RINDGE — Franklin Pierce University has named a new provost and vice president for academic affairs, to start in the position in July.

In the post, Catherine M. Paden will serve as Franklin Pierce’s “chief academic officer,” reviewing existing programs and developing new ones, the university said in a news release. She will succeed David Starrett, interim provost and vice president for academic affairs, according to a university spokeswoman.

“Dr. Paden is an accomplished academic professional with a strong record of success empowering faculty in their efforts to provide the impassioned instruction, guidance and attention that makes a difference in students’ lives,” Franklin Pierce President Kim Mooney said in a prepared statement. “Her ability to foster an inclusive environment and her demonstrated proficiency in creating innovation aligns perfectly with our vision for the future of Franklin Pierce.”

Paden currently serves as deputy provost at Simmons University in Boston, where she’s a tenured faculty member. She received her bachelor’s degree from Vassar College in New York and her doctoral degree in political science from Northwestern University in Illinois.

Her research includes exploring how civil rights efforts and economic justice influence public policy, according to the university’s news release.

“I was immediately drawn to Franklin Pierce University by the richness of its academic programs, the passion of its faculty, the impact it is making in important arenas like health care and its commitment to provide an inclusive environment that welcomes and celebrates all students,” she said in the release. “I look forward to contributing to the exciting work to come and am thrilled to join Raven Nation.”