Daily News

Westfield State Appoints David Caruso Temporary Provost, VP for Academic Affairs

WESTFIELD — David Caruso will join Westfield State University as temporary provost and vice president for Academic Affairs on Aug. 1.

With more than 35 years of higher-education experience, Caruso brings a strong background in the classroom, as a researcher, and an administrator. “Dr. Caruso’s deep commitment to academic excellence and student success was evident throughout our selection process, and I am confident he will serve our community well while he is with us,” President Linda Thompson said.

Caruso’s experience as a leader in higher education will play an important role to advance WSU’s concept of IDEAS — innovation, diversity, engagement, and advancement — that ultimately leads to student success.

“I am very pleased to have been selected to serve the Westfield State University community as temporary provost for the coming academic year,” Caruso said. “I have a deep commitment to the vital role that the state university system plays for the Commonwealth and believe that Westfield State is a leading campus in achieving that mission. As a resident of Western Mass., I am also very familiar with the accomplishments and contributions the university makes to the region and am proud to say that my son is a Westfield State University alum. I look forward to working with President Thompson, the deans, department chairs, and faculty, as well as other academic-affairs departments, to advance the university’s strategic goals and other important initiatives during the 2023-2024 academic year.”

Prior to his retirement, Caruso served as president of Antioch University New England (AUNE) from 2006 to 2013. There, he led the successful implementation of the 2007-12 strategic plan and doubled the campus annual fund. He launched AUNE’s first successful Horace Mann Spirit of Service Awards ceremony that provides funds for the general scholarship endowment. He also served on the boards of the New Hampshire College and University Council and Campus Compact for New Hampshire.

Previously, he was provost and vice president for Academic Affairs at Worcester State University from 2002 to 2006. Under his leadership, Worcester State implemented a universal student laptop program, revised general education, and launched a number of new academic programs. Earlier, he held faculty and administrative appointments at the University of Hartford, the University of Rhode Island, Purdue University, and Indiana State University. In 1995, he was awarded the American Council on Education Fellowship, a program designed to develop senior leaders in higher education. In 2014-15, he returned to Worcester State as interim provost.

Caruso obtained his Ph.D. in Human Development at Cornell University and his bachelor’s and master’s degrees at Sonoma State University. His research and publications are in the field of child and youth development and early-childhood education. He has done consulting in early-childhood education and higher-education leadership and organizational change, chaired the governance committee at the University of Hartford Magnet School, and served on the editorial boards of Early Education and Development, Child and Youth Care Forum, and Infant Mental Health Journal. He currently serves on the Leadership Council for Boundless Way Zen.