Dr. Hugh F. Lena, Ph.D.
Dr. Hugh F. Lena was appointed provost and senior vice president for academic affairs on July 1, 2010. He is the first person to hold this position in the College’s history. Dr. Lena previously served as vice president for academic affairs and acting vice president for academic administration.
As PC’s highest-ranking academic official since 2004, Dr. Lena is responsible for promoting high-quality teaching and learning, as well as supporting and recognizing academic and service excellence within the College’s School of Arts and Sciences, School of Professional Studies, School of Business, and School of Continuing Education.
Those reporting to Dr. Lena include the deans of the College’s four schools, the Office of Admission, the Office of Enrollment Services, and the Office of Financial Aid.
A scholar of medical sociology, he earned his bachelor’s degree in sociology from the University of Notre Dame and his master’s and doctoral degrees in sociology from the University of Connecticut.
Dr. Lena came to Providence College in 1974 as an assistant professor of sociology and currently holds the rank of professor of sociology. Throughout his teaching career, he taught undergraduate courses in several academic disciplines outside of the sociology department, including American Studies, management, and public and community service studies. These courses included Sociology of Health and Illness, Law and Medicine, Introduction to Service in Democratic Societies, and AIDS, Community, and the Politics of Risk.
From 1978-80, Dr. Lena served as director of the sociology division of the Department of Sociology, Anthropology, and Social Work. He served as chairperson of the Department of Sociology from 1992-95.
Outside of the department, Dr. Lena has served on a number of College boards and committees, including the Academic Appeals Committee, the AICU-RI Academic Affairs Committee, the Feinstein Public Service Program Committee, and the Strategic Planning Committee on Athletics.
He also served on the Faculty Senate for 28 years and was president of the elected board from 2001-04.
The editor of two books and author of several book chapters, Dr. Lena has had numerous articles published in leading academic journals, including The American Sociologist, The International Journal of Health Services, and Contemporary Sociology.
He has been awarded fellowships from the Institute of Human Values in Health Care at the Medical University of South Carolina, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the National Science Foundation Fellowship on Quantitative Instruction in American Society at Harvard University and Arizona State University.
Dr. Lena is a member of the American Association of Higher Education and Accreditation, the American Sociological Association, the Eastern Sociological Society, and several other professional organizations.
In the community, he serves as a volunteer at St. Patrick’s Soup Kitchen in Providence and as a board member for Providence Community Health Centers.
Dr. Lena has been married to Susan Humphrey Lena for more than four decades. She had a long career as an elementary school teacher and administrator and now provides consulting services. Their daughter, Dr. Jennifer Lena, is a sociologist currently teaching at Barnard College in New York City.