Lisa Lynch appointed Brandeis provost

Heller School dean and internationally renowned economist to become the university’s senior academic officer

Photo/Mike Lovett

Lisa M. Lynch

Brandeis University President Frederick M. Lawrence announced today that he has appointed Lisa M. Lynch, dean of the Heller School for Social Policy and Management at Brandeis, as provost and senior vice president for academic affairs.

“Lisa brings to the provost position a unique set of qualities and achievements, including deep intellectual curiosity, success in senior leadership positions in academia and the government, and a proven ability to articulate and implement strategic vision, that will enable her to be highly effective in this critical role,” said Lawrence.

Her appointment, which was approved by the Board of Trustees, is effective Oct. 29. She will succeed Steven A.N. Goldstein ‘78, who announced last spring his intention to step down as provost.

“I am extremely grateful for Steve’s tireless work on behalf of the university and his commitment to furthering our institutional pursuit of groundbreaking research, scholarship and artistic output,” said Lawrence. “His impact on our campus has been great and it will be lasting.”

Lynch, who is also the Maurice B. Hexter Professor of Social and Economic Policy, will be the university’s chief academic officer and the second-ranking member of the administration. She will oversee many of the university’s senior officers, including the deans of the College of Arts and Sciences, the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, the Heller School for Social Policy and Management, the Brandeis International Business School, and the vice president for the Rabb School of Continuing Studies.

“I look forward to working with the president and the entire Brandeis community to ensure that we build on our deep base of extraordinary accomplishments in our educational programs, scholarship, and artistic expression,” said Lynch.

Goldstein, who remains a senior vice president and special advisor to the president, said the appointment of Lynch supports the positive trajectory of the university. “Lisa will be a spectacular provost. She has exactly the aptitudes we sought—a gift for administration, an instinct for the cutting-edge of scholarship and a talent for fostering the success of students and faculty,” said Goldstein.

Lynch is a former chief economist for the U.S. Department of Labor in the Clinton administration and an internationally recognized scholar on employment issues. She is a member of Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick’s Council of Economic Advisors, she recently completed her term as president of the Labor and Employment Relations Association, and she is a former chair of the board of directors of the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston (2007-2009). Lynch is a research associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research, the Economic Policy Institute, and IZA in Bonn, Germany, and a member of the National Academies’ Committee on National Statistics. Prior to being appointed dean of the Heller School, she served on the faculty of Tufts University, MIT, The Ohio State University, and the University of Bristol. Lynch publishes and presents extensively on issues such as the impact of technological change and organizational innovation (especially training) on productivity and wages, the determinants of youth unemployment and the school-to-work transition.

Lynch earned her bachelor’s degree in economics and political science from Wellesley College and a Master of Science and Ph.D. in economics from the London School of Economics.

As dean of Heller, she increased graduate student financial support and fostered greater interaction between faculty, research staff and students. She also led the creation of the school’s strategic plan, which includes a diversity enhancement initiative to develop programs, policies and procedures that will permanently embed equity, inclusion and diversity into the fabric of Heller's academic and work environment.

“Advancing diversity is something that I have been engaged in throughout my professional career – in my research, professional service, policy engagement, and most recently as dean at Heller,” said Lynch. “I do not believe a university can claim to be academically excellent if it does not advance diversity and promote social inclusion. This will be an important priority for me at Brandeis in my new role as Provost.”

Under the leadership of Lynch, Heller has seen a significant increase in graduate enrollment, including dual degree programs across the university. Her efforts to raise the school’s public profile led to the re-establishment of the Heller School’s ranking as one of the top 10 graduate schools of social policy in the country.

Other departments and offices reporting to the provost include the registrar, student academic services, the chief information officer, library and technology services, and the directors of the Rose Art Museum, the office of the arts and more than 30 research centers and institutes.

Lynch, a resident of Newton, Mass, is also a member of the board of directors for United Way of Massachusetts and Merrimack Valley and the Economic Policy Institute in Washington, D.C.

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