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The Office of the Provost

The Provost serves as the university’s Chief Academic Officer and Vice President of Academic Affairs.

Donna Maria Blancero, PhD
Donna Maria Blancero, MS, PhD
Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs
Rauch 318
+1 (781) 891-2357

Donna Maria has held numerous academic leadership positions at Bentley since joining the university in 2010. She is a professor of Management and, prior to her appointment as Provost, served as the interim dean of business. Before joining Bentley, Donna Maria held leadership, faculty and research roles at Arizona State University, Cornell University, Touro University and the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. Donna Maria is the founding editor of The Business Journal of Hispanic Research and has received numerous awards including the Presidential Award from the Society for Advancement of Chicanos/Hispanics and Native Americans in Science and the National Society of Hispanic MBA’s Brillante Award for Hispanic Education. Donna Maria received her PhD in Industrial and Labor Relations from Cornell University, master’s degree from New York Institute of Technology, and bachelor’s degree from SUNY, College at Old Westbury.

Alex Hirs
Alex Hirs
Chief of Staff to the Provost and Director of Academic Administration and Planning
Rauch 300A
+1 (781) 891-2964

Alex works as a close partner and advisor to the Provost. He collaborates with other members of academic leadership to set, track, and assess strategic goals and coordinates communications for Academic Affairs. Alex launched his professional career at Bentley in 2012, and prior to joining the Office of the Provost he served as the Assistant Director for Strategic Initiatives in Students Affairs and as the Project Director for a federal grant issued by the Office on Violence Against Women. Alex has engaged in a variety of programs that address diversity, equity, and inclusion, such as co-facilitating an annual Diversity Retreat for faculty and staff; co-instructing courses for undergraduate and graduate students that focus on inclusive management strategies; and leading sustained, intergroup dialogues with students, faculty, and staff. Alex received his Master of Science degree from Miami University and his Bachelor of Arts degree from Boston College.

Roberta Francis
Roberta Francis
Executive Assistant, Office of the Provost
+1 (781) 891-2155

Roberta provides effective administrative support to the Office of the Provost and coordinates the Provost’s activities and calendar. She joined Bentley in 2019 with many years of experience in higher education. Before joining Bentley, Roberta worked at Babson College and at UMass Medical School.

Mystica Alexander
Mystica M. Alexander, JD
Associate Provost for Research and Faculty
Morison 280
+1 (781) 891-2202

Mystica helps to develop strategy and coordinate offerings that bolster faculty research and pedagogy. She directly oversees the Office of Sponsored Programs and the Library, and she supports the efforts of faculty who serve on the Research Council and the Teaching and Learning Council. Since joining the Bentley community in 2004, Mystica has been engaged in curriculum development, program design, and a variety of institutional service activities. Prior to her appointment as Associate Provost for Research and Faculty, Mystica served as Chair of the Law, Taxation, and Financial Planning Department.  She also served as the Chair of the Curriculum Implementation Committee and was a member of the Promotion and Tenure Committee.  Mystica’s work has been recognized with several awards including two Bentley “Innovation in Teaching” awards and the Academy of Legal Studies in Business Charles M. Hewitt Master Teacher award – the most illustrious teaching award in her discipline. Mystica received her law degree from Harvard Law School.

Cathy Carlson
Cathy Carlson, EdD
Associate Provost for Undergraduate Education
Jennison 336
+1 (781) 891-2803

Cathy plays a crucial role in fostering an engaging learning environment for students. She oversees the Office of Academic Services and the Registrar’s Office and is also responsible for providing academic advising and other academic support services (e.g., new student orientation) to graduate students. Cathy joined Bentley in 2014 and has worked in higher education for many years. She spent a decade working in Career Services, including serving as a premed and prelaw advisor. Cathy has worked in a variety of settings including a community college, as a grant administrator for the Department of Education in Vermont and as Assistant Dean at the School of Business Administration at the University of Vermont. Cathy earned her doctorate in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies at the University of Vermont, her master’s degree in Counselor Education at Penn State University and her Bachelor’s degree in Communications at Muhlenberg College.

Otgo Erhemjamts, PhD
Otgo Erhemjamts, PhD
Associate Vice President and Associate Provost for Strategic Initiatives, Professor of Finance
Smith 206
+1 (781) 891-2823

Otgo focuses on growth opportunities in masters and certificate programs for the university that have significant involvement with external partners. She has served in various leadership roles at Bentley University since joining the university in 2005, and prior to her current appointment she served as the Associate Dean of Business. Reflective of her STEM and finance backgrounds, Otgo’s research and teaching interests have spanned multiple disciplines: corporate finance, risk management and insurance, corporate governance, corporate social responsibility, and sustainable investing. Her research has appeared in highly-regarded finance, economics, risk management and insurance, and business ethics journals. Otgo received her PhD in Finance from Georgia State University, MS in Economics from University of Idaho, and MS and BS degrees in Information Technology from Mongolian University of Science and Technology. Otgo serves on the Board of Trustees and Museum Advisors at the Museum of Science in Boston, one of the world’s largest science centers and New England’s most highly attended cultural institution. She serves as a co-chair on its Women in Science and Engineering (WISE) committee.

Robyn Betts
Robyn Betts, MBA, PMP
Executive Director, Strategic Projects and Planning
Smith 202
+1 (781) 891-2790

​​​​​​Robyn is responsible for the planning and execution of complex, diverse, and large-scale initiatives connected to the strategic plan and Academic Affairs. Robyn joined Bentley in 2016 in order to establish Bentley's first Project Management Office, partnering with many across the university to establish project evaluation and governance processes, as well as introducing formalized project management practices.  Before joining Bentley, Robyn was a senior member of the Information Technology team at Babson College, where she worked for over 13 years. Robyn graduated from Grinnell College with a BA, holds an MBA from Babson's F.W. Olin Graduate School of Business, and is a certified Project Management Professional.

Erin Kelley
Erin Kelley, PhD
Director of Assurance of Learning & Accreditation
Smith 208
+1 (781) 891-2329

​​​​​​Erin designs, develops, and implements strategies to assess and improve the quality and effectiveness of curricular learning.  She is also responsible for ensuring strategic alignment and compliance with our New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE) and EFMD Quality Improvement System (EQUIS) accreditations, and supports the Office of the Dean of Business in Bentley’s AACSB accreditation.  Erin has been a member of the Bentley community since 2008, previously working in the Residential Center and the Office of the Dean of Student Affairs.  Her prior roles included serving as the Director of Student Conduct and the University’s Title IX Coordinator.  Erin earned her PhD in Higher Education from the University of Massachusetts Boston, and her Master of Education and Bachelor of Arts degrees from the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Erin is also a proud recipient of Bentley’s Rainbow Award.

Christine Lyalko
Christine Lyalko, MS, CPA
Executive Director of Finance, Academic Affairs
Lindsay 21H
+1 (781) 891-2709

​​​​​​Christine is responsible for the financial management for the Division of Academic Affairs and oversees the Business Service Center. She joined Bentley in 2016 as the Controller and served in that position for 3 years before transitioning to her current role in Academic Affairs. Prior to her time at Bentley, Christine was an auditor in public accounting, focusing her time on both the financial and nonprofit industries, including higher education (with Bentley as one of her clients).  She then followed her passion for the university setting, spending 5 years at Suffolk University as Associate Controller.  Christine is a Certified Public Accountant and a graduate of the Susan Vogt Leadership Fellows Program. Christine received her master’s degree from the University of Massachusetts Boston and bachelor’s degree from the University of Massachusetts Amherst.

Natalie Schlegel
Natalie Schlegel, MBA ‘08
Director of International Education
Adamian Academic Center 161
+1 (781) 891-3474

​​​​​​Natalie leads the Cronin Office of International Education team that manages Bentley’s international partnerships and a diverse portfolio of education abroad programs that serve approximately 700 outgoing and incoming students annually. Natalie came to Bentley in 2003 as an Education Abroad Advisor. Previously, Natalie held positions at Harvard University’s LASPAU, where she supported Fulbright grantees from Latin America, and at EF Foundation for Foreign Study, where she managed a volunteer team in the placement of high school exchange students with US host families. She counts her experiences living with a host family in Argentina, attending school in Germany, and living in Scotland among the most transformative experiences of her life. Natalie earned a BA in Economics and Spanish from Vanderbilt University, and an MBA from Bentley University.  She is a member of NAFSA’s Trainer Corps and the Workshop Dean for the Managing the Education Abroad Office workshop.