The Opportunity

Western New England University (WNE) invites inquiries, nominations, and applications for the position of director of athletics and recreation. The director fosters principles that encourage integrity, student well-being, diversity, and inclusiveness throughout all levels of the organization while promoting an environment of excellence and success. Western New England University Athletics conducts a highly competitive broad-based NCAA Division III sports program for men and women. This program is an integral part of the University’s mission and is committed to equity, fair play, and the ideals of sports participation. Golden Bear athletic teams have made more than 80 appearances in the NCAA Tournament since 1977; 60% of WNE student-athletics have a GPA of 3.0 or higher; 100% of student-athletes participate in community service.

Western New England University is a comprehensive private institution with a tradition of excellence in teaching and scholarship and a commitment to service. WNE awards undergraduate, master’s, and doctoral degrees in various departments from the Colleges of Arts and Sciences, Business, Engineering, Pharmacy and Health Sciences, and School of Law. WNE is one of only a few U.S. comprehensive institutions enrolling under 5,000 students recognized with national and international accreditations at the highest levels in law, business, engineering, and social work. WNE serves students predominantly from the northeastern U.S. but enrolls students from across the country and around the world. The majority of undergraduate students reside on campus. The 215-acre campus in Springfield, Massachusetts, is remarkable for its beauty, security, and meticulous upkeep.

The Position

Role of the Director of Athletics and Recreation for Western New England University

The director of athletics and recreation oversees all administrative aspects of the University’s comprehensive, highly competitive, and educationally focused Division III intercollegiate athletic program and recreational program that includes club sports, intramurals, and e-sports. This oversight includes attention to the roles of athletics and recreation in student experience and persistence, university priorities of access and equity, university recruitment and retention, and resource development, with specific attention to fundraising. Reporting to the vice president for student affairs, the director fosters principles that encourage integrity, student well-being, diversity, and inclusiveness throughout all levels of the organization while promoting an environment of excellence and success.

The director provides leadership for a dynamic department consisting of 21 varsity programs, over 65 professional coaches and staff, about 180 graduate and undergraduate student employees, over 600 student-athletes, robust recreational programming including club sports, intramurals, group fitness, and e-sports engaging over 1,000 students annually, and management of a $1.7 million budget.

Reporting to the vice president for student affairs, the director will:

  • provide vision and leadership for all elements of intercollegiate athletics and recreational sport programs;
  • hire, supervise, evaluate, and support coaches, athletic trainers, and recreational and athletic staff with a commitment to equity, diversity, and inclusivity;
  • develop competition schedules and manage related practice schedules, game schedules, and events, including problem-solving administrative challenges in collaboration with Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC) colleagues;
  • manage program resources, including budgets, personnel, facilities, and daily operations;
  • develop, implement, and monitor policies and procedures that promote efficiency, equity, and national best practices;
  • ensure equity-mindedness, priorities of inclusion, and well-being are embedded throughout decisions and in program infrastructure;
  • partner with Advancement to develop and deliver a sustainable and exciting approach to fundraising that aligns with the University’s strategic plan and annual priorities with a focus on building strategic corporate and alumni partnerships;
  • partner with the Faculty Athletic Representative (FAR), Student Life Council (SLC), Admissions, Student Care Network, Center for Student Success, and other university collaborators to contribute to recruitment and retention of students;
  • oversee facilities management, maintenance, and planning; partnering with Finance and Administration in the development of master planning and capital projects;
  • initiate the ongoing assessment of programs, including NCAA self-studies, university program review, and regular assessment of student satisfaction and program interests in both intercollegiate athletics and recreation;
  • participate in relevant committees, including Emergency Management Response Team (EMRT) and strategic plan implementation;
  • monitor and ensure program compliance with and reporting for NCAA, CCC, and other relevant bodies, including state and local public health authorities.

‘History of the Position

The former director of athletics was in his role with WNE for three years until the spring 2021. Jennifer Kolins, associate director of athletics for student-athlete development, and Lori Mayhew-Wood, associate athletic director (operations)/senior woman administrator, were named interim directors of athletics and recreation. They will continue leading the department until a director is named, following a national search.

Opportunities and Challenges of the Role

WNE is dedicated to finding a dynamic and visionary individual who can promote and develop the athletics and recreation staff, set departmental priorities, and work in tandem with senior administrators and the department staff to progressively, innovatively, and comprehensively move the athletics and recreation program forward. The following were identified as possible opportunities, priorities, and challenges that will face the new director of athletics and recreation at WNE.

  • Focus on strategic planning. The next director will lead short-term and long-term planning on athletics and recreation’s role in shaping the student experience. The next director will lead conversations around organizational structure, intercollegiate program expansion and sustained feasibility, revenue generation, deferred maintenance and facilities improvements, standard operating procedures and processes, and cultivation of community partnerships positioning WNE athletics for years to come.
  • Create a vision and identity for Golden Bear Athletics and Recreation. The next director will work with a successful and engaged coaching and administrative staff to create a clear and unified departmental vision, mission, and brand; develop a strong sense of team among staff; and build working relationships that emphasize collaboration, consistency, and equity. Staff should feel encouraged, challenged, supported, and confident about how they contribute to the vision and support WNE student success priorities.
  • Leadership around diversity, equity, and inclusion. The next director will continue to initiate and support institutional goals of diversity, equity, and inclusion by actively leading departmental conversations for staff and scholar-athletes, promoting training and staff development, and cultivating an equity-minded departmental culture.
  • Fundraising and alumni development. An engaging and dynamic storyteller, the next director will champion strategic partnerships with Advancement and alumni relations leadership and continue the cultivation and stewardship of the Golden Bears Club. They will strengthen relationships with alumni student-athletes and parents to further nurture and encourage their continued relationship with WNE.
  • Strategic recruiting. The next director will partner with the office of admission and enrollment management to recruit and retain scholar-athletes of distinguished academic capacity, representative of the campus-wide diversity and inclusion goals and optimize roster management and athletics department objectives.
  • Athletics and Recreation as campus and community partner. With a highly relational and communicative nature, the next director will strengthen communication and collaboration between athletics and the larger institution—academic affairs, student affairs, facilities, advancement, etc. and the greater Springfield community with a particular focus on increasing efficiencies and opportunities that further support the scholar-athlete experience as part of a synergistic student experience.
  • Define a wellness agenda. The next director will be a thought leader and a strategic partner with student affairs and academic faculty and leadership on a campus-wide wellness initiative. Athletics, recreation, club sports, and e-sports are uniquely positioned to support all WNE students and institutional retention and engagement goals.

Measures of Success 

In the fall of 2021, Athletics and Recreation engaged in a comprehensive external review process, with a final report and recommendations expected by early January. With recommendations in hand, the new director will strategically work with others to develop and implement a vision and inspire the scholar-athletes, campus community, and alumni to accomplish shared goals for the future.

At an appropriate interval after joining WNE, the following items will initially define success for the new director.

  • The director is a visible and highly accessible advocate for the coaches, staff, and programs.
  • The director has demonstrated a leadership style that is credible and collegial while being highly effective.
  • The director has assessed the current environment with the athletics and recreation staff and begun to define a comprehensive and equity-minded vision, mission, and plan for the future.
  • Students see the director as an approachable and accessible champion who supports programs and uses a student-centered orientation to build rapport with students and seek their input.
  • Athletics and recreation staff can articulate a shared vision and mission and feel valued as members of the team. They see that communication throughout the department has increased in both quality and quantity.
  • The director has established strong working relationships and partnerships with the student affairs leadership team, advancement, direct reports, scholar-athletes, faculty, alumni, Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC), and other key institutional stakeholders.
  • The director inspires excellence and strengthens the opportunities within athletics and recreation with a focus on well-being and re-energizing school spirit and traditions and is inclusive of and seeks to engage all WNE students.
  • The director has defined, illustrated, and demonstrated internally and externally an understanding of competitiveness and scholar-athlete success that is reflective of the WNE mission and the goals of the NCAA.
  • The director will have demonstrated the ability to manage change for short-term and long-term development for the department, including staffing, professional development, facilities management, and strategic capital planning.
  • The director supports SAAC and the other student-athlete leadership groups, builds campus relationships, and thinks broadly about their role in supporting the university mission and the scholar-athlete experience.
  • The director will actively engage with advancement and university leadership to support alumni engagement and fundraising initiatives aligned with the University and athletics departmental and strategic plans.
  • The director can articulate a passion and commitment to the mission of WNE, Golden Bear athletics, and student success and persistence by developing a culture of community.


Qualifications and Characteristics

A minimum of seven years of progressive leadership experience in collegiate athletics administration, recreation, or a closely related field and a bachelor’s degree is required; a master’s degree is strongly preferred. The successful candidate will possess a comprehensive understanding of intercollegiate athletics administration, student-athlete development, facilities management and resourcing, NCAA compliance within a Division III environment, and the role of fundraising in supporting strategic and operational objectives. A collaborative management approach, coupled with superior communication and relationship-building skills, strong planning and fiscal competencies, an understanding of the role of enrollment at a small, private university, a familiarity with program development and assessment, including risk management, demonstrated experience supporting recreational programs as part of overall student well-being, excellent problem-solving abilities, and a high degree of cultural competence demonstrating respect for diversity of identities and experiences will be important considerations in the selection of the next director of athletics and recreation.

Additionally, as articulated by Western New England University stakeholders, the successful candidate will ideally possess the following qualities and attributes:

  • a significant understanding of NCAA Division III athletics in terms of program needs, compliance requirements, university rules and regulations, as well as Title IX regulations;
  • a commitment to and passion for an intercollegiate athletics program that operates with the highest integrity and is focused on the holistic development of its scholar-athletes;
  • a significant understanding of fundraising and revenue development, collaborating with advancement colleagues to continue to enhance fundraising priorities and execute fundraising strategies;
  • strong strategic planning skills and an ability to build consensus and support and lead change for short-term and long-term goals;
  • a visible champion and advocate for the coaching staff and athletic programs;
  • an effective ambassador for athletics, intentionally partnering with student affairs, academic affairs, enrollment, communications, and alumni relations;
  • an established rapport with staff, students, donors, alumni, faculty, community leaders, and other key constituents;
  • articulates the benefit of sport broadly to support an institutional priority around well-being;
  • inspires confidence, models relationship cultivation, and brings a sense of professionalism and passion to their work;
  • promotes excellence, respects tradition, supports success, and inspires creativity, innovation, and possibilities;
  • optimistic, has a growth mindset, and seeks continuous improvement;
  • highly collaborative and adaptable, emotionally intelligent, and equipped to respond to changing dynamics as circumstances dictate;
  • demonstrates interpersonal skills of diplomacy, accessibility, and respect for the expertise and viewpoints of colleagues within and outside the department of athletics.

Institution & Location

Overview of the Athletic Department

Western New England University Athletics conducts a highly competitive broad-based NCAA Division III sports program for men and women. This program is an integral part of the University’s mission and is committed to equity, fair play, and the ideals of sports participation.

Western New England University Athletics Mission Statement

The Western New England University Department of Athletics is committed to enhancing the overall development of its students and student-athletes through competent instruction and appropriate role modeling by the coaching staff. Lessons learned in the competitive environment of intercollegiate athletics, and the responsibility of team membership must be applied in the present, but most importantly, are used to prepare the student-athlete for life after college.

 View the Western New England University Athletics Department Organization Chart

Western New England University is a member of the National Collegiate Athletic Association Division III. The University supports the Division III philosophy by offering 21 NCAA-sponsored varsity sports.

Men’s Sports

  • Baseball
  • Basketball
  • Cross Country
  • Football
  • Golf
  • Ice Hockey
  • Lacrosse
  • Soccer
  • Tennis
  • Wrestling

Women’s Sports

  • Basketball
  • Cross Country
  • Field Hockey
  • Ice Hockey
  • Lacrosse
  •  Soccer
  •  Softball
  • Swimming
  • Volleyball
  • Wrestling (beginning in 2022-2023 academic year)

WNE Recreation

WNE Recreation promotes a lifelong commitment to healthy habits and holistic wellness by providing quality programming, facilities, and services to the WNE student, staff, and alumni population. More than 1,000 WNE students participate in organized recreational programming.


The department reinforces the university co-curricular approach by advancing the development of the student employees and program participants in a non-traditional educational environment. All program areas within WNE Recreation are available to the university student, faculty, and staff population.

Intramural Sports

Intramural sports are available for all WNE students, staff, and faculty. Participants may sign up for one team in the “Open” or “Men’s/Women’s” division and one team in the “Co-Rec” division for each sport. Intramural sports are included in the university fee structure, and can be played without additional cost. Sports will be officiated by student officials. Clinics for intramural officiating will be held prior to the start of the corresponding intramural season.

Nearly one-third of all undergraduate students participate in intramural competition.

Intramural programs include:

  • Basketball
  • Dodgeball
  • Flag Football
  • Floor Hockey
  • Indoor Soccer
  • Inner Tube Water Polo
  • Ping Pong
  • Racquetball
  • Soccer
  • Softball
  • Ultimate Frisbee
  • Volleyball
  • Walleyball
  • Wiffleball

Group and Personal Fitness

The Caprio Alumni Healthful Living Center (CAHLC) contains free weight and functional workout spaces, a lap pool, an indoor track, and cardio spaces. Group fitness opportunities include yoga, Zumba, Barre, cycling, and high-impact interval training.

Club Sports

Students wishing to compete in non-varsity, inter-collegiate competition can create a club sport organization under the direction of the Recreation and the Student Activities departments. WNE Rugby was founded in 2009 and competes in the Colonial Coast Rugby Conference. Students have expressed growing interest in Ultimate Frisbee, Women’s Rugby, and Bowling.

Recreational Gaming and E-Sports

Online, mobile, and console gaming occurs with the WNE Game Club (WNE WARP). Social nights, leagues, and tournaments take place frequently throughout the year. WNE currently has Overwatch and Fortnite teams competing, with Rocket League, League of Legends, LoL Wild Rift, and Valorant beginning shortly. Students looking for teams in other games are welcome to join and help build interest in competition.

Student-Athlete Advisory Committee

The Western New England University Student-Athlete Advisory Committee is a senate structured student-athlete advisory committee. The sport teams select student representatives. Each team may be represented by a maximum of four student-athletes (preferably one representative from each class year). The Advisory Committee meets twice monthly and is responsible for advancing the CHAMPS/Life Skills Program initiatives, including the five commitments areas: community service, personal development, academic excellence, athletic excellence, and career development. The Committee works closely with advisors, the associate director of athletics, and the community outreach coordinator to plan and implement yearly initiatives to achieve the departmental goal of demonstrating excellence in the classroom, the field of play, and the community.

The Black-Student Athlete Association (BSAA)

Founded by WNE student-athletes, the BSAA strives to center black voices and provide a voice and platform for student-athletes who identify as Black to tell their stories and have open dialogue within the group and other constituents on campus. The BSAA looks to foster academic, athletic, and leadership development and promote programs to encourage collaborations and highlight success. The BSAA will implement diversity, implicit bias, and anti-racism training; broaden diversity through intentional recruiting and hiring practices; work closely with athletics administration to ensure that Black student-athletes are supported and advocated for; will partner with SAAC to design programs that provide platforms for inclusion and voice for Black student-athletes; and network with WNE alumni of color.

Captains’ Council

Captains of in-season sports meet regularly with the director of athletics and recreation to discuss current issues and events related to their teams, to the Department of Athletics, and Western New England University. Issues such as leadership, team-building, and the continuing development of the ideal Western New England University student-athlete profile are central themes for discussion. As important campus stakeholders, these captains are directly involved in the decision-making process necessary to continue the program’s elevation.

CHAMPS/Life Skills Program

CHAMPS is an acronym for “Challenging Athletes Minds for Personal Success.” The NCAA originally initiated CHAMPS to encourage programming and support for student-athletes who may not be able to take advantage of traditional enhancement programming offered at institutions of higher education.

CHAMPS highlights five commitments areas: personal development, community service, athletic excellence, academic excellence, and career development. The NCAA accepted Western New England University as an official CHAMPS/Life Skills school in 2004. Annually the department offers a variety of programs and events, including guest speakers, career development series, and community service opportunities. All WNE student-athletes involve themselves in community service, serving as impactful role models for the University and local communities.

Chi Alpha Sigma

As a CHAMPS/Life Skills program component to foster athletic excellence, the Athletic Department annually inducts deserving student-athletes in the National Student-Athlete Honor Society. Chi Alpha Sigma recognizes student-athletes who have completed five semesters of higher education, have earned a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.4, and exhibit distinguished character in the community.

Athletics Facilities

  • Anthony S. Caprio Alumni Healthful Living Center
  • Golden Bear Stadium
  • George E. Trelease Memorial Baseball Park
  • Suprenant field
  • Volvo Outdoor Tennis Courts
  • The Flynn Family Pavilion
  • Western New England University Softball Field

Commonwealth Coast Conference

In May of 1984, the Commonwealth Conference was formed. Six schools became the league’s charter members and unanimously adopted the name “Commonwealth Coast Conference.” The initial membership consisted of Anna Maria College, Curry College, Emerson College, Hellenic College, Salve Regina College, and Wentworth Institute of Technology. In 2007, Western New England University became the 14th member of The Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC). Eighteen of the 20 varsity sports at Western New England University compete under the CCC championships and offer a bid to the NCAA Tournament. The Golden Bears face some of the toughest competition in New England in the CCC as they battle teams from four Northeast states.

Institutional Overview

Institutional background/history

Western New England University was founded in Springfield, Massachusetts, in 1919. Begun as the Springfield Division of Northeastern College, known as Springfield-Northeastern, the University was originally established to offer part-time educational opportunities for adult students in law, business, and accounting.

In 1951, an autonomous charter was obtained to grant and confer the degrees of Bachelor of Business Administration and Bachelor of Laws. The Springfield Division of Northeastern University was renamed Western New England College. The present campus on Wilbraham Road was purchased in 1956 with the first building, today’s Emerson Hall, opening in 1959.

Journey to a University

Sixty years later, on July 1, 2011, Western New England College officially became Western New England University. The change to university status better reflects growth, diversity, expanded graduate offerings, and its comprehensive nature. Along with the change in name of the University, four Schools: Arts and Sciences, Business, Engineering, and Pharmacy (now College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences) became “Colleges.” The School of Law retained its name.

Close-knit Yet Comprehensive

Today’s students benefit from a heritage born of a commitment to providing educational opportunities to men and women of all ages and economic backgrounds. The goal of the University’s founders was and remains to provide outstanding academic programs with a professional focus that prepares graduates to become leaders in their fields and in communities. The University’s beautifully maintained grounds and 26 major buildings provide an inspiring learning environment for undergraduate, graduate, doctoral, and law students from throughout the United States and abroad.

Renowned for personal attention and a culture of genuine student concern, the University offers nearly 50 undergraduate programs through Colleges of Arts and Sciences, Business, and Engineering. Graduate and doctoral programs are offered in the Colleges of Arts and Sciences, Business, and Engineering. The College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences awards the Doctor of Occupational Therapy and Doctor of Pharmacy degrees. The School of Law has JD, MS, and LLM programs. Capitalizing on the unique mix of programs, the University also offers students numerous cross-disciplinary, combined, and accelerated degrees.

Western New England University takes great pride in the accomplishments of its more than 48,000 alumni living and working around the world.

About Springfield, MA

William Pynchon and a company of six men from Roxbury, a town near Boston, established Springfield in 1636 at the junction of the Agawam and Connecticut Rivers. Pynchon bought from the Indians the land that now contains the towns of Agawam, West Springfield, Longmeadow, and the city of Springfield for the purpose of establishing a trading and fur-collecting post. In 1641, the town of Springfield, named in honor of Pynchon’s English birthplace, was incorporated. Springfield officially became a city in May of 1852.

Springfield’s location at the crossroads of New England is the most significant reason for its progress and continuing economic success. The Connecticut River served as an easy and economical means of transportation north and south for early settlers. Midway between New York and Boston and on the road between New York and Canada, Springfield is ideally located for travel in all directions.

From its fur-trading and agricultural beginnings, Springfield gradually grew into a thriving industrial community. In the eighteenth century, the power of the Connecticut River was harnessed. Mills of all varieties grew up and a skilled labor force came into being. Because of the area’s location and technological advancements, particularly in metal crafts, the United States Armory was located in Springfield in 1794, resulting in further industrial development.

Springfield became a major railroad center in the nineteenth century and experienced another industrial boom. The city grew, and such industries as printing, machine manufacture, insurance, and finance took hold and prospered. As affluence increased, it became a gracious city with a noted educational system.

In 1990 Springfield was a city of 156,983. It is a multicultural community, and is the regional center for banking, finance, and courts.

River, railroads, and highways were the assets that made Springfield what it is today. Its central location now offers the potential for the development of high technology communications leading to new growth in the twenty-first century.

Mission and Core Values

The hallmark of the Western New England University experience is an unwavering focus on and attention to each student’s academic and personal development, including learning outside the classroom. Faculty, dedicated to excellence in teaching and research, and often nationally recognized in their fields, teach in an environment of warmth and personal concern where small classes predominate. Administrative and support staff work collaboratively with faculty in attending to student development so that each student’s academic and personal potential can be realized and appreciated. Western New England University develops leaders and problem-solvers from among students, whether in academics, intercollegiate athletics, extracurricular and co-curricular programs, collaborative research projects with faculty, or in partnership with the local community.

At Western New England University, excellence in student learning goes hand in hand with the development of personal values such as integrity, accountability, and citizenship. Students acquire the tools to support lifelong learning and the skills to succeed in the global workforce. Equally important, all members of the community are committed to guiding students in their development to become informed and responsible leaders in their local and global communities by promoting a campus culture of respect, tolerance, environmental awareness, and social responsibility. WNE is positioned well to accomplish these goals as a truly comprehensive institution whose faculty and staff have historically collaborated in offering an integrated program of liberal and professional learning in the diverse fields of arts and sciences, business, engineering, law, and pharmacy.

Core Values

  • Excellence in Teaching, Research, and Scholarship, understanding that our primary purpose is to provide an outstanding education supported by faculty with the highest academic credentials, and with national prominence in their fields.
  • Student-centered Learning, providing an individualized approach to education which includes a profound commitment to small class sizes, personalized student-faculty relationships, and student engagement and personal growth both within and beyond the classroom.
  • A Sense of Community, treating every individual as a valued member of our community with a shared sense of purpose and ownership made possible by mutual respect and shared governance.
  • Cultivation of a Pluralistic Society, celebrating the diversity of our community, locally and globally, and creating a community that fosters tolerance, integrity, accountability, citizenship, and social responsibility.
  • Innovative Integrated Liberal and Professional Education, constituting the foundation of our undergraduate and graduate curriculum, providing global education, leadership opportunities, and career preparation.
  • Commitment to Academic, Professional, and Community Service, promoting opportunities for all campus community members to provide responsible service of the highest quality to others.
  • Stewardship of our Campus, caring for the sustainability and aesthetics of the environment both within and beyond the campus.

Strategic Plan

The Future is Now: Vision 2025

In October and November 2020, President Johnson conducted 14 small-group campus conversations and four open forums for faculty, staff, students, alumni, trustees, and donors to solicit ideas and perspectives about Western New England University’s optimal future state. An online survey was also provided. Input received informs the process of crafting a shared ambition for WNE’s future, identifying areas of strategic focus for fiscal year 2021, and establishing strategic priorities for the next five years.

One University, One Vision

Western New England University (A National University)

A “New Traditional University” prepares learners and earners for the future of work, equipping them to create value and thrive in a complex and hyper-connected world.

WNE has the vision to be a “New Traditional University” that is agile, grounded in professional studies, and enhanced by the liberal arts and mentored research, that provides graduates with the skillset and mindset to continuously create value throughout their professional career and assert their humanity in contributing to a global society.

  • provide a student-centered experience
  • become a laboratory for academic innovation
  • promote innovation and transformation
  • create diversity equity and inclusion
  • enhance culture in excellence


Robert E. Johnson, PhD, President

Dr. Robert E. Johnson was appointed as the 6th president of Western New England University in August 2020, charged with leading the institution as it embarks on its second century.

His unyielding belief in higher education as a public good and as a path for transforming individual lives has led him to dedicate his 30-year career to preparing students to adapt and succeed in a dynamic future—one where jobs as we know them may no longer exist, career mobility is the norm, and individuals are responsible for continuously adding and creating new value.

A future-focused thought leader and commentator on issues centering around the future of work, agile mind education, the agile university, and the sense of humanity imperative, Dr. Johnson believes students, through higher education, must develop divergent thinking skills, social and emotional intelligence, empathy, and a sense of humanity. These uniquely human capacities cannot be replicated by technology and, when paired with an entrepreneurial outlook and a value-creation orientation, are the hallmarks of success in a complex, hyper-connected world.

A Detroit native, Dr. Johnson was inspired to attend Morehouse College by his late uncle Robert E. Johnson Jr., associate publisher and executive editor of JET Magazine and Morehouse classmate of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. He encouraged Dr. Johnson’s commitment to service and transforming the next generation of leaders, influencing his fundamental conviction that humanity and civility must be central to all we do. As educated and engaged citizens on a planet with more than seven billion people, we are privileged and thus have a social responsibility not only to leave the world better than we found it but to inspire others to do the same.

Dr. Johnson’s leadership career spans nonprofit colleges and universities in the Northeast and Midwest, including public, private, urban, rural, small and large institutions, with enrollments from 2,000 to more than 25,000 students. This experience includes public research universities, one of the nation’s largest single-campus community colleges, a large Catholic university, a historically Black university, and a turn-around and transformation of a small private college. His career reflects several firsts—as not only an African American leader but also the youngest person holding major senior administrative roles.

Kristine Goodwin, Esq., Vice President for Student Affairs

Kristine Goodwin joins WNE as vice president for student affairs January 2022, most recently serving as assistant vice president for student affairs operations at North Shore Community College. Goodwin is a widely respected administrator in the field of student affairs with over 25 years of direct experience, having served at multiple institutions, including the College of the Holy Cross, Connecticut College, the University of Massachusetts Lowell, and Providence College. She has held many vital roles in student affairs throughout her career, including as a director of residential life, associate dean of students, and associate dean for student life, in addition to her eight-year tenure as a vice president for student affairs.

Goodwin earned her bachelor’s degree in political science from Westfield State University, an MEd focused on educational administration from the University of Massachusetts Lowell in 1994, and a J.D. at the University of Massachusetts School of Law in 2020.

Academic Departments

College of Arts and Sciences

  • Communication, Media, and Arts
  • Computer Science and Information Technology
  • Criminal Justice, Sociology, and Social Work
  • Education
  • English and Cultural Studies
  • History, Philosophy, Political Science, and Economics
  • Mathematics
  • Physical and Biological Sciences
  • Psychology and Neuroscience

College of Business

  • Accounting and Finance
  • Business Information Systems
  • Management
  • Marketing
  • Sport Management

College of Engineering

  • Biomedical
  • Civil and Environmental
  • Electrical and Computer
  • Industrial and Engineering Management
  • Mechanical

College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences

  • Department of Pharmaceutical and Administrative Sciences
  • Department of Pharmacy Practice
  • Division of Occupational Therapy

The School of Law is not organized by departments.


The Student Body and Faculty

Western New England was established in 1919 and became a university in 2011. The main campus has expanded from its original 34 acres to 215 acres, containing 28 major buildings and numerous athletic and recreational fields.


  • 2,522 full-time undergraduates
  • 61 part-time undergraduates
  • 395 law students
  • 392 graduate and adult learners
  • 203 pharmacy students
  • 74 occupational therapy students

WNE has a total enrollment of 3,647 students from 38 states and territories and 22 countries.

Undergraduate Profile

  • 58% of full-time students are men and 42% are women
  • 48% of full-time students are from out of state
  • 57% of full-time students live on campus (76% of first-year students live on campus)
  • Nearly 170 scholarship programs available to full-time students
  • 95% of students receive financial assistance
  • Average class size: 18 students
  • Average freshman SAT scores: Critical Reading & Math: 1203 (national average: 1060)
  • Average high school GPA of entering class: 3.49


  • Student/faculty ratio 13:1
  • 213 full-time faculty
  • 124 adjunct faculty
  • 414 full-time staff
  • 56 part-time staff

Benefits Overview

Benefits Overview

  • Health Insurance
  • Dental Insurance
  • Vision Insurance
  • Life Insurance
  • Short and Long Term Disability
  • 403(b) Retirement Plan
  • Tuition Assistance
  • Tuition Exchange
  • Wellness Benefits


For more information:


Application & Nomination

Application and Nomination
Review of applications will begin immediately and continue until the position is filled. To apply for this position please click on the Apply button, complete the brief application process, and upload your resume and position-specific cover letter. Nominations for this position may be emailed to Dell Robinson at or Anne-Marie Kenney at Applicants needing reasonable accommodation to participate in the application process should contact Spelman Johnson at 413-529-2895.

Visit the Western New England University website at

Western New England is an Equal Opportunity Employer. We welcome candidates whose background may contribute to the further diversification of our community.