The administration provides services that support the academic mission of WPI. These services include governance of the academic program, as well as the oversight of finances, budget, facilities, human resources, and campus safety. We strive to foster a sense of collaboration, and to provide a diverse, vibrant community in which to learn, live, and work together.

Laurie A. Leshin

Laurie A. Leshin

President

Office of the President

Office: Boynton Hall, 1st Floor

Phone: 508-831-5200

As WPI’s 16th president—and the first woman to serve in the role—Laurie Leshin is committed to elevating WPI’s impact in communities worldwide. She brings over 20 years of leadership and government service experience to the role, which she assumed in 2014, and combines a lifelong love of learning and exploration with a strong track record of igniting action to advance critical institutions and programs. ... View Profile
Bruce Bursten

Bruce Bursten

Provost

Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry

Office of the Provost

Office: Provost Office, Boynton Hall

As provost of WPI, a position he’s held since 2015, Bruce Bursten is responsible for the university’s academic and research programs. He oversees the quality of teaching, scholarship, and research, working with the university’s deans and professional staff to assure the continued excellence of WPI’s programs. In addition to his duties as provost and senior vice president, he teaches chemistry and biochemistry at WPI. He is the author or co-author of more than 160 research papers, and has presented over 200 research seminars at universities, labs, and companies. ... View Profile
David Bunis

David Bunis

Senior VP & General Counsel

Phone: 508-831-4993

David Bunis serves as the senior vice president and general counsel at WPI. As the university’s first chief legal officer, Bunis brings decades of legal experience to the role. A member of the senior management team, Bunis helps guide WPI through the full scope of legal issues facing universities, including enterprise risk management, Title IX compliance, intellectual property, disciplinary investigations, institutional governance and compliance, real estate, and more.

As a practicing attorney, Bunis has represented some of the largest nonprofits and universities throughout New England. He spent five years at Brandeis University as chief legal officer and secretary of the corporation. Prior to arriving at WPI, Bunis was a partner at two Boston law firms: Donnelly, Conroy, & Gelhaar, LLP; and Dwyer & Collora, LLP. He started his legal career at Nutter, McClennen, & Fish, LLP, the law firm founded by the future Supreme Court Justice Louis D. Brandeis.

Bunis has received many accolades, including being named one of the top 100 lawyers in Massachusetts and “Lawyer of the Year” by Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly.

Bunis attended the London School of Economics, received a BA cum laude from Brandeis University, and JD cum laude from the Boston University School of Law.

Philip Clay

Philip Clay

VP for Student Affairs

Dean of Students

Phone: 508-831-5507, 508-831-5201

Philip Clay has worked in student affairs for 33 years; he currently serves as vice president for student affairs and dean of students at WPI. With the dean of undergraduate studies, he works to ensure an appropriate balance and synergy between academic and student life. He oversees a wide array of services and programs designed to support WPI’s 6,000 full- and part-time undergraduate and graduate students, including International Students and Scholars; Residential and Dining Services; Campus Center and Student Activities; Fraternities and Sororities; Health Services; Student Development and Counseling; and Disability Services.

He also oversees Judicial Affairs and the WPI CARE Team, a group of professional staff from across the university that meets weekly to address the safety, welfare, and academic success of students. He is co-chair of WPI’s Emergency Preparedness Team, where he coordinates the university’s response to critical incidents and emergency situations.

Prior to joining the WPI community in 1993, he worked at SUNY Potsdam and Binghamton University. He holds a BA from St. Lawrence University and an MA in art history from Binghamton University.

Stephen Flavin

Stephen Flavin

VP, Academic & Corp Engagement

Phone: 508-831-5095

Stephen Flavin has been a member of the WPI President’s Senior Leadership Team since 2006, and currently serves as Vice President and Dean of Academic and Corporate Engagement at WPI, a position he’s held since 2009. In this role, he drives economic development for the university and leads several campus departments including the Office of Corporate Engagement, Corporate and Professional Education, the Biomanufacturing Education and Training Center, and the Career Development Center.

He frequently presents to executive groups and industry conferences, and has served on the board of directors of UNICON (International University Consortium for Executive Education) and NDIA New England. He currently serves on the board of directors of MassEcon and co-chairs the talent development team of the Massachusetts High Technology Council.

Prior to joining the WPI community, Flavin held senior management positions at Babson College, including associate dean of Babson’s School of Executive Education and dean of executive education. He also served as director of encapsulated knowledge business for Global Knowledge Network. He earned a BS and a JD at Suffolk University.

Dana Harmon

Dana Harmon

Director, PE, Rec & Athletics

Physical Education, Recreation & Athletics

Phone: 508-831-5243

Dana Harmon has served as the director of physical education, recreation, and athletics at WPI since 2002, and is the first woman to serve in the role. As director, she oversees WPI’s NCAA Division III varsity athletic program of 20 sports teams and more than 650 student-athletes, the physical education program for the university’s 4,200 undergraduates, a recreation program with over 40 club sports for more than 700 students, and an intramural program with over 1,500 participants.

Under her leadership, the physical education curriculum has expanded, club sport participation has grown exponentially, and the WPI varsity athletic program has experienced unprecedented success and achievement in the classroom, in competition, and in the community. She has also provided her expertise and developmental support for the construction of over $100 million in facility projects, including the Sports and Recreation Center, the rooftop field/parking garage complex, Alumni Stadium, and more.

Prior to joining the WPI community, Harmon served as associate director and acting director of athletics at Wellesley College. She earned a BA in business administration at Bellarmine University where she played Division II basketball, and later received her MS in sport management from UMass Amherst.

Michelle Jones-Johnson

Michelle Jones-Johnson

VP for Talent/CDO

Human Resources

Phone: 508-831-6863

Michelle Jones-Johnson is an innovative human capital strategist, with an outstanding reputation as a visionary and responsive leader. She currently serves as the Vice President, Talent and Chief Diversity Officer at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI). In this role, Jones-Johnson is focused on creating comprehensive and consultative approaches to attract, develop and retain diverse talent across the Institute.  Jones-Johnson will also lead the Institute’s efforts to design employee experiences that strengthen engagement and build an inclusive culture.    She has earned a Master’s in Business Administration from Syracuse University, a Masters in Organizational Management from the University of Phoenix, and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology from The University of Michigan. Michelle holds certifications as a Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR), Certified Professional in Labor Relations (CPLR), and is a certified assessment facilitator through the Center for Creative Leadership in North Carolina and a Certified Leadership Coach.   With 25 years of experience in HR strategy, leadership coaching, talent management, and performance consulting, Michelle has lead human resource teams in both public and private organizations within a variety of industries to success. Michelle has worked in a multitude of business structures—including healthcare, higher education, legal, engineering, architecture and sales. Michelle maintains active memberships with the Society for Human Resource Management and the National Public Employer Labor Relations Association.  ​ Committed to serving her community, Michelle sits on several local boards including The Hanover Theatre and the Reliant Medical Foundation. She is a proud member of The Boston Chapter of the Links, Inc. (part of an international, not-for-profit Corporation consisting of over 12,000 professional Women of Color) and Delta Sigma Theta Sorority.

William McAvoy

William McAvoy

VP for University Advancement

Advancement

Phone: 508-831-5337

Bill McAvoy joined WPI in 2012 as vice president for university advancement, working closely with WPI’s president and the board of trustees to support strategic institutional priorities. He is responsible for all advancement activities, including fundraising and relations with individual donors, foundations, government, and WPI’s 38,000 alumni in 104 countries. Under his leadership, WPI recently completed a $248 million campaign, surpassing the goal of $200 million.

Prior to joining WPI, he spent 11 years as director of development at the Museum of Fine Arts (MFA) in Boston, working with the MFA's director, board of trustees, and senior management while also overseeing all aspects of fundraising for the museum. He has also held senior advancement positions at the Boston Museum of Science, Pine Street Inn, and Plimoth Plantation.

He has sat on boards of directors for several organizations, including the Association of Fundraising Professionals, the ALS Association, the Plymouth County Development Council, and currently the Peter Farricker Spirit Foundation.

McAvoy received a BS in biology from the University of Connecticut, and a graduate degree in management with a concentration in nonprofit administration from Suffolk University.

Amy Morton

Amy Morton

Vice President, Chief of Staff

Marketing & Communications

Phone: 508-831-6556

As chief marketing officer, a position she’s held since 2011, Amy Morton uses her skills in market research, budgeting, event programming, and brand development to work closely with the senior leadership team to develop and implement a comprehensive university-wide marketing strategy and brand identity for WPI. She is also responsible for driving new revenue and meeting key performance indicators for WPI through improved processes, analysis, and reporting, and by improving communication strategies for WPI products and strategic initiatives.

Before joining WPI, Morton was vice president of marketing at Pearson Education, where she directed the marketing efforts of a $640M STEM publishing program. She holds teaching certificates in elementary and special education in Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and California, and a teaching degree from Providence College.

Jeffrey Solomon

Jeffrey Solomon

Executive Vice President/CFO

Finance & Operations

Phone: 508-831-5288

As executive vice president and chief financial officer, Jeffrey Solomon leads the Office of Finance and Operations in managing the financial, physical, and technological resources of the university. He is responsible for overseeing WPI’s accounting and treasury operations; budget and planning; financial accounting and reporting; construction, renovation, and maintenance of the university’s facilities; endowment and investment management; compliance and risk management; campus police; and IT and the Unified Digital Campus Initiative. He serves as the principal liaison with the Audit, Budget, and Finance; Executive Compensation; Facilities and Campus Infrastructure; and Investment committees of the WPI Board of Trustees.

Prior to joining WPI in 2005, he worked at Brandeis University for 11 years, most recently as its vice president, chief investment officer, and chief risk officer. A certified public accountant and a former audit manager at Coopers & Lybrand, he received degrees from Brandeis University and Bentley College.

Kristin Tichenor

Kristin Tichenor

Senior Vice President

Phone: 508-831-6720

As senior vice president, Kristin Tichenor oversees WPI’s enrollment division and leads the implementation of WPI’s strategic plan, Elevate Impact. Her portfolio includes graduate and undergraduate enrollment services, institutional research, the registrar’s office, pre-collegiate outreach programs and multicultural affairs. Under her leadership, WPI has seen dramatic increases in application volume, selectivity, quality and diversity. Tichenor led WPI’s adoption of a test-optional admissions policy, which is now in its tenth year.

Tichenor is an advocate for equity, access and diversity in higher education, with op-eds and articles appearing in publications such as the Washington Post and the Chronicle of Higher Education. She is founder and convener of the College Admissions Collaborative Highlighting Engineering and Technology (CACHET), a higher education forum dedicated to promoting opportunities for students in engineering and technology. She has served on the College Board’s Colloquium Planning Committee and New England Regional Council, and has been active in the National Association of College and Admissions Counseling (NACAC) and the National Consortium of Secondary STEM Schools (NCSSS).

Tichenor earned her Bachelor’s degree from Carleton College, her Master’s degree from Clark University and is currently pursuing her doctoral degree at the University of Pennsylvania.

Bogdan M. Vernescu

Bogdan M. Vernescu

Vice Provost for Research

Professor

Office of the Provost

Office: Boynton Hall

Phone: 508-831-6411

Bogdan Vernescu was appointed to the position of vice provost for research in 2016, with the goal of enhancing faculty research efforts and increasing support for research at WPI from government agencies, corporations, and foundations. His responsibilities include supervising the operation and non-financial support of WPI’s research enterprise, including oversight of university-wide research institutes and centers, and the offices that administer research sponsorship and intellectual property and innovation. ... View Profile