New Provost Announced
LONGMEADOW, MA—Bay Path College has named Melissa Morriss-Olson, PhD, as its new Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs. Dr. Morriss-Olson, who currently serves as Bay Path’s Dean of the Graduate School and Director of the Master of Science in Nonprofit Management and Philanthropy Program, will assume her new role and responsibilities in August. As Provost, she will administer all Bay Path academic and enrollment programs, ensuring continued growth of the College.
“As a member of the Bay Path College community, Dr. Melissa Morriss-Olson has consistently researched and embraced opportunities for creative academic programming,” said Bay Path President Carol A. Leary, PhD. “She has a strong record of engaging students and enhancing their academic experience through the practical and immediate application of what they learn in the classroom.”
Morriss-Olson joined Bay Path nearly five years ago as founding director of Bay Path’s graduate programs in nonprofit management and strategic fundraising and philanthropy. Appointed as Dean of the Graduate School in 2008, she led the efforts to launch the College’s first online master’s degree program, and increased student enrollment in innovative graduate degree and certificate programs both on campus and online. She oversaw the establishment of graduate student support programs and student research. In addition, she collaborated with faculty in the development of the Graduate School’s most recent Master of Science degrees in education/special education, higher education administration, forensics, and developmental psychology.
“As a first-generation college graduate who is strongly committed to women’s education, I resonate deeply with the mission of Bay Path College on many levels,” said Morriss-Olson. “First and foremost, I am an educator who is passionate about the role that education plays in impacting our society—from the individual to the organization, and ultimately the community. Here at Bay Path College, our faculty are about the business of transforming lives each and every time they go in to the classroom. I am honored to be able to play a broader role in supporting our faculty in this endeavor.”
Morriss-Olson has over 30 years of higher education administration experience including having served in numerous senior-level positions at North Park University in Chicago, IL, where she was responsible for significantly increasing enrollment and leading the University’s first comprehensive capital campaign. Also at North Park, she founded and directed one of the first academic centers in the country devoted to educating nonprofit professionals, the nationally renowned Axelson Center for Nonprofit Management. A frequent presenter at conferences throughout the United States, Morriss-Olson received her doctorate degree in educational leadership and policy studies from Loyola University in Chicago.
“Dr. Melissa Morriss-Olson brings highly relevant and extensive administrative experiences to this position,” said Dr. Leary. “Throughout her career, she has demonstrated that she is an exceptional and highly respected academic leader who will foster excellence and provide strategic direction for the academic area of Bay Path College.”