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Office of the Provost

Leadership Team

The Provost works closely with the senior leadership team in Academic Affairs -- consisting of the Deans and Associate Provosts -- and other members of academic leadership on an array of topics. This group provides input to the Provost on key issues to inform decision-making and help drive strategy. Though not featured on this page, department chairs, center directors, and other leaders in Academic Affairs are crucial players who support the success of the division. Please refer to this organizational chart to see the full structure of the Office of the Provost.

Office of the Provost

Rick Oches headshot
Rick Oches, Ph.D.
Interim Provost
Morison 308

Rick became a member of the Bentley faculty in 2008, joining the Natural & Applied Sciences (NAS) Department after a decade as a faculty member in the Geology Department and Chair of Environmental Science & Policy at the University of South Florida. He served as NAS Department chair for seven years, and he became Dean of Arts & Sciences in 2018. His undergraduate and graduate degrees are in geology, and his teaching and research interests have focused on Earth's recent climate history and human and environmental response to past climate changes in different parts of the world. Increasingly his academic interests center on Earth and environmental science education, transdisciplinary course and curriculum development, and interdisciplinary faculty engagement to foster improved science literacy for non-STEM majors.

Alex Hirs headshot
Alex Hirs, M.S.
Chief of Staff and Director of Academic Administration and Planning
Rauch 300A

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 headshot
Roberta Francis
Executive Assistant, Office of the Provost

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.

Senior Leadership Team

Mystica M. Alexander headshot
Mystica M. Alexander, J.D.
Associate Provost for Research and Faculty
Morison 280

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 headshot
Cathy Carlson, Ed.D.
Associate Provost for Academic Services and Operations
Jennison 336

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.

Jane DeLeón Griffin headshot
Jane De León Griffin, Ph.D.
Interim Dean of Arts and Sciences
Morison 312

Jane joined the Bentley faculty in 2010. She has served as chair of the department of Modern Languages, chair of the Faculty Senate, faculty director of the FirstGen Presidential Fellows program, associate dean of Arts and Sciences, and most recently, interim dean of Arts and Sciences. She holds a PhD in Comparative Literature from the University of California, Irvine and her research focuses on grassroots literary production in Chile. Jane is the author of The Labor of Literature: Democracy and Literary Culture in Modern Chile (University of Massachusetts Press in 2016) and has co-written two book-length translations of literary fiction by Chilean feminist writer, Pía Barros. She is the founding director of the non-profit cultural organization Inspired Masses, Inc. and lead organizer of the annual community-based writing project, “Boston in 100 Words.” When not working at Bentley University or Inspired Masses, you will find Jane enjoying the outdoors, good food and live music with her husband and daughter.

Sanjay Putrevu Headshot
Sanjay Putrevu, Ph.D.
Dean of Business

Sanjay joined Bentley University as the dean of business in June 2022. He previously served as dean of business at Cleveland State University and the University of Wyoming. Prior to this, he served as associate dean and chair of marketing at the University at Albany, SUNY. In his various administrative roles, he successfully led capital campaigns, introduced innovative programs, secured AACSB reaccreditations, developed international partnerships and established new centers of excellence. Over the course of his academic career, he spearheaded numerous initiatives to enhance academic excellence, student success and community engagement. He has received several teaching, research and service awards. Sanjay obtained his Ph.D. in Marketing from the University at Buffalo, SUNY and his Master of Management Sciences degree from Birla Institute of Technology and Science in Pilani, India.

Leadership Team

Robyn Betts headshot
Robyn Betts, MBA, PMP
Executive Director, Strategic Projects and Planning
Morison 326

​​​​​​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.

Yaro Fong-Olivares Headshot
Yaro Fong-Olivares, M.S.
Executive Director, Gloria Cordes Larson Center for Women and Business
LaCava 298B

As Executive Director, Yaro leads the CWB's mission-driven work to leverage industry expertise and academia to advance women's leadership in business from the classroom to the boardroom. She partners with the staff and CWB's stakeholder community to develop and deliver programs informed by research and best practices. She serves as a subject matter expert on leadership development for women and gender-variant folks and brings an intersectional feminist lens to the content the CWB produces. In addition, Yaro works within the Bentley community of students, faculty, administrators, and university centers to maintain and foster collaborative university-wide relationships that achieve Bentley's commitment to community partnerships, its mission, and core values. Yaro is passionate about learning and education and holds a B.A. from Barnard College, the women's college affiliated with Columbia University, an M.S. from The New School, and is currently pursuing her doctorate in Organizational Leadership Psychology at William James College.

Erin Kelley headshot
Erin Kelley, Ph.D.
Associate Dean of Assurance of Learning and Accreditation
Smith 208

​​​​​​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 headshot
Christine Lyalko, M.S., CPA
Executive Director of Finance, Academic Affairs
Lindsay 21H

​​​​​​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 headshot
Natalie Schlegel, MBA ‘08
Executive Director of International Education
Adamian Academic Center 161

​​​​​​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. 

Jay C. Thibodeau headshot
Jay C. Thibodeau, Ph.d., CPA
Director of PhD Programs
Adamian Academic Center 248

Jay oversees the mission and growth of Bentley's PhD programs. He is an expert in judgment and decision-making and financial statement auditing, and he strongly believes that the problems of accounting and auditing practice should influence the research agenda of academic accountants.  In that spirit, he is a co-author of two books, Auditing and Accounting Cases: Investigating Issues of Fraud and Professional Ethics (Irwin/McGraw-Hill -- 4th Edition) and Auditing and Assurance Services (Irwin/McGraw-Hill - 8th Edition).  In addition, he has written over sixty articles and book chapters for academics and practitioners alike. Jay is a former auditor and a CPA. He received his BS degree from the University of Connecticut in 1987 and his PhD from the University of Connecticut in 1996.