February, 2015

Vanita Shastri joins as Dean of Undergraduate Programmes

Dr Shastri comes with a multi-dimensional experience having worked as an academician, entrepreneur and philanthropist


Dr Vanita Shastri has been appointed the Dean of Undergraduate Programmes at Ashoka University. In this role she will work in collaboration with the Vice Chancellor and the Pro Vice Chancellor’s office to concretise the University’s vision and strategise for the all-inclusive development of the undergraduate students at the University.

The Undergraduate Programmes is the foundation of the University, so it was deemed necessary to have a Dean to further streamline the academic as well as non-academic growth of the students at the undergraduate level. The Dean of Undergraduate Programmes is responsible not only for the optimum academic delivery but also for ensuring a comprehensive student life which includes extra-curricular activities, sports, residence life and leadership development of the undergraduate student body.

Commenting on the appointment, Vineet Gupta, Founder, Trustee and Pro Vice Chancellor, Ashoka University said, “The Dean of Undergraduate Programmes office has been created to ensure a holistic experience for students. It takes students through the Ashoka experience and hence the appointment of the Dean is a very critical milestone for the University. We are pleased to have Dr. Vanita Shastri in this role. She brings with her a strong experience both as an administrator and as an academician.”

Dr. Shastri comes with a multi-dimensional experience having worked as an academician, entrepreneur and philanthropist. Prior to joining Ashoka University, she made a mark for six years as Executive Director at TiE-Boston where she was responsible for all programming, educational initiatives, membership, the annual conference and sponsor engagement. In the early years of her career, she worked for Redwood Investment Systems, Inc. in Boston where she led the team to set up their wholly owned subsidiary in India and directed their global operations. Later, in her entrepreneurial journey she founded two non-profit organizations – the Meru Education Foundation, USA and the Habitat Learning Center in Delhi, India.

Vanita has a Ph.D. from Cornell University where she worked on India’s Industrial Policy Liberalization. Her academic experience includes teaching courses like ‘Business & Entrepreneurship in India’ and ‘International Entrepreneurship’ at educational institutions like the School of Management at Boston University; Gandhi & Social Development in India at Wellesley College, Massachusetts and University of Mass at Dartmouth.

Pramath Raj Sinha, Founder and Trustee, Ashoka University added, “We are delighted to have someone like Dr Shastri in such a critical role at Ashoka. With her multitalented background, we could not have found a better person.”

Dr. Vanita Shastri is very enthusiastic and optimistic about her journey at Ashoka, “I have worn different hats during my career- Academician, Entrepreneur and also roles in Management Leadership,” she says. “I will combine all these skills in my role here. I am excited at the opportunity to build a unique institution, to strengthen the vision, scale programs and inspire leaders of tomorrow. The value proposition of a Liberal Arts education in India that creates a holistic experience for students in a multi-disciplinary format is indeed forward-looking.”


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