Dennis Di Lorenzo, Harvey J. Stedman Dean, NYU School of Professional Studies
Following an extensive national search, Dennis Di Lorenzo was named dean of the NYU School of Professional Studies (NYUSPS) in September 2013. One year later, his deanship was named in honor of Harvey J. Stedman, a predecessor in that role. Having served as interim and vice dean of NYUSPS, in addition to holding other senior-level positions for nearly 20 years, Dean Di Lorenzo has an in-depth understanding of the School that few can claim. This knowledge is eclipsed only by his enthusiastic passion for and palpable dedication to the School, as evidenced by the key leadership role he has played in its evolution and growth. Dean Di Lorenzo has, among many other initiatives, fostered the development of innovative programming; provided insight and guidance on faculty and student affairs issues; expanded the School's horizons in the US and abroad; and overseen the renovation of 7 East 12th Street, the flagship home for the NYU School of Professional Studies. Establishing this new home combined with renaming the School (from SCPS to SPS), has served to transform its identity and brand, solidifying its claim and reputation as a trailblazer in professionally oriented higher education.
The NYU School of Professional Studies serves as the NYU home for study and applied research pertaining to those knowledge-based industries in which the New York region leads globally. Given the current emphasis to bridge the gap between an individual's practical learning needs and the requirements of industry, the School's 82-year history and mission in this arena is proving to be of even greater application and import today. The connections between students and the workplace and the classroom and industry, have strengthened significantly under Dean Di Lorenzo's stewardship. He foresees a future in which students will become industry leaders and socially minded change agents, accomplished individuals who have acquired in-depth professional expertise grounded in the lexicon and culture of their fields, combined with critical thinking and writing skills intrinsic to a liberal arts education. The School serves as a think tank for industry, addressing challenges in business models and anticipating the required skill sets of the future workforce. Recently Dean Di Lorenzo introduced the non-degree Professional Pathways program, which is comprised of Career Advancement Courses designed for established working professionals, and Diploma Programs for the underemployed and unemployed, to help them acquire skills and job training in fields that are hiring.
During his tenure, the dean has cultivated unprecedented and frequent open dialogue with students, faculty members, and administrators. The School is committed to building community and to improving student experience and outcomes—goals that remain consistently at the top of his agenda. These objectives have motivated Dean Di Lorenzo to implement several important initiatives. The International Student Support Center (ISSC) was created to serve a diverse and growing international student population. It offers programs and services to ease the transition for international students—academically and socially—as they adapt to a new culture and learning environment. The NYU Wasserman Center for Career Development at NYUSPS launched in Fall 2012 to support the career development of the School's graduate and undergraduate students. An invaluable resource, it has provided more than 3,000 students with career counseling, job search databases, coaching, and career seminars. The Dean's encouragement of and collaboration with faculty members has been crucially important in building an invigorating learning community; his partnership with full-time and adjunct faculty members provides formal and informal opportunities to gain from their expertise, address their concerns, and build upon their aspirations. At committee meetings and casual lunches and dinners, faculty members have a voice and a say that counts and is listened to.
Consistent with the NYU mission of expanding its global network to prepare students for lives and careers in a diverse world, the School opened the NYUSPS American Language Institute Tokyo Center in 2014, and recently launched the NYUSPS American Language Institute at NYU Shanghai. The dean is developing additional initiatives that will continue to bring the School's brand of education to locations around the world—enterprises that will respect and accommodate the cultures of the countries with which the School engages. Spearheading the charge for professional education here and abroad, the NYU School of Professional Studies continues to investigate, implement, and nurture programs that elucidate professional requirements and industry trends to prepare the leaders of the future. Dean Di Lorenzo believes that the School will pilot the conversation defining the 21st century classroom. He envisions an on campus and online educational community that serves as a vibrant hub for networking, engagement, Socratic dialogue, and applied learning.
In addition to his role at NYUSPS, for the last 10 years, Dean Di Lorenzo also has been acting in a public service capacity, building consensus and creating public policy, as a trustee member of the Harrison, New York Board of Education, which serves a multicultural, pre-K through 12th-grade student population. He and his wife Jennifer are the proud parents of four children: Julia; Dennis, Jr.; Jack; and Violet.