by 170. The aggregated GPA of last year’s class was 3.8, with 345 members scoring perfect 4.0 GPAs.

Stephen Flavin has been promoted to vice president for academic and corporate development, in addition to his continuing role as associate provost. He has served since 2007 as WPI's dean of Corporate and Professional Education (CPE). In his expanded role, Flavin will have primary responsibility for all of WPI's corporate relations, with an emphasis on developing mutually rewarding, rich relationships with the wide variety of WPI's corporate partners. He will also oversee all of WPI's entrepreneurial academic programs, such as CPE, summer programs, and distance learning.

Flavin more than doubled revenues for CPE in four years, while increasing the number of new corporate programs by 300 percent. He has also promoted the development of new programs in Systems Engineering and Biomanufacturing. Through his leadership, CPE has taken a leading role in workforce development in the Northeast by working with industry and government to provide critical workforce education and training.  He also played a key role in attracting a $6.6 million grant from the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center to support the next phase of life sciences development at Gateway Park.

Following Professor John Orr's decision to conclude his service as provost and senior vice president of WPI on June 30, Professor Eric Overstrom will become Provost ad interim effective July 1. Overstrom joined WPI in 2004 and has served since then as professor of biology and head of the Department of Biology and Biotechnology. Orr, who served as provost for three years, will return to his position as professor of electrical and computer engineering.

Overstrom's leadership in the life sciences at WPI was instrumental to the creation of the Life Sciences and Bioengineering Center at Gateway Park (LSBC), which opened in 2007. Over the past five years, with Overstrom leading the charge, WPI has brought outstanding faculty and students into the life sciences programs, and has tripled research funding in this area.  Through his leadership, the LSBC has come to serve not only as the school's focal point for graduate education and research in the life sciences and related bioengineering fields, but also as a strong contributor to the continuing development of life sciences industries in the Commonwealth.

"These promotions recognize outstanding leadership in areas key to the future development of WPI—institutional strategy, corporate relationships, and academic excellence," said WPI President Dennis Berkey.  "Together with the recent creation of three academic deanships (in engineering, business, and arts and sciences), these promotions position WPI for continuing dynamic growth in areas that are important, both to WPI's academic programs and to the economic development in the region. I am grateful for the past contributions of each of these individuals and excited at the prospects for their continuing achievements."

The promotions of Tichenor and Flavin were effective immediately. The appointment of Overstrom will be effective July 1.

May 26, 2010

Contact: Eileen Brangan Mell, Director of Public Relations, +1-508-831-6785, ebmell@wpi.edu