Provost and Dean of the College Records
Scope and Contents
This record group contains papers from the Office of the Provost from 2017 to present. It includes correspondence, conference programs and speeches.
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The Provost position was established in 2000 and is the chief academic officer of the College. Previously, the most senior academic administrator was the Dean of the College. A reorganization occurred after Rev. Michael C. McFarland, S.J. became president in 2000. The Provost position was created but the Dean of the College position was retained. They remained separate positions until 2016. At this time, Frank Vellaccio retired as Provost and there was another reorganization of the Provost office. Now, the chief academic officer's position title is Provost and Dean of the College.
Frank Vellaccio has worked at Holy Cross since 1974, when he was hired as an assistant professor of chemistry. That same year, he earned his Ph.D. in organic chemistry from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
A native of West Haven, Connecticut, he earned a bachelor of science degree from Fordham University where he was inducted into Phi Beta Kappa. His doctoral thesis, "Synthesis and Study of New Reagents with Potential Use in Peptide Synthesis," began his career as an academic chemist in the area of peptide synthesis.
In addition to articles in scientific journals, Dr. Vellaccio published a textbook, “Organic Chemistry,” in 1980. Written with D.S. Kemp, the book became a standard text in many colleges and universities throughout the country, and has been translated into Japanese, Italian, and Spanish.
After serving on a number of the College’s major committees, Dr. Vellaccio moved into an administrative position in 1986, becoming dean of the College. From this office, he oversaw faculty, academic, and curricular policy. The following year, he became the College’s academic vice president. In January 1996, the College’s president at the time, Rev. Gerard Reedy, S.J., named him the College’s first provost, with dual responsibilities for both academic affairs and College development. He was appointed acting president during the summer of 1998 and served the College in that capacity until the summer of 2000, when he was named senior vice president. He served in this position until 2016 when he began his role as Special Advisor to the President and Advancement Offices.
Margaret Freije earned her bachelor's degree at Boston College and Ph.D. at Brown University. She came to Holy Cross in the fall of 1986. A specialist in arithmetic geometry, Freije has distinguished herself as a teacher, faculty member, and through her administrative contributions to the College. She was honored with the Holy Cross Distinguished Teaching Award in 1997 and was named a "Woman of Distinction" by the Girl Scouts in 2003. She has served on pivotal College committees, including the Social Concerns Committee and the First Year Program Committee. She has also been a faculty representative to the Trustee's Academic Affairs Committee. She served as Class Dean for the classes of 1999 and 2003, as Assistant Dean for Curriculum Management, as Associate Dean, as Vice President of Academic Affairs and Dean of the College, before assuming her most recent administrative role as Provost and Dean of the College in 2016.
As Provost and Dean of the College, Dr. Freije provided leadership and day-to-day management for all facets of the academic life of the College. She also served as a member of the President’s Cabinet and played a role in setting strategic priorities for the College. She stepped down from this role in 2022.
Ann Marie Leshkowich was appointed Interim Provost and Dead of the College in 2022. Leshkowich joined the Holy Cross department of sociology and anthropology in 2000, earned tenure in 2007, and was promoted to the rank of professor in 2014. She is a well published sociocultural anthropologist whose work focuses on gender, class, economic transformation, fashion, kinship, socialism and neoliberalism. She has been conducting ethnographic fieldwork in Vietnam for more than 25 years. Her 2014 book, “Essential Trade: Vietnamese Women in a Changing Marketplace,“ was awarded the 2016 Harry J. Benda Prize by the Association for Asian Studies. She received the Mary Louise Marfuggi Faculty Award for Outstanding Scholarship in 2015 and the O’Leary Faculty Recognition Award in 2009-2011.
Since becoming dean of the faculty in 2019, Leshkowich has collaborated with faculty committees to develop guidelines for online teaching and policies on child bonding leave and criteria for the formation of new departments. In addition to regularly teaching “Contemporary Asia” at the introductory level and “Ethnographic Field Methods” at the advanced level, she offers elective courses such as “Fashion and Consumption” and “Economic Anthropology.” She has served as an advisor for department and College honors theses, capstone projects in Gender, Sexuality and Women’s Studies, the Weiss summer research program, and the Fenwick Scholar.
Leshkowich has been an active member of the Gender, Sexualities and Women studies concentration, previously served as director of Asian studies and as chair of the department of sociology and anthropology, and has served on numerous College committees.
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