As Yeshiva University reaffirms its commitment to offer an outstanding education in both Jewish and secular studies, we extend a warm welcome to new leaders who will be spearheading the future and strengthening academic affairs. Below, we highlight their plans for moving the University forward.

For Dr. Selma Botman, Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost, the road ahead is paved with opportunities. “YU should build upon its storied past while at the same time create a 21st-century university that continues to be indispensable to the Jewish community and the greater world,” said Botman. “As a 21st-century university, YU will continue to innovate and reimagine its academic and intellectual offerings. Two special task forces charged with considering the role of technology in instruction, among other areas, have just concluded their work.”

Indispensable to technology-assisted instruction are the faculty, said Botman, who will be an integral part of this plan by adapting their course materials for online courses and courses that are taught in a blended fashion. “I’m looking forward to working with the entire Office of Academic Affairs and with the various deans, faulty, and faculty council to ensure that the highest quality of instruction is maintained and student success is ensured,” said Botman.

Dr. Scott Goldberg, the Vice Provost for Teaching and Learning at YU, will help lead various initiatives at YU’s undergraduate and graduate schools that use 21st-century methods and media. Goldberg is not a newcomer to YU: he joined the YU faculty in 2002, and eventually assumed the inaugural position of director of the Institute for University-School Partnership (YUSP). He taught at Stern College for Women and at the Azrieli Graduate School of Jewish Education and Administration, where he served as director of the Fanya Gottesfeld Heller Division of Doctoral Studies and where he is currently a tenured associate professor.

Though some may express a sense of anxiety about online education and blended instruction, Botman and Goldberg are confident that it will only enhance the field of education in general and education at YU in particular.

“I think there’s a real misinterpretation of the role of technology in education, and I can’t even imagine how we would be marginalizing the role of the educator,” said Botman. “Online learning gives students who have wildly diverse learning styles the opportunity to learn from faculty and fellow students as well as access to global resources that are much bigger than any one university could provide.”

For Goldberg, any anxiety surrounding this progressive method of learning is nothing new. “The pencil was denounced, too, when it was first invented,” he said. “Online and blended learning is just another communal response to create something that creatively engages the world. In the field of education, innovation is key: technology-assisted instruction is just what’s next. What is learned and how and when it is learned may change, but universities must continue to be centers of teaching and learning.”

Many classes at YU currently integrate media content and online instruction into their curricula, particularly in some of YU’s graduate schools. Azrieli launched an online master’s degree last spring, and, last summer, a Principles of Financial Accounting class at the Sy Syms School of Business was taught entirely online, marking the first such course for a YU undergraduate school.

Another feature of Goldberg’s position is to reach untapped markets by broadening the University’s reach through new degrees, certificate programs and continuing education opportunities on campus, abroad and online, and developing partnerships with businesses.

To play a key role in building a sustainable University, YU welcomed Seth Moskowitz, Vice President for Institutional Advancement, in June. Moskowitz brings a wealth of development experience and leadership to YU’s fundraising team.

“I plan to follow up on the successful development efforts of Dan Forman, who oversaw the raising of nearly $1 billion since 2006, and to continue expanding the role of YU in securing a strong future for the greater Jewish community,” said Moskowitz, who previously served as the senior vice president for the American Society for the Technion and has held positions with American Friends of the Israel Democracy Institute, Nefesh B’Nefesh, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Jewish National Fund, and the United Jewish Appeal. “We have an important role to play in Jewish life both here and in Israel, and we need to continue educating bright, leadership-minded Jewish men and women who contribute and give back to the world. We have a strong fundraising team in place with a fantastic track record, and I am confident that we will excel in transmitting our message to the greater community.”

Regarding internal finances, Jacob “Jake” Harman will serve as Vice President of Business Affairs and Chief Financial officer. He will lead the University’s finance functions and play an integral role in developing and implementing financial and operational plans to meet the strategic goals set by the University. He will serve on the executive cabinet and work closely with Senior Vice President Josh Joseph on strategic initiatives.

“Jake brings to YU a deep skill-set with more than 35 years of experience as a seasoned well-rounded financial executive,” said President Richard M. Joel. “We are confident that Jake will provide new energy, focus, and commitment to YU’s finance operations at this important juncture in the University’s development of a long-term sustainable business model.”

Prior to joining YU, Harman spent his career at KPMG, where he most recently served as a senior audit partner in the firm’s Office of General Counsel.


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