Academic Leadership

As the university's chief academic officer, the provost has oversight responsibilities for all academic departments, plus academic support and resource operations. The provost relies on the collaborative support of the deans, that together with the provost, comprise WPI’s academic leadership team.

Academic Deans

Karen Kashmanian Oates, Dean of Arts and Sciences

As the inaugural arts and sciences dean at WPI, Karen Kashmanian Oates oversees seven academic departments—Biology and Biotechnology, Chemistry and Biochemistry, Computer Science, Humanities and Arts, Mathematical Sciences, Physics, and Social Science and Policy Studies--as well as interdisciplinary programs in Environmental Science and Interactive Media & Game Development. She is responsible for helping to promote WPI's growing investment in the life sciences, which includes the Gateway Park development, the Life Sciences and Bioengineering Center, and the George I. Alden Life Sciences and Bioengineering Educational Center. The former deputy director of undergraduate education at the National Science Foundation's Division of Undergraduate Studies, Oates earned her PhD in biochemistry at George Washington University.

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Office Hours: Dean of Arts and Sciences

Student & Faculty office hours are: Wednesdays from 8:30 a.m. – 9:30 a.m.
We are located in Salisbury Labs 121. You may contact Debra Ofcarcik at +1-508-831-4678 or to schedule an appointment.

David Cyganski, Dean of Engineering, ad interim

David Cyganski oversees six academic departments—Biomedical Engineering, Chemical Engineering, Civil and Environmental Engineering, Electrical and Computer Engineering, Fire Protection Engineering and Mechanical Engineering --- which include disciplinary and interdisciplinary programs such as Aerospace Engineering, Architectural Engineering, Materials Science and Engineering and Robotics Engineering. As Dean he is responsible for promoting WPI’s unique project oriented undergraduate program and the cutting edge engineering research efforts in which its faculty and graduate students engage in world class facilities such as the Gateway Park’s Biomedical Engineering and Fire Protection Engineering laboratories. Cyganski has held positions within WPI in the past ranging from Professor in Electrical and Computer Engineering to Vice President of Information Systems and Vice Provost. Cyganski, who earned his PhD in Electrical Engineering at WPI, spent most of his academic career as a researcher in the fields of machine vision, radar, communications and development of technologies for first responders.

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Office Hours: Dean of Engineering

Dean Cyganski’s office hours are by appointment. Please contact Kim Hollan at or 508-831-4694 for assistance.

School of Business

Joseph Sarkis, Dean ad interim

With full AACSB accreditation, WPI's business programs have achieved a position of significant stature. Its MBA program has been a top-ranked program by BusinessWeek since 2007. Its undergraduate programs in MIS and Entrepreneurship have been ranked #1 in BusinessWeek. As Dean, Sarkis is responsible for creating opportunities that link the School of Business more closely with other parts of the Institution and while seeking global collaborations, generating occasions where business will intersect with engineering, science, and technology. Sarkis earned his Ph.D. in Mangement Sciences from the University of Buffalo. He is a Professor of Management with teaching and research interests in operations and sustainability. He serveds on he faculties of the University of Texas at Arlington and Clark University. At Clark University he also reserved as the Interim Dean for two years. He has been a prolific researcher and author of hundreds of publications.

Academic & Corporate Development 

Stephen Flavin, Vice President and Dean

Stephen Flavin leads a portfolio that includes the Office of Corporate Engagement, Corporate and professional Education, and the Career Development Center at WPI. He has been a member of the President’s senior leadership team since 2006.  Flavin’s primary focus is to develop, foster and manage strategic relationships with industry in a comprehensive manner and across academic disciplines, delivering long-term, measurable outcomes that result in mutual economic value.  He also works in close collaboration with faculty and staff to lead all aspects of programming including continuing education and professional development, corporate education, and company-specific programs (both degree and non-degree).

Prior to assuming his current role, Flavin held senior management positions at Babson College, including Associate Dean of Babson’s School of Executive Education from 2001-2004, and concluding as the Dean, ad interim, of Executive Education, 2004-2006. Previously, he was Director of the Encapsulated Knowledge Business for Global Knowledge Network, a leading international provider of IT training and education from 1994 - 1997. Mr. Flavin holds a BS and JD from Suffolk University.

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Interdisciplinary & Global Studies Division

Richard F. Vaz, Dean

As dean of WPI’s Interdisciplinary and Global Studies Division (IGSD), Richard Vaz spends much of his time working with the 70 faculty and 600 students who participate each year in WPI’s Global Projects Program through one of our 30-plus Project Centers around the world. In addition, he works with his colleagues in IGSD and across campus to support the Interactive Qualifying Project, WPI’s interdisciplinary degree requirement. Vaz also assist students in developing individually designed majors.

Vaz received his PhD in electrical engineering from WPI, focusing on signal analysis and machine vision. He held systems and design engineering positions with the Raytheon Company, GenRad Inc., and the MITRE Corporation before joining the WPI Electrical and Computer Engineering faculty in 1987. While he enormously enjoyed teaching courses on signals, communication, controls, and design at the undergraduate and graduate levels, over time his interests in interdisciplinary teaching and learning and international education resulted in increasing involvement in WPI’s Student Project programs, both on campus and elsewhere.

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Graduate Studies

Terri A. Camesano, Dean

Terri A. Camesano oversees the Master's and PhD programs at WPI, as well as certificates, in over 20 program areas in science, engineering, and business. She is also Professor of Chemical Engineering and director of an interdisciplinary training program IGERT: Training Innovative Leaders in Biofabrication. As Dean, she is the primary advocate for graduate students and programs at WPI.

Prior to assuming this position, Camesano was Assistant Dean of Engineering. She has been on the faculty of WPI since 2000. She completed BS degrees in Chemical Engineering and Environmental Science at the University of Rochester, an MS degree in Environmental Engineering at the University of Arizona, and a PhD in Environmental Engineering at Pennsylvania State University.


Undergraduate Studies

Arthur Heinricher, Dean

Arthur Heinricher is the Dean of Undergraduate Studies and a Professor of Mathematical Sciences.  As dean, he is responsible for ensuring the quality and effectiveness of all aspects of the undergraduate experience at WPI, providing leadership and working with the faculty to implement new undergraduate curricular and structural changes. Together with the Dean of Students, he works to ensure an appropriate balance and synergy between academics and student life.  In 2012, Heinricher led the university’s self-study working with faculty and administration to facilitate the external review for institutional accreditation by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges.

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Kristin K. Wobbe, Associate Dean

Kristin Wobbe joined the WPI faculty in 1995. She was named the Leonard P. Kinnicutt Assistant Professor of Chemistry in 1999. In 2001, she received the Romeo L. Moruzzi Young Faculty Award for Innovation in Undergraduate Education and was also promoted to associate professor of chemistry. In 2007, she co-developed and co-taught Feed the World, one of the inaugural Great Problems Seminars designed to bring to the freshman year the project emphasis that is the hallmark of WPI’s innovative approach to undergraduate education. She assumed current role as associate dean of undergraduate studies in 2009 after a stint heading the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry.

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