Maria Toyoda, an educational leader and scholar with extensive experience in interdisciplinary studies, has been named dean of Suffolk University’s College of Arts & Sciences, the University announced.
The Suffolk Board of Trustees approved the appointment at its April 10 meeting. Toyoda will join Suffolk July 1 from Villanova University, where she is associate dean for Interdisciplinary Studies and Global Initiatives in the College of Arts and Sciences. She will report to Suffolk Provost Marisa Kelly.
In addition to her role as associate dean at Villanova, Toyoda is a faculty member and past chair of Villanova’s Political Science Department, and serves as editor-in-chief of the Journal of the Japanese Political Economy. Previously, she was a research scholar at Stanford University’s Institute for International Studies. Her research has focused on topics related to the politics of finance. Toyoda has held visiting and fellowship positions with the Council on Foreign Relations; the International Monetary Fund; and the Social Science Research Council, among others.
She received a BA from Stanford University and master’s and doctoral degrees in government from Georgetown University.
“Maria Toyoda is a strategic thinker committed to collaboration across department and school lines,” Kelly said. “She is a champion of global education, interdisciplinary studies, and liberal education as a foundation for professional and personal success. She will be an outstanding leader for the College of Arts & Sciences and Suffolk as a whole.”
As Suffolk’s eighth dean of the College, Toyoda succeeds Kenneth Greenberg, who has led the University’s largest school with distinction since 2004. Greenberg, a distinguished professor of history, announced last year that he would retire as dean to return to full-time teaching this fall.
“I am honored and eager to join Suffolk at a pivotal moment,” Toyoda said. “I look forward to working with faculty, staff and students to make the most of Suffolk’s unique attributes. The faculty members are deeply engaged and caring educators and scholars, the students are terrific, and the University is innovating from solid and tested principles, so there is a lot to get excited about.”
As dean of Suffolk’s College of Arts & Sciences, Toyoda will lead a school with 15 academic departments offering 30 majors and 70 programs overseen by 182 full-time faculty. She will play a central and catalytic role in working collaboratively to craft new plans for the arts and sciences and in establishing clear priorities while supporting faculty as they rigorously engage students in the classroom and outside it.
"Maria stood out from an impressive group of candidates that were eager to be part of Suffolk University's College of Arts & Sciences future - one that is exceptionally bright due to the University's ideal location and rich programs that ensure our students’ success," said Julie Kahn, Suffolk trustee, chair of the College of Arts & Sciences Committee and co-chair of the dean search committee.
Added Robert Allison, co-chair of the College’s dean search committee and chair of the History Department: “Maria Toyoda has a thoughtful understanding of the challenges facing colleges in the 21st century. She is a stellar teacher, innovative scholar, an educational leader, a skilled administrator, and the right person to lead the College of Arts & Sciences into our next phase.”
Toyoda has experience in areas critical to the College’s future including curriculum development; study-abroad initiatives and international research programs; diversity initiatives; first-year student experiences; recruitment and admissions; career advising; strategic planning and fundraising.
She joins Suffolk as it prepares to open a new academic building at 20 Somerset Street for the fall semester, which will create a technology-enhanced learning environment for College of Arts & Sciences and Sawyer Business School programs.