Donna Heiland, Vice President and Special Assistant to the President
The Vice President and Special Assistant works closely with the president on a wide range of matters. She provides leadership for strategic planning, represents the office of the President at Emerson and beyond, works with the Board of Overseers and the Board of Trustees, and with senior administrators and faculty on projects that align with the President’s strategic priorities. Donna came to Emerson with a long history of participating in national conversations about—and efforts to strengthen—undergraduate education, and is particularly interested in developing projects that will enhance Emerson’s place in those conversations.
Prior to arriving at Emerson in summer 2012, Donna served for eight years as Vice President of the Teagle Foundation, which is nationally known for its programs to strengthen student learning, especially in the arts and sciences. She has also served as Director of Fellowship Programs at the American Council of Learned Societies, and earned tenure in the English Department at Vassar College, where she was on the faculty for nearly twelve years.
Over the course of her career, Donna has given many invited talks, conference papers, and other presentation on literature and on topics in higher education. Her publications include Literary Study, Measurement, and the Sublime: Disciplinary Assessment, which she co-edited with Laura J. Rosenthal, and the assistance of Cheryl Ching (Teagle Foundation, 2011) and Gothic and Gender: An Introduction (Blackwell, 2004). She earned her PhD in English from Yale University, focusing especially on 18th century British literature, and her BA from the University of Western Ontario.