Greater Westfield Chamber of Commerce


Following a comprehensive national search, Parviz H. Ansari, Ph.D. has been selected as Westfield State University’s new Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs. Ansari will report to President Dr. Ramon S. Torrecilha and will provide vision, planning, and leadership to shape the university’s future. He will assume his new role at Westfield State on July 1.

According to Torrecilha, Ansari, as the university’s chief academic officer, will most immediately provide key oversight to the university’s move to a college structure and critical academic initiatives, including The Westfield State Experience, Westfield State’s signature student success program that aims to increase student engagement, achievement, and retention.

“Dr. Ansari’s innovative approach and influence in creating strategic relationships and student-centered advancements will benefit Westfield State’s students and faculty alike,” said Torrecilha. “We are delighted to welcome a senior administrator of Dr. Ansari’s caliber to the Westfield State community to further enrich our academic rigor and learning environments that position our students for career and life success.”

Ansari most recently served as the Vice Chancellor for Strategic Initiatives at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville (SIUE). He previously served as Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs there, achieving a 10-year high point in first-year retention and a sizeable increase in student diversity. He also provided leadership for institutional reaccreditation, the reorganization of academic affairs including the creation of the international affairs division, and an online-based Winter Session and forged strategic partnerships with area community colleges.

Prior to SIUE, he served in a variety of dean positions at Rowan University and Seton Hall University, both located in New Jersey. At Rowan, he was Dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences before serving as Dean of the College of Science and Mathematics and the founding Dean of the interdisciplinary School of Biomedical Sciences; and at Seton Hall University, he most recently served as Associate Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. At both institutions, he was the architect of strategic plans that advanced the mission of university.

Throughout his career, he has held several teaching positions, performed research at Brookhaven National Laboratory, and completed a one-year fellowship with the American Council on Education at The George Washington University.

“I appreciate the opportunity to apply my background in public and private higher education to benefit Westfield State University,” said Ansari. “I am eager to help lead the institution and oversee the Academic Affairs Division and I look forward to working alongside the members of the Westfield State community, including those with whom I had such positive interactions during the search process.”

Ansari holds a Ph.D. and a Master of Science in Physics from Tufts University and a Bachelor of Science in Physics from Pahlavi University (now Shiraz University) in Iran.

Ansari assumes the role of Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs following Dr. Marsha Marotta’s interim service as Vice President for Academic Affairs.

“I applaud and thank Dr. Marotta for her loyalty and dedication to Westfield State, as much of her work will have lasting impact on our students and university,” added Torrecilha. 

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