Melissa Hanson Asst. News Editor
Michael Bell was announced as Suffolk’s Interim Provost from fall 2012 to spring 2013. His job as provost is very specific, and he has quite a few plans in place for Suffolk.
“Suffolk was sort of an accident,” said Bell who was asked to join the temporary faculty by President McCarthy. Bell had not planned to come to Suffolk, but now is glad to be a part of the team that will choose a new and complete staff for the University. He said he plans to “keep the ship afloat” and to “keep it going in the right direction” as interim provost.
The biggest of his duties in this position is defining the roles of two new vice provosts who will join the staff after his leave in the spring. This involves selecting two people who will bring student and faculty success to Suffolk.
“This is such a good place, all the parts are strong…one of the possibilities is to make all the parts stronger,” said Bell. He wants to add a new dimension to the University by getting the faculty of all the three Suffolk colleges to work together.
“Suffolk is not broken, Suffolk is trying to get better,” said Bell. He remarks on how much the faculty of Suffolk has in common. Bell says they are not teachers of Grade 13, that they are “women and men who could transmit knowledge into a classroom.” This is the common purpose of the faculty according to Bell, who hopes if given the opportunity, the faculty of all three colleges will come together and create a bigger, prouder Suffolk community.
“If you can create context for collaboration…show them all that teaching and learning are the center of what they do, but not the only thing they do,” said Bell. One of his main goals as interim provost is to create a good transition and bring in people and concepts that will allow for the best services to students.
Bell is originally from the Boston area, but travelled to Philadelphia to study at St. Joseph’s, a Jesuit university for his undergraduate degree.
“I wanted the experience of going away,” said Bell. After college he worked as a faculty member at multiple colleges for about 23 years and then joined the administrations at Franklin Pierce College and Merrimack College.
“I sort of thought I’d gotten an unexpected career,” said Bell.
Bell takes pleasure in hiking, walking, and golf. He also loves reading and watching movies, and remarked on the imagination those activities bring and how that is the definition of humanity. Every Sunday he and his wife try to complete the New York Times crossword puzzle.
Overall, Bell is excited to be a part of the Suffolk community, he says, “I’m really happy to be here, this is a really wonderful opportunity.”