By Lian Mlodzienski
A new provost and vice president of academic affairs at East Stroudsburg University has been named. Joanne Zakartha Bruno, J.D., will be replacing Dr. Van Reidhead in early March this year.
Since August of 2010, Reidhead served as the chief academic officer for all educational activities related to undergraduate and graduate programs. Four years later, he gave in his letter of resignation mentioning his desire to return to the classroom.
Since then, Reidhead has returned to the Sociology Department as a professor in the hopes of increasing his interaction with students.
He said, “As the provost my passion was for student learning, and I missed not being in the classroom where the action is.”
Reidhead continued, “I decided it was time to turn the provost job over to a new person, and going into the classroom was the only thing I wanted to do.”
After starting the semester, Reidhead said that his classes were fun. He enjoys it and hopes that his students have learned something. The transition from provost to professor is a work in progress and, in general, a lot of work.
He said, “Being a good teacher is challenging. I want to be a better teacher than when I last taught.”
As Reidhead readjusts to the classroom, Ms. Bruno will soon be adjusting to her new position as the provost.
Before coming to East Stroudsburg University, Bruno worked in the office of academic affairs at New Jersey City University.
This is where she worked for almost 20 years. She worked as the Vice President for Academic Affairs for 9 of those years. More recently, she served as the Vice President of Academic Initiatives and Services.
While working at New Jersey City University she coordinated three Periodic Review Reports, lead two successful Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE) self-studies, and lead the most recent strategic plan initiative — 2015 and Beyond – Transforming Lives.
She supported grant initiatives, both federal and state level. In addition to this, she recruited and hired faculty while emphasizing research and backgrounds.
Bruno did not follow the usual path of a faculty member to dean to provost. Her interest in academic affairs was sparked while she as preparing for an academic paper. This paper focused on sociology on law in simpler societies and she wrote it as a graduate student at Columbia University.
Bruno also attended Rutgers University Law School in Newark, New Jersey, and in 1987 earned her J.D.
She believes that it is her law background that allows her, “the learning landscape to truly spot issues, analyze facts and legal principles, support a position and come to a conclusion or solution that could arguably be the best option given a particular set of circumstances.”
Soon after earning this degree, Bruno served as the Vice President for the New Jersey State of Federation of Teachers / American Federation of Teachers (NJSFT-AFT), American Federation of Labor / Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL/CIO) as a representative of the faculty and professional staff of the A. Harry Moore Laboratory School. This is a program of the New Jersey City University, which was then known as the Jersey City State College.
During her tenured time here, her responsibilities included chairing and conducting grievances for the school’s faculty and professional staff. She also maintained general communications between union leadership, unit members, and college administration on a local level.
Her career in academic affairs began when she was the acting assistant vice president for academic affairs. This occurred after she had been asked to develop and implement New Jersey City University’s first full-time office for specialized services for students with disabilities.
After a national search, she was named assistant to the vice president. She did have some apprehension about having a Juris Doctorate, compared to having a Ph.D. In the end she has found acceptance in the academy and she was able to, “appreciate, recruit, and retain highly qualified faculty over the years.”
University President Dr. Marcia G. Welsh said, “East Stroudsburg University is fortunate to have someone of Ms. Bruno’s experience and academic background. We welcome her to our university and we look forward to her fresh, innovative methods.”
Bruno looks forward to taking on her new role at East Stroudsburg University and “sustaining the momentum at ESU to meet the President’s vision to make it the best university in the Pennsylvania State System.”
Until Ms. Bruno takes over this new position, Dr. Peter Hawkes, dean of the college of arts and sciences, will serve as interim vice president of academic affairs and provost.
Email Lian at: