Executive Vice President & Provost



J.D. from Syracuse University, Ph.D. from the Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University


Dr. Joel Thierstein has served as a leader in the academy for over two decades.  Currently, he serves as Executive Vice President & Provost at Mount St. Joseph University. 

Prior to coming to the Mount, Dr. Thierstein served as Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs at Kentucky State University.  He also served as Associate Provost at Rice University and Executive Director of Connexions.  He was a professor and administrator at Oregon State University and Baylor University; a professor at Purdue University Calumet and Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville; and a visiting professor of Communications Law at Syracuse University.

Dr. Thierstein’s innovative work in education extends beyond his work in the traditional academy.  He worked as Senior Advisor and Counsel to the Under Secretary of Education in the U.S. Department of Education.  Dr. Thierstein has also served as a member of the Board of Directors of the Open CourseWare Consortium and is one of the founders of Peer 2 Peer University.  He currently sits as an advisory board member of SXSWedu.

Dr. Thierstein’s work has been funded by many organizations including the Gates Foundation, Hewlett Foundation, Twenty Million Minds Foundation, and Maxfield Foundation.

Before coming to the academy, Dr. Thierstein spent nearly a decade as a leader in industry.  Since coming to the academy, Dr. Thierstein maintained his ties to industry working with many companies and organizations including Sony, British Petroleum, and the National Association of Broadcasters.

Dr. Thierstein has worked in advanced technology throughout his career.  From 2002-9, he sat as a voting member of the Advanced Television Systems Committee, the standards setting body for digital television.  

Dr. Thierstein has written and spoken extensively about education and communication.  He has presented numerous conference papers. He has also been quoted extensively by the press as an expert in education and has been an invited panelist and guest speaker on many occasions.

Dr. Thierstein has a Ph.D. from the Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University.  He has a J.D. from Syracuse University as well.

Dr. Thierstein has worked extensively in the conservation community where, among other things, he served as a member of the Board of Directors of Fossil Rim Wildlife Center 2000 to 2013.  He served as Board Chair from 2003 to 2009.