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Lesley University Announces Next Steps With Better Lesley

Karyn Regal/Director of Communications 

Lesley University Karyn.regal@lesley.edu/617-256-0115 

Lesley University is announcing the second set of changes we believe are necessary for the university to make as we refocus Lesley on its core missions of education, mental health, and the arts.

Earlier this year, we announced the results of a 10-month long process to refocus the university on its core strengths in education, mental health, the arts, and the fields related to those strengths, by restructuring its degree and course offerings, and investing in its student support systems, and its strategic vision. Last month, Lesley announced it would drop four programs, affecting 51 students, all of whom will be able to finish their programs. At that time, we also identified a number of faculty positions as no longer needed, and we are negotiating with the core faculty union.

Now, Lesley University is taking the next step the Board of Trustees ordered us to take. As of January, we will move to a one university structure, with all university operational functions being centralized at the university level and academic programs organized in four areas:

  • Education (from undergraduate through Ph.D.)
  • Mental Health and Well-Being (from undergraduate through Ph.D.)
  • Art and Design, which will remain a college and now include the M.F.A in Creative Writing and
  • Liberal Arts and Business

This will also mean the loss of some valued employees because we no longer need the number of employees that are currently in their areas. This is because we are overstaffed; not because their work is not valued. Our focus now is on supporting these affected employees in their transitions. As part of this process, we are working with qualified employees who are interested and have the skills to move into open positions, where we will also look to give them new opportunities to grow in new areas.

“As Lesley strategically contracts in some areas, it is growing and investing in others. We believe this restructure will allow Lesley University to enhance our core strengths more easily in education, mental health, the arts, and related areas, and to create pathways for students to progress in these areas or combine interests across areas and develop cross-disciplinary learning,” says Lesley University President, Janet L. Steinmayer.

Lesley University confers the most degrees in New England for specialized educators and mental health professionals. The university is also home to one of the country’s leading programs for practicing fine, graphic, and digital artists, renowned for having one of the highest percentages of graduates working in their fields of choice upon graduation.