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Senior Management Team

The senior management team at Lasell University is made up of representatives from each department. The team is responsible for the strategic growth and vision of the University.

Michael Alexander

Michael B. Alexander, M.A.

President

Education: A.B.D. toward Ed.D. in Higher Education, Harvard Graduate School of Education; M.A. in Education, Ohio State University; A.B. in History and Literature of America, Harvard University

As the institution’s educational and administrative leader, Michael’s primary responsibility is to provide an environment in which faculty and staff can make maximum use of their professional expertise and experience to contribute to the personal and intellectual growth of every Lasell student. 

Since becoming President in 2007, Michael has overseen a dramatic increase in total student enrollment, full-time faculty, and annual giving. He has led two successful capital campaigns. Under Michael’s direction, the University has become home to a robust Graduate and Professional Studies division, with more than 20 programs. He leads regular community-wide strategic planning sessions to set goals for the future of the University and its continuing care retirement community, Lasell Village. In addition to his role at Lasell University, Michael serves as the Chief Executive Officer of Lasell Village. 

Michael is recognized as an expert on the financing of higher education and as the founder of the Lower Cost Models for Independent Colleges Consortium (LCMC), which now consists of more than 100 colleges across the country.  The LCMC is dedicated to the invention and implementation of new business models that will support the delivery of high-quality private higher education at significantly lower prices to students and their families. 

Michael’s leadership facilitated the creation of a Campus Master Plan and consequently managed the financing and construction of three new residence halls, two underground parking garages, two new courtyards, and a fitness facility, in addition to a complete dining hall renovation. Two major academic centers, the Donahue Center for Creative and Applied Arts and the Science and Technology Center (STC) were also founded and constructed during his tenure.

Chelsea Gwyther

Chelsea Gwyther, M.P.A.

Vice President of University Advancement

Education: M.P.A., University of North Carolina at Charlotte; B.A. in Environmental Studies, Prescott College

 

Chelsea Gwyther joined Lasell in December 2018, after serving the University of Massachusetts, Amherst for four years, firstly as Executive Director of Development and then as Assistant Dean of Advancement in the College of Natural Sciences. At Lasell, she leads an ongoing effort to attract philanthropic support for the University’s mission. Additionally, she is focused on creating connections between alumni and current students to improve educational outcomes and reduce costs.

 title=Jennifer OKeeffe, J.D.

Chief of Staff and General Counsel 

Education: J.D. summa cum laude, Thomas Jefferson School of Law, San Diego; B.A. in Communications, Boston College


Jennifer joined Lasell in 2014 as Director of Legal Affairs and Title IX Coordinator with responsibility for directing and supervising all legal matters on behalf of Lasell University and overseeing all complaints related to sexual harassment and gender discrimination. She was promoted to Assistant Vice President in 2020 and assumed her current role as Chief of Staff and General Counsel in November 2021. In this expanded role, Jennifer continues to serve as in-house counsel to Lasell University and Lasell Village as well as act as a close advisor to the President and her Senior Management Team colleagues, facilitating proactive and collaborative communication throughout the Lasell community. Other responsibilities include oversight of the Human Resources Department and supervision of Lasell’s Title IX/ADA Coordinator. Before joining Lasell, Jennifer was an Assistant District Attorney for the Suffolk County District Attorney's Office, where she worked in the Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Unit. Prior to her time as ADA, she was a staff attorney for the Justice Resource Institute and served as a law clerk for the New Hampshire Superior Court. Jennifer is a member of the National Association of College and University Attorneys (NACUA).

 

Headshot of Chrystal Porter

Chrystal Porter, Ph.D., Ed.S.

Vice President for Enrollment & Marketing

Education: Ph.D., Capella University; Ed.S., Florida State University; M.S.A. in Sport Administration, Ohio University; B.S. in Sport Science, Ohio University; B.S. in Communication, Ohio University

Dr. Chrystal Porter oversees and provides strategic direction and support to the areas of Graduate and Undergraduate Admission, Student Financial Planning, the Office of the Registrar, Marketing, the Office of Communication, Graduate Student Services, and Athletics (intercollegiate, intramural and recreation). Chrystal joined Lasell in July 2020 as the Vice President of Graduate and Professional Studies where she was charged with the growth, delivery, and assessment of all graduate, certificate, and non-traditional programs. She was appointed Vice President for Enrollment & Marketing in June 2021. Chrystal has substantial experience in higher education including serving as an Associate Provost, Assistant Director of Graduate Admission, Assistant Director of Undergraduate Admission, and Assistant Director of Retention while holding positions at Endicott College, North Central College, and Wiley College in Texas. She was awarded the rank of Professor in 2019 and teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in sport marketing, sport finance, sport sales, social media marketing, and higher education leadership. Earlier in her career, she worked for the NBA’s Denver Nuggets and the Colorado Avalanche of the NHL.

headshot of Jesse Tauriac

Jesse Tauriac, Ph.D.

Assistant Vice President and Chief Diversity Officer

Education: Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology, University of Massachusetts Boston; M.A. in Clinical Psychology, University of Massachusetts Boston; B.A. in Psychology, Boston University

Jesse Tauriac was appointed Assistant Vice President and Chief Diversity Officer in 2018. He provides strategic and programmatic leadership and works collaboratively with Senior Management, employees, and students to effectively advance diversity, equity, inclusion, and intercultural competence throughout the University. Jesse first joined Lasell in 2012 as an Assistant Professor of Psychology in the Social Sciences Department, and in 2015 was appointed Director of the Donahue Institute for Ethics, Diversity, & Inclusion and Chief Diversity Officer. With more than 15 years of experience in consulting and providing professional development on effective intercultural engagement and socially responsible organizational development, Jesse brings a deep knowledge of working within an organization to engage stakeholders and foster an environment where community members from every background feel welcomed, included, and valued. He has taught numerous undergraduate and graduate courses addressing social identities and inequities, intercultural competence, and inclusive teaching practices, and has published and presented widely on these same topics. Jesse was also a fellow of the American Psychological Association's Minority Fellowship Program.

headshot of Eric Turner

Eric Turner, M.B.A.

Provost

Education: M.B.A., Harvard Business School; A.B. in Economics, Harvard College

 

Eric Turner was appointed Provost in July 2020. As the University's chief academic officer, he oversees the planning, development, administration, promotion, and evaluation of all curricular and co-curricular programs at the campus, as well as providing leadership in support of teaching and learning excellence. He oversees all programming related to student services and development and is responsible for all hiring, development, funding, and evaluation processes and activities related to the faculty and staff of Academic and Student Affairs. Eric first joined the Lasell Senior Management Team in 2017 as Vice President of Graduate and Professional Studies. However, Eric's ties to Lasell run deep, previously serving as Chair of the University's Board of Trustees and, more recently, as a Lasell Village Trustee. Eric brings a wealth of experience from both the private and public sectors including stints at State Street, IBM, the Massachusetts State Lottery and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. In 2013, Lasell conferred upon him the honorary title of Doctor of Humane Letters and, in recognition of his leadership of the faculty as Provost, he was granted the honorary title of Professor of Business in 2020.