The University has named two faculty members/administrators to newly established vice provost positions, with Sebastián Royo serving as vice provost for student success and Jeffrey Pokorak as vice provost for faculty and curriculum.
Pokorak and Royo are working together to implement the University’s new Strategic Plan as it relates to student success and the teacher-scholar model.
Encouraging a culture of excellence
As an institution, Suffolk University is actively focusing on enhancing the intellectual life and academic success of each of our students while encouraging a culture of excellence and innovation in faculty teaching and scholarship. These vice provost positions are designed not only to provide critical support and structure in these areas, but they also will connect faculty success to student success, strengthening our culture of learning at Suffolk University and maximizing the difference we can make in the lives of our students and our faculty.
Vice provost for faculty and curriculum
As vice provost for faculty and curriculum, Pokorak will provide strategic leadership and oversight for academic program review, graduate and undergraduate curriculum efficiency and effectiveness, and faculty development in the areas of research, scholarship, and teaching excellence.
While serving as director of Clinical Programs and Experiential Learning at the Law School, he has integrated practical learning experiences for students with the intellectual life of the Law School. His success in building a nationally recognized clinical program has demonstrated his talent for working with various stakeholders in the University--such as the Center for Teaching Excellence and the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs--for the benefit of students and faculty. He also has been successful in raising funds to support the clinical programs and manages more than $1 million in grants.
He holds a BA from the State University of New York-Binghamton and a JD from Northeastern University School of Law. His leadership in supporting undergraduate and graduate curricula and faculty development will be key as we move forward with implementation of the University’s Strategic Plan.
Vice provost for student success
As vice provost for student success, Royo will be engaged in developing appropriate programs aimed at sustaining and increasing student achievement and will oversee undergraduate advising and transition programs, experiential learning programs, career services and cooperative education, and academic support services. He will oversee international educational experiences, international partnerships, and second-language learning services and work with the deans and the Office of Institutional Research to provide oversight and management of the assessment of student learning outcomes.
Royo has served as director of the Madrid campus, associate dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, and faculty member in the Government Department. His philosophy of teaching embodies the same principles as the University’s, emphasizing a student-centered experience geared to success. He sets high standards in the classroom and stresses the use of critical thinking skills in addressing the subject matter. At the same time, he takes an encouraging approach and makes himself available to help any student who struggles to meet his expectations.
Royo, a scholar of comparative political economy, is a prolific writer in both English and Spanish, not only publishing seven books, several book chapters and more than 24 articles in academic journals, but also contributing to newspapers and blogs.
As an associate dean, he has been responsible for academic assessment in a wide range of areas and for curriculum. He has been heavily involved in the introduction of online courses in the College. In his leadership of the Madrid campus, he has brought improved academic standards and integration of Madrid and Boston operations and administration.
Royo has immersed himself in University service, serving on committees that addressed technology, the honors program, curriculum reform, study abroad, and interdisciplinary programs. Perhaps most significantly, he is leading the University’s NEASC reaccreditation efforts. He has a passion for student success and a clear vision for integrating services, coordinating programs, and adding structure to improve student outcomes.
He holds a PhD in Political Science, an MBA, and an MA in International Relations from Boston University and a five-year law degree from Universidad Autónoma de Madrid.