Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs
Dr. R. Lorraine (Laurie) Bernotsky is Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs at West Chester University of Pennsylvania, the largest university in the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education. The Academic Affairs Division is comprised of five colleges offering over 100 academic degree programs and houses the Office of Institutional Research, the Center for International programs, the offices of undergraduate admissions, enrollment management, financial aid, graduate studies, and undergraduate student support services. Roughly 850 faculty serve more than 16,000 students, 2,300 of whom are graduate students.
Prior to assuming this role, Dr. Bernotsky served as Associate Provost and Dean of Graduate Studies at WCU, providing leadership in the areas of curriculum development, general education, new program development, program review, assessment, regional and specialized external accreditation, articulation agreements with other 2- and 4-year institutions, academic policies, and faculty development. During the past two years, she led the approval of WCU's first three doctoral programs, the DNP, the Doctor of Public Administration and a Doctor of Education, as well as four new master's degree programs. She has also reversed the decline in graduate enrollments, moving from a projected decline of 16.94% in Fall 2013 to an increase of more than 9% over the last three years.
Dr. Bernotsky is also the founder of WCU's Center for Social and Economic Policy Research. As the Center's founder and first director, her efforts in development yielded over $3 million in funding from state, foundation, corporate, and nonprofit sources to sustain the Center's research activities. The Center has strong connections with government and nonprofit organizations in the region and has prepared and disseminated dozens of technical research reports, presented findings in a variety of public and community venues (radio, print media, television, and live events), and maintained an active research, evaluation, and policy expertise presence on behalf of WCU for local and regional nonprofit, public, and private organizations.
Dr. Bernotsky earned an M.Phil. and a D.Phil. in Politics from the University of Oxford and an M.A. in Sociology from Temple University. She has taught undergraduate and graduate courses in politics, research methods, and public administration. Her research interests and publications include women in politics, race, class and gender theory, economic development, as well teaching and learning. Her professional publications include policy papers and evaluation studies. Her community and professional activities include leadership of WCU's Center for Social and Economic Policy Research, founding and leading the WCU's Legislative Fellows program, and serving on the Leadership Chester County Board of Directors.