Westfield State University Interim President Roy H. Saigo, Ph.D., has announced the appointment of Juline E. Mills, Ph.D., as the University’s interim provost and vice president for academic affairs.
Mills currently serves as dean of Westfield State’s College of Education, Health, and Human Services. She will succeed the University’s current Interim Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Robert Kersting, Ph.D., who recently announced his retirement following 25 years of service to the University.
As provost, Mills will provide key oversight to critical academic initiatives and the planning for the University’s upcoming New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE) reaccreditation, as well as ongoing enhancements to the University’s student engagement, achievement, and retention measures.
“Dr. Mills is a forward-thinking, consensus-building, and solutions-focused leader,” said President Saigo. “She has brought a wealth of industry experience and academic expertise to Westfield State and is well-positioned to succeed as a member of the University’s executive leadership team.”
Mills joined Westfield State in August 2018 as founding Dean to oversee the University’s then-newly formed College of Education, Health, and Human Services, which includes comprehensive programs in criminal justice, economics and management, education, health sciences, movement science, sport, and leisure studies, nursing, and social work.
In addition, during this academic year, she served as chair of Westfield State’s University Efficiency Analysis Advisory Committee. The committee was convened to assess the institution’s financial challenges and operational structure to suggest short- and long-term paths for improved cost and operational efficiencies. The committee identified more than $10.4m in savings and developed twenty-one data-informed strategic recommendations aimed at improving the long-term structural financial and operational strengths of the institution.
Prior to her arrival, Mills was a professor in the College of Business at the University of New Haven, where she also served as chair of the Department of Hospitality and Tourism Management, and chair and vice-chair of the faculty senate receiving the faculty excellence in experiential education award. Mills has also taught at the University of Delaware and Purdue University. Collaborating on 100+ scholarly works, her research into service sector technology applications and hospitality and tourism management has been widely presented and published.
Mills received a bachelor of science from the University of the West Indies in Jamaica, master of science degrees in computer education and cognitive systems as well as in hospitality management from the University of North Texas, and a Ph.D. in hospitality and tourism management from Purdue University with emphases in ebusiness and statistics.
Mills’ appointment is effective today, May 17, 2021.