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Dr. Ann Rivera Returns to Villa Maria College as Provost

By February 1, 2024February 5th, 2024Academics

Dr. Rivera's Headshot

President Matthew Giordano announced today that Dr. Ann Rivera has been named Villa Maria’s new Provost. Dr. Rivera previously served the College as Dean of Faculty, Faculty Chair, and Associate Professor of English between 2012 and 2021. 

As Provost, Dr. Rivera will be responsible for overseeing both Academic Affairs and Student Affairs. She will play a pivotal role in enhancing the overall student experience and ensuring the alignment of academic and cocurricular programs with the College’s mission and strategic goals. Dr. Rivera will also be a member of the President’s Cabinet, a key member of the executive leadership team. 

“Dr. Rivera’s credentials, accomplishments, and vision for the future made her an exceptional candidate for this vital position,” said Dr. Giordano. “She has a proven track record of leadership in higher education and in our community. Time and again, she has demonstrated her ability to work with others to make significant improvements in education, particularly when it comes to removing barriers to student success and improving student learning outcomes. With her background in program development and pedagogy, her fidelity to assessment and data, and her broad understanding of the current educational landscape, I am confident that Dr. Rivera is the academic leader we need as we embark on our next strategic plan and position Villa for continued growth and success.” 

Most recently, Dr. Rivera served as a founding Academic Dean as well as the Interim Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs at Hilbert College. Prior to her administrative service, she held the rank of Associate Professor of English, with a specialization in American literature and rhetoric and composition.  

As an At-Large Member of the Buffalo Board of Education, Dr. Rivera has amassed significant experience with P-12 education. In this role, she partnered with the leadership team to develop and implement the overall vision and operations of one of the “Big Five” school districts in New York State. Additionally, she collaborated with leaders and parents in the district to direct and shape its overall vision while advocating for equitable access to education and funding with city, county, state, and federal legislators. 

Dr. Rivera holds a Ph.D. in English and a Master of Art in English from the State University of New York at Buffalo, and a Bachelor of Art in English from Hampshire College.  

Dr. Rivera will succeed Villa Maria’s current Provost, Dr. Ryan Hartnett. Dr. Hartnett served the College for 10 years, and has been instrumental to the college’s growth and success. His accomplishments include the development of new academic programs and certificate programs, leading the institution through self-study, accreditation and assessment, the creation of dozens of dual enrollment and articulation agreements, and the development of numerous industry and non-profit partnerships. Dr. Hartnett has contributed to the college’s strategic and visionary plans over this period, and has led both academic and student affairs. Dr. Hartnett was also the driving force behind VillaCon!, the College’s one-day convention that brings the community to campus to celebrate gaming, cosplay, animation, film, and more. Dr. Hartnett leaves Villa Maria College to join the Middle States Commission for Higher Education as Vice President for Institutional Field Relations.