SHU Dean Takes on Vice Provost Role for Strategic Partnerships

FAIRFIELD, Conn.—Sacred Heart University’s dean of the Farrington College of Education (FCE), Michael Alfano, is taking on the role of vice provost for strategic partnerships, developing public and private sector connections while maintaining his current responsibilities.

In his expanded role, Alfano will solicit market and employer information to guide academic decisions and connect external organizations with SHU’s division of academic affairs. He reports to Provost Robin Cautin, serving as an ambassador for academic affairs to identify specific educational and training needs in the marketplace. He will work with SHU’s academic departments to meet those needs.

Since Alfano came to the FCE nearly four years ago, he has enhanced the status of the college through his hands-on approach to program development, and his vision about the role of the college and faculty across the university and within the community. He is responsible for several grants related to the redesign of the FCE’s teacher preparation program and for the inception of the college’s first Ed.D. program (a member program of the Carnegie Project on the Education Doctorate). The program, which began in the fall of 2019, focuses on social, emotional and academic leadership (SEAL), and is among the only doctoral programs of its kind in the country.

Alfano, a Wallingford resident, has been the FCE’s dean since 2018. Previously, he served as dean of the School of Education and Professional Studies at Central Connecticut State University in New Britain. where he helped create its center of excellence in social and emotional learning and its teacher leadership fellowship program.

Alfano earned his bachelor’s degree from Southern Connecticut State University, a master’s degree in education from DePaul University in Chicago, IL, and a Ph.D. in educational psychology and special education from the University of Connecticut.

“I am incredibly grateful and excited for the opportunity to expand my role here at SHU to include serving as vice provost for strategic partnerships,” Alfano said. “In this new and expanded role, I will be working with the provost and other colleagues to champion existing initiatives and to seek out and secure new and meaningful partnerships that will enhance outcomes for our students while advancing our University’s presence in the state, region and nation.”

Alfano also will chair a committee that University President John Petillo recently created to design and coordinate University outreach and partnerships with external organizations. The committee will ensure that the University maintains a unified voice when proposing and negotiating partnerships.

Photo by Tracy Deer-Mirek 


About Sacred Heart University

As the second-largest independent Catholic university in New England, and one of the fastest-growing in the U.S., Sacred Heart University is a national leader in shaping higher education for the 21st century. SHU offers nearly 90 undergraduate, graduate, doctoral and certificate programs on its Fairfield, Conn., campus. Sacred Heart also has satellites in Connecticut, Luxembourg and Ireland and offers online programs. More than 9,000 students attend the University’s nine colleges and schools: Arts & Sciences; Communication, Media & the Arts; Social Work; Computer Science & Engineering; Health Professions; the Isabelle Farrington College of Education; the Jack Welch College of Business & Technology; the Dr. Susan L. Davis, R.N., & Richard J. Henley College of Nursing; and St. Vincent’s College. Sacred Heart stands out from other Catholic institutions as it was established and led by laity. The contemporary Catholic university is rooted in the rich Catholic intellectual tradition and the liberal arts, and at the same time cultivates students to be forward thinkers who enact change—in their own lives, professions and in their communities. The Princeton Review includes SHU in its Best 387 Colleges–2022 Edition, “Best Northeastern” and Best Business Schools–2021 Edition. Sacred Heart is home to the award-winning, NPR-affiliated radio station, WSHU, a Division I athletics program and an impressive performing arts program that includes choir, band, dance and theatre.