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Leadership

Otis College
Senior Leadership

The College’s academic mission and strategic goals are fulfilled through a consultative organizational structure that extends from its fiduciary Board through its Chief Executive Officer (President), its Provost and Vice Presidents, its Deans, Chairs, Assistant Chairs, Directors, Faculty, Staff members, and Student leaders.  

The Provost and six Vice Presidents are the College’s division leaders; as such they manage their divisional groups through conferall-based or facilitative leadership. As a collaborative group, these leaders are commonly referred to as the Senior Leadership Team. 

Reporting directly to the President, each Senior Team member manages, advises, consults, and provides high-level expertise in and about their respective divisions, fields, and areas in support of the College mission, its community, strategic goals, compliance needs, and well-informed institutional decision-making. The College relies upon these uniquely qualified experts—and on their successful operation as a team—in numerous ways, including but not limited to:

  • Fostering broad perspectives within and beyond their respective divisions;
  • Seeking and synthesizing input from within their, and across multiple, divisions and constituencies; and
  • Supporting informed institutional decision-making in collaboration with the President.

As contributors to a continuously evolving advisory body, Senior Team members regularly confer within their divisions and with members of other divisions to ensure that work performed within each is well informed. Similarly, Senior Team members help to ensure the effective sharing of information with other campus constituencies. In these ways, the Senior Team both serves and relies upon the College’s system of shared governance so that all at Otis can work with the benefit of needed information, understanding, and clarity.

As a collaborative leadership group, the Senior Team works and communicates in a manner that promotes workplace effectiveness and morale. The Team gathers, synthesizes, and shares thoughtful and expert perspectives, insight, and information on campus and with the President and Board for the benefit of the College. In all these ways, the Senior Team assists in the variable processes of informed institutional decision-making, ranging from participatory (larger input based), democratic (majority), consensus (shared), or individual (presidential) ones, as context, needs, and/or timing might warrant or require.


Senior Team Makeup

As a growing institution in an increasingly complex and compliance-driven higher education landscape, the Provost and six Vice Presidents (VPs) comprise the Senior Team, as follows:

  • Provost—Chief Academic Officer, responsible for the quality of degree programs and faculty
  • VP of Campus Life—Leader for the promotion of student success through co-curricular opportunities and student support services
  • VP of Communications and Marketing—Leader for strategic internal and external communications and marketing 
  • VP of Financial Services—Chief Finance Officer
  • VP for Human Resources and Development—Leader for staff and personnel-related matters and activities 
  • VP of Information Technologies and Operations—Leader for technologies, buildings & grounds, and campus safety 
  • VP for Institutional Advancement—Provides leadership in setting and achieving fundraising goals

Divisions of the College

The College's organization involves numerous divisions and leaders in addition to academic faculty and staff members in support of its educational mission. The President and seven divisions comprise the primary leadership structure. 

President’s Office. The President or Chief Executive Officer (CEO) is responsible for developing vision and priorities for the College, overseeing its day-to-day operations as carried out by the Provost and six administrative Divisions, and in accordance with College shared governance processes. The President reports to the Board of Trustees, is a non-voting member of the Board, and is chief College liaison to the Board. In advancing the College's vision, core values, and priorities, the President draws input on administration, organization, strategic planning, and compliance from the Provost and Divisions, as well as through the Academic Assembly and Faculty Senate.

Academic Affairs. The Provost, as Chief Academic Officer, is responsible for the planning, development, implementation, assessment and accreditation, and enhancement of all academic programs, policies, and supporting infrastructure. The Provost ensures academic excellence across all disciplines, and advances Otis' distinction by overseeing the recruitment and development of expert Department Chairs, a distinguished faculty, and academic appointees. The Provost oversees the planning, quality, and delivery of education provided by Otis, and supports student and faculty success. The Provost is staff liaison to the Board of Trustees' Educational Planning Committee and to the part-time faculty members' union. In the absence of the President, the Provost serves as acting chief executive officer (in coordination with the Board). The Provost's Office works closely with the Academic Assembly and Faculty Senate in accordance with the shared academic governance principles of Otis College.

Campus Life. Promotes student success (retention and degree completion) at the College, leading educational support services and their assessment, and supporting student learning and development outside the classroom through the integration of co-curricular and curricular experiences. Campus Life manages Admissions and Enrollment Management, Student Activities, Residence Life and Housing, Registration and Records, Student Health and Wellness CenterCareer Services, Title IX, Conduct, Student Related Campus Polices and Standards, and Extension and Summer Programs. Campus Life fosters a campus culture in which students learn to respect differences, take responsibility for their actions, exercise leadership, and attain their educational and professional goals. The Vice President of Campus Life is staff liaison to the Board of Trustees' Campus Life Committee.

Communications and Marketing. Manages the Office of Communications and Marketing and strategically shares with the world important stories from and about Otis College. Through developing and managing the content and design of Otis.edu and the College's social media channels, overseeing and implementing creative services for strategic initiatives to increase brand recognition and resonance, spearheading public relations, and providing digital marketing support to meet key objectives, the division leads all efforts to share the Otis experience with the world. Communications and Marketing also provides strategic and critical communications support for campus leadership and crisis response. The Vice President of Marketing and Communications is staff liaison to the Board of Trustees' Marketing Committee.

Financial Services. Oversees Otis’ financial planning processes, budget development, accounting and fiscal management, financial audits, payroll, financial aid, student accounts, contract negotiations, and investment management of Otis College funds (including the endowment fund). The VP of Financial Services and Chief Financial Officer (CFO) provides collaborative, client-focused data and analysis to the administration in support of fiscal policy-making and budgeting. Managing the Business Office, the VPFS administers thousands of transactions annually, hundreds of restricted and unrestricted accounts, and works with the campus community to ensure compliance with all Federal, State, and local regulations. The Vice President of Financial Services also works closely with senior leadership to help plan, guide, and implement fiscal management strategies and is staff liaison to the Board of Trustees’ Finance & Investment and Audit Committees. 

Human Resources and Development. Oversees, directs, and provides strategic leadership for all Human Resources and Development (HR&D) operations and activities, including but not limited to staffing, training and development, benefits, compensation, workforce planning, and labor relations. The VP for Human Resources and Development serves on the College’s senior leadership team and leads comprehensive short‐term and long‐range strategic initiatives in partnership with members of the College designed to advance and build support for changes in and enhancements to HR&D programs and services in alignment with the College’s strategic objectives. The Vice President for Human Resources and Development leads the Office of Human Resources and Development and serves as a staff liaison to the Board of Trustees’ Finance & Investment Committee and to the Risk Management Committee.

Informational Technology & Operations. Oversees administrative and academic computing, managing campus IT environments and developing / disseminating technology standards, practices, and architecture. IT & Operations develops business practices and contracts, capital planning, design and construction services, environmental/campus planning, environmental health and safety, facilities management, security, purchasing, and other services including campus Office of Information Systems. IT & Operations promotes innovative practices connecting internal and external users by leveraging proven technology in support of the College’s business functions. The Vice President of Information Technology and Operations serves on the Facilities Development Task Force and as staff liaison to the Board of Trustees’ Risk Management committee.

Institutional Advancement. Implements fundraising goals and objectives in the context of the College-wide strategic plan, including engagement of major donors, foundations, and corporations, alumni relations, communications, and special events. Works with the President, other Division leaders, and the academic departments to facilitate a collaborative approach to College fundraising, including gift, grant, and bequest planning. Manages the Office of Institutional Advancement. The Vice President for Institutional Advancement is staff liaison to the Board of Trustees’ Institutional Advancement committee and serves on the Board Affairs committee.


Division Leadership

Each administrative unit or division of the College is led by a highly distinguished individual who brings specific professional expertise and notable accomplishments to their role. These leaders work collaboratively and consultatively within their divisions and with other divisions and constituencies in support of the College mission and well-informed institutional decision-making. The College’s division leaders, as a group, are commonly referred to as the Senior Leadership Team.

Kim RussoInterim Provost Kim Russo had served as Otis’ Associate Provost for three years and as Dean of Graduate Studies for two, before stepping up to her current role in 2018. Kim has held prior leadership positions over twenty-three of her thirty-year career at three AICAD institutions, two liberal arts colleges, and a university. Holding B.F.A and M.F.A. degrees in Painting, Kim has also served as Professor, Department Chair, College Gallery Director, Museum Educator, and Art Writer in addition to her professional work as an artist whose paintings and drawings are included in the permanent collections of several museums. In addition to her work as Otis’ Chief Academic Officer and Graduate Dean, during which she has led and collaborated on the development and implementation of such notable initiatives as the Academic Plan, the Graduate Studies Plan, and the Summer Language Program, to name just a few, Kim has exhibited nationally and internationally, participated in three artists’ residencies, received multiple honors and fellowships, and served on the Board of the National Council of Arts Administrators.   

Laura KirallaVice President of Campus Life Laura Kiralla brings nineteen years’ progressive leadership experience to her role. Holding an Ed.D. focused on Organizational Leadership, a M.S. in Higher Education Counseling, a B.A. in Psychology and Art History, and Certificates in Conduct Administration and Conflict Management and Dispute Resolution, Laura has served as Vice President for Student Success, Assistant Vice President for Enrollment Management, Dean of Student Affairs, and Associate Dean of Student Support and Career Services during her tenure at Otis. Throughout her career, Laura has demonstrated extraordinary commitment to student success, while also leading at Otis in the areas of enrollment management and the reorganization of Extension. Her expertise in organizational dynamics, change management, staff/professional development, policy development, and legal issues in higher education has also brought much added value to the College. Laura published a study on the training of prospective college counselors. In addition to her administrative work, Laura has six years’ teaching experience, delivering courses in Leadership Development and Change and Career Development and Theory at the undergraduate and graduate levels.  

Jeffrey PerkinsVice President of Communications and Marketing Jeffrey Perkins holds a M.F.A. in Writing and Literature, a M.A. in American Studies, a B.A. in Peace and Global Studies/Politics, and a Certificate in Screenwriting. His prior leadership roles include service as Director of Communications, School of Visual Arts; Director of Marketing, Harvard Graduate School of Education; Director of Communications and Marketing, Episcopal Divinity School; Director of Marketing and Sales; Harvard Education Publishing Group; and Director of Publications and Marketing, Educators for Social Responsibility. At Otis College, and through his career, Jeffrey has led successful initiatives aimed at bringing greater attention to higher education institutions through insightful strategic communications and marketing. His work often focuses on consistency of branding and messaging within institutions, and he has worked extensively with admissions, institutional advancement, and education leaders to meet specific, complex goals. Notable accomplishments include overseeing Otis College’s Centennial planning, implementation of SVA’s name recognition-enhancing initiatives, and development of effective admissions and donor materials at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, including its Campaign for Harvard Graduate School of Education.

Vivien RothwellInterim Vice President of Financial Services Vivien Rothwell has headed up finance and accounting functions for companies and non-profit organizations over fifteen years of her twenty-year career. Holding B.A. and M.B.A degrees in Business Economics and Finance, she brings to her role at Otis College accounting, financial services, and consulting expertise with particular strength in financial reporting, corporate compliance, risk management, financial analysis, budget oversight, and business strategies. Her former leadership roles include Corporate Controller and Director of Finance. She successfully implemented for a billion-dollar public utility company a regional reporting matrix and fostered effective collaboration across all organizational levels, including Internal Audit. Vivien also held fiduciary and advisory responsibilities of a faith-based organization, resulting in financial growth through outreach participation and fundraising. She also received the Sedgwick Award for a research and business case study for the Franchisee Board of a popular food service business. With an abundance of international experience, Vivien also provides a strong understanding of various markets throughout North America, Europe, and offshore jurisdictions, including Bermuda and the Channel Islands.  

Karen HillVice President for Human Resources and Development Karen Hill is an accomplished human resources leader with over twenty years’ experience. In addition to her exemplary degree qualifications, she holds an M.B.A. (UCLA) with an emphasis in Marketing, a B.S. in Business, a SPHR (Senior Professional Human Resources) Designation, Leadership Certification (Center for Creative Leadership) and Strategic HR Certification. Her prior senior leadership positions—at such firms/institutions as Sony, USC, and DeviantArt—include Senior Vice President, Human Resources/Diversity & Inclusion; Vice President, Human Resources and Development; and Executive Director, Human Resources. Karen also serves on several non-profit Boards. Throughout her career, she has focused holistically on organizations and developed congruent people strategies to produce positive results. She brings a verifiable record of leading workplace culture and employee engagement initiatives, along with expertise in designing diversity and inclusion strategies and integrating them into organizational culture. Karen’s expertise also includes fiscally minded and data-driven human resources perspectives that add efficiencies through areas such as business development, employee relations, risk management, and vendor relationship contracts.  

Ankush MahindraVice President of Information Technology & Operations Ankush Mahindra brings to his role an M.B.A. in Finance and a B.S. in Accounting & Finance, along with six years’ prior leadership experience as Otis’ Chief Information Officer and as Assistant Vice President of Finance for another institution. As an experienced Information Technology, Enterprise Resource Planning, and Administrative Operations & Finance manager, Ankush also has twenty years’ prior technical experience in project management, application development, and strategic planning for a variety of enterprises. Since arriving at Otis, Ankush has successfully implemented a comprehensive institutional technology systems overhaul. Before coming to Otis, he had collaborated on the development and operation of an innovative STEM partnership school for grades 3–8; there, he also implemented a construction project, managed institutional budgets, and provided cutting edge technology for flexible classroom, lab, and maker spaces. Ankush is a proven highly pragmatic, versatile, detail-oriented team leader and manager whose interpersonal skills, unique technical expertise, and finance background allow him to lead complex projects for top quality results on behalf of Otis.  

Patrick MahanyVice President for Institutional Advancement Patrick Mahany is an institutional advancement/fundraising leader with extensive experience in the preparation, research, and implementation of multi-million dollar capital campaigns and annual funds within the not-for-profit sector. Patrick joined Otis College in 2016 as Senior Director of Development. Previously, he served as Associate Director of Advancement, The American School in London; Director of Development, Norwood School; and Director of Advancement at Crossroads School for Arts & Sciences, where he personally cultivated, solicited, and stewarded principal donors and led the successful $20M campaign for the school’s new science education and research center designed by Frederick Fisher & Partners. Over his twenty-year fundraising career, Patrick spent over two decades overseas, working in Tokyo and London, where he planned, executed, analyzed, and stewarded six consecutive years’ $1M+ Annual Giving campaigns. Patrick holds a B.A. in Political Science, and is known for his stellar team management and recruitment/training skills, having successfully engaged and led hundreds of dedicated volunteers from broad business and social backgrounds toward his achievement of fundraising goals.