Dr. Betsy Newman is an executive leader in higher education with a track record of innovation and passion for delivering a student-centered experience. Her career has been dedicated to advancing a vision for developing entrepreneurial leaders with creation-driven mindsets—a boundaryless skill set that educators seek to develop in students across disciplines and that employers seek to recruit in employees across industries. She loves to educate students who are artists, creatives, designers, entrepreneurs, musicians, performers, teachers, and changemakers of all kinds eager to discover who they are and what they love to do. Dr. Newman believes deeply in how a distinctively holistic, experiential, student-success driven education contributes to students thriving and has deep experience with this kind of transformative education in the arts, business, entrepreneurship, and leadership.
As senior vice president for student enrollment and engagement, Dr. Newman has led with impact during a transformational time at Berklee including a successful merger with the Boston Conservatory, expansion of new programs and campuses, and record-level recruitment, retention, and graduation outcomes. She provides strategic direction and leadership to the Student Enrollment and Engagement (SEE) organization, which she reimagined and reorganized to better support students at every stage of their educational journey, from the moment they begin dreaming about attending Berklee through the day they walk across the stage at graduation ready to bring their creative talents to the world.
With a committed staff in SEE across enrollment management, student life, student success, and career services, Dr. Newman has led the innovative design and expansion of programs, services, and experiences that more intentionally advance student success. Dr. Newman led the development of the Berklee Bridge, a transformational initiative that unites student services and supports into a holistic, personalized, and relationship-driven student success network of advisors who guide students on their unique learning, artistic, and career paths supported by a one stop student services team that coordinates frontline assistance and a care services team that integrates health and wellness into the student success advising experience. To advance Berklee’s commitment to affordability, Dr. Newman expanded the need-based aid program for new entering students and designed the Thrive Scholarship program for continuing students increasing financial aid support to the highest level in Berklee’s history. Under her leadership, new student success programs including the Black Scholars Initiative (BSI), SOMOS Latinx, and the RISE first-generation program designed to foster belonging, connection, and community were launched, as well as the inaugural Center for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion and Berklee Career Center, organized with a distinctive career communities model now expanded to include the Berklee Bridge’s entire student success network.
Dr. Newman has been a student, researcher, and practitioner of higher education for 25 years. She received her Bachelor of Science (B.S.) degree in finance from Babson College, master’s degree (Ed.M.) in higher education administration from Harvard University, and doctorate degree (Ed.D.) in higher education management from the University of Pennsylvania, where she was awarded distinction for her dissertation research on how educational ecosystems influence students' development as entrepreneurial leaders with creation-driven mindsets. Dr. Newman serves as a Dissertation in Practice Chair at Northeastern University’s Graduate School of Education. She has recently completed The Thrive Method: A Handbook for Campus Experience Designers Creating Tomorrow’s Student Success Ecosystems, with case studies from innovations she led at Berklee in organizational design; recruitment and retention; student aid leveraging; diversity, equity, and inclusion; academic advising and support; and career development. Dr. Newman has presented on topics including creation-driven mindsets; crisis management; enrollment management; entrepreneurial leadership; entrepreneurial thought and action; management and leadership; student affairs; student-centered organizational design; student development; student success; and student success ecosystems.
Prior to Berklee, Dr. Newman served in executive leadership roles at Babson College as vice president of student affairs and program strategy and Stonehill College as director of strategic planning and institutional research. Before her career in higher education, she worked in strategy consulting.