NEWS

Mount St. Mary’s University Names Boyd Creasman as Provost

EMMITSBURG, Md. (November 1, 2017) – Following a national search, Mount St. Mary’s University has hired Boyd Creasman, Ph.D., as provost, effective in January 2018. He will provide the leadership and advocacy necessary for continued enhancement of the Mount’s outstanding faculty and academic programs. Creasman, who currently is provost of West Virginia Wesleyan University, will serve […]

Read More

Business leader named CEO of Independence Mission Schools

Independence Mission Schools, the nonprofit that manages a network of inner-city Catholic schools, is scheduled to announce a new leader Thursday. Richard Auletta, 53, who has years of business technology experience, has been chosen to become president and CEO as of June 12. Independence Mission Schools (IMS) announced in December that it was beginning a national […]

Read More

Jacob Yale appointed Director of Admissions

ALFRED, NY — Family. Togetherness. Community. These are words generations of alumni have used to describe what impressed them most about Alfred University. Jacob Yale, the University’s new director of admissions, believes its reputation as a close-knit institution, where students are treated as individuals and given the opportunity to grow, will be key to efforts […]

Read More

New Face on Campus: Take a Moment to Meet The Dean of Nursing

At the start of a new semester, you expect to encounter new student faces during your day to day on campus. Have you taken the time to look for any new faces among the faculty and staff that works on Campus? One such new member you may have noticed is none other than the Mount […]

Read More

Ryan D. Butt Leads as Dean of College of Business

Dr. Ryan D. Butt became the dean of the College of Business and Graduate School of Management at Lewis University on July 10. Previously, Butt served as dean of the College of Business and Leadership at Lourdes University from 2013-2017. He was instrumental in leading the College through the reaccreditation of six undergraduate business programs […]

Read More

New dean named to Mercyhurst’s intelligence school

Mercyhurst University announced Tuesday the appointment of a new dean and two high-level personnel to lead its Ridge College of Intelligence Studies and Applied Sciences. Retired U.S. Army Lt. Col. Duncan E. McGill, of Manassas, Virginia, was named the new dean of the school. McGill replaces James Breckenridge, who joined the U.S. Army War College […]

Read More

Harry Dumay Takes the Reins at Elms College

Soon after Harry Dumay reached that point professionally where he determined he was ready and willing to pursue a college presidency, he did what many people in that situation do. He put together a wish list, or a preferred list, if you will, of the type of institution he eventually wanted to lead. And he […]

Read More

New BCC President Douglas officially steps into role

FALL RIVER — Laura L. Douglas, after months of preparation, officially stepped into her new role on Monday as president of Bristol Community College. She said her first day was going “pretty well,” having started on the day of the BCC staff pre-Fourth of July cookout. Formerly the prevost of Des Moines Area Community College […]

Read More

Mount St. Mary’s University Names Boyd Creasman as Provost

EMMITSBURG, Md. (November 1, 2017) – Following a national search, Mount St. Mary’s University has hired Boyd Creasman, Ph.D., as provost, effective in January 2018. He will provide the leadership and advocacy necessary for continued enhancement of the Mount’s outstanding faculty and academic programs.

Creasman, who currently is provost of West Virginia Wesleyan University, will serve as the chief academic officer of the Mount, acting as the principal champion for innovative vision, leadership, and direction for the university and its academic programs.

“We are excited to have Boyd join our Mount community,” said President Timothy E. Trainor, Ph.D. “Student success is our top priority in our just-released strategic plan, and I am confident that he will help lead our academic program to an even higher level of excellence. We look forward to Boyd helping lead Mount St. Mary’s University into the future.”

“I am incredibly pleased to join the Mount community,” Creasman said. “This university offers a rich tradition and history, excellent programs and extremely talented and dedicated faculty. The Mount has an exciting future, and I am honored to be given an opportunity to play a role in its continuing success.”

Creasman joins the Mount at an important time as momentum builds from a series of leadership and academic successes, including a 24 percent increase in freshman enrollment; approval of a strategic plan; the introduction of four academic programs (cybersecurity, politics/philosophy/economics, entrepreneurship, and forensic accounting); articulation agreements in cybersecurity and biology with Frederick Community College; and the awarding of Fulbright English Teaching Assistant grants to three recent graduates. As the Mount launches searches for two academic deans, Trainor and Creasman will build a team of top academic leaders.

Creasman’s four years as West Virginia Wesleyan’s provost resulted in considerable progress in assessing student learning and aiding faculty in becoming more effective in their teaching. He helped develop a profitable graduate program in nursing and co-wrote a grant proposal that resulted in a $10 million five-year Title III grant focused on improving student success and student engagement. Prior to becoming chief academic officer, Creasman held a number of administrative roles at West Virginia Wesleyan, including service as English department chair, director of the School of Fine Arts and Humanities and founder and director of the first-year seminar program.

Earlier in his career, Creasman enjoyed a career as an English professor at West Virginia Wesleyan, teaching a range of literature and writing classes. He has published articles and presented conference papers on writers as diverse as Anton Chekhov, Graham Greene and Jayne Anne Phillips. Building upon research informed by his teaching of Appalachian literature, Creasman in 2016 published Writing West Virginia, the first study of literature from the Mountain State to analyze multiple authors.

Creasman holds a Bachelor of Arts from Middle Tennessee State University and Master of Arts and Doctor of Philosophy degrees in English from Florida State University.

Business leader named CEO of Independence Mission Schools

Independence Mission Schools, the nonprofit that manages a network of inner-city Catholic schools, is scheduled to announce a new leader Thursday.

Richard Auletta, 53, who has years of business technology experience, has been chosen to become president and CEO as of June 12.

Independence Mission Schools (IMS) announced in December that it was beginning a national search to fill the new position of CEO, to build on the success of the network created in 2012 to preserve Catholic elementary schools in inner-city neighborhoods.

Anne McGoldrick, the network’s founding chief financial officer who became president in 2015, will remain through the summer to help with the transition and then will join the board.

“IMS gets under your skin,” she said. “I do plan to stay involved.”

Brian McElwee, chair of the board, called Auletta a welcome addition to the team.

“With an extensive background in leadership and management, he is uniquely qualified to develop people, procedures and infrastructure to continue the successful advancement of the IMS network,” McElwee said in a statement.

Auletta, of Lower Makefield, Bucks County, said he was looking forward to applying his experience to IMS. “I want to continue to evolve this organization from early stage to middle stage,” he said  Wednesday.

From 2011 to 2016, Auletta was CEO and president of Softgate Systems Inc., a New Jersey company that offers an electronic payment system that lets consumers in low-income communities pay their bills for utilities and other services with cash at participating stores and outlets.

He became familiar with IMS when the network made arrangements with Softgate so parents could pay tuition at between 10 and 20 of Softgate’s outlets in Philadelphia.

Auletta’s resumé also includes executive positions at Princeton eCom, TheStreet.com, and Standard & Poor’s Corp.

While those jobs were outside the field of education, Auletta said, he has been involved with nonprofit educational organizations, including helping build a high school for 525 students in Uganda that will celebrate its 10th anniversary in 2018.

“There is a personal connection around education,” he said.

Independence Mission Schools enrolls nearly 5,000 children at 14 former parish schools. Parents receive financial support to help them pay tuition.

Jacob Yale appointed Director of Admissions

ALFRED, NY — Family. Togetherness. Community. These are words generations of alumni have used to describe what impressed them most about Alfred University. Jacob Yale, the University’s new director of admissions, believes its reputation as a close-knit institution, where students are treated as individuals and given the opportunity to grow, will be key to efforts to stabilize enrollment.

“Students receive a personalized feel here that supports their passions,” said Yale, whose first day on the job was Monday. “We want to capture (prospective students’) attention on a larger scale, and then get right into those personal connections. Alfred does a great job with that.”

That sense of community, which creates an environment where any student can thrive, academically and personally, is something that attracted Yale to Alfred after his first year in Buffalo as director of admissions at Hilbert College.

“The entire AU community is engrained in the history of student success here,” Yale said. “The academic programs are unique and career-ready and there is a supportive network of alumni. Alfred is a college town that is accessible to the students, and there is plenty to do just a block away.”

Yale didn’t take what most would consider a traditional educational path to becoming an admissions professional. He earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in graphic arts and design from Clarion University of Pennsylvania in 2004 and a master’s degree in mass media marketing and journalism, also from Clarion, in 2008.

While an undergrad at Clarion, he worked as an admissions tour guide while also a student-athlete. Naturally creative, his studies led to a focus on marketing and branding, which have translated well in efforts to attract new students. Hired as an assistant director of admissions at Clarion right after graduation in 2004, Yale had a knack for utilizing technology – the internet, creative emails, social media – as a way to reach potential students.

–more–

Yale was part of successful efforts to increase enrollment at Clarion, as evidenced by the school seeing its highest-ever incoming classes from 2006-2008. He left Clarion in 2014 to become Associate Director of Admissions at Sierra Nevada College in Lake Tahoe, NV, and quickly became interim Director of Admissions in 2015. He returned home to serve in a leadership role at Hilbert for the 2016-17 academic year. Both Sierra Nevada and Hilbert saw significant first-year enrollment increases during his time there.

His goals for Alfred University include increasing new student enrollment and expanding the University’s recruiting market. “All our enrollment goals are in support of the mission of the University and its strategic plan,” Yale noted.

“Our challenge is to be positive, in an ever-changing climate of higher education, knowing that the product we have here is very strong. We have a very talented enrollment team and we know (Alfred University) can hold up and be attractive on a national scale,” he said. “We’re trying to tell the story of Alfred, and it is a very exciting one. We want to build a brand that positions us not just in New York State, but nationally and internationally.”

Yale, a native of Elk County, PA, and Brockway Area High School graduate, was familiar with Alfred University during his time in the Clarion admissions office. He said he is excited about the opportunity to help AU in its effort to grow enrollment, and to be back closer to his family and friends in the region.

“This is my 14th year (in admissions) and they’ve all been enjoyable because of the people,” he said. “I think you’ll see enrollment turn around here in a very natural way. There is a lot of vision and established leadership here, and President Mark Zupan’s message is well-communicated and truly present. The team we have in admissions really cares about the future and we are building a culture of togetherness right away. There are a lot of fresh ideas and good momentum here.”

“I’m thrilled that Jake has joined our team!” said Brian Dalton, Vice President of Enrollment Management at Alfred University. “He brings with him a vast array of talents and experiences and his record of accomplishments, leadership, creative thinking and effective relationship building made him an easy choice. He will do great things for Alfred University.”

New Face on Campus: Take a Moment to Meet The Dean of Nursing

At the start of a new semester, you expect to encounter new student faces during your day to day on campus. Have you taken the time to look for any new faces among the faculty and staff that works on Campus? One such new member you may have noticed is none other than the Mount Aloysius School of Nursing’s very own Dean of Nursing, Dr. Julie Luetschwager.

I took a moment to get to know the new dean. Dr. Luetschwager was born and raised primarily in Woodstock, IL just a stone’s throw away from Chicago. At 13, her family moved from living in a city to living a life on a farm and all that it entails in Granton, WI. Learning to milk cows, throwing hay bales, harvesting corn, and dealing with the smell of manure were noted as a challenging transition for her. I think we can all relate, during those awkward teenage years having such a curve ball thrown at you could not be easy for anyone. Dr. Luetschwager states her hometown of Woodstock, IL is best known for being the filming location of Groundhog Day featuring Bill Murray. It is also the town Orson Wells considered his hometown after receiving his formal education at the Todd School for Boys.

Dr. Luetschwager has a rich educational background. She received her Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Viterbo University in Lacrosse, WI. After that she went on to attend Pittsburg State University in Pittsburg, KS where she earned her Masters of Science in Nursing with a focus on family nursing. She then continued on to get her Doctorate of Science in Nursing from the Catholic University of America in Washington D.C.

She has an equally rich and diverse work history. She spent most of her clinical experience in Joplin, MO working in a plethora of areas. She’s worked in neuro-rehab, newborn nursery, postpartum, labor and delivery, diabetes education, home infusion nursing, pediatric nursing, and office nursing for a GYN/Infertility specialist. She has spent 29 years in nursing education. Some of the areas she has taught includes fundamental nursing, mental health nursing, contemporary health issues, quantitative research, and many more. She started in educational leadership roles more than 16 years ago as BSN Program Coordinator overseeing a basic BSN program, an RN to BSN program, and an accelerated second-degree BSN program.

Dr. Luetschwager went on to hold a Nursing Chair position in Springfield, MO overseeing 3 BSN tracks and an ASN (associates of science in nursing) program, which eventually had over 600 nursing students across the programs. She eventually found her way to Marian University as the Dean of the School of Nursing. Roles that she served while there include: The Dean of Nursing, Dean of Nursing and Health Professions, Associate Vice president for Academic Affairs, Director of Institutional Effectiveness, Dean of Graduate Studies and as Vice President for Enrollment Management.

Talking to Dr. Luetschwager about her vision for the Mount Aloysius School of Nursing, she plans to continue to build on the quality of the nursing education for which we are known. Mount Aloysius’ School of Nursing was ranked number six in PA for NCLEX pass rate of first-time student testers. The NCLEX is the exam that determines if a graduated nurse has enough knowledge to be licensed to work. She is currently working on evaluating the expansion of the nursing programs at both the bachelor and the masters level. She also states that she and the faculty are looking at alternative options for the ASN program. Some of the alternatives include re-establishing an evening and weekend option. She reminds us that these are not changes that can happen on a whim as they require extensive research to demonstrate need and viability as well as the okay from the state Board of Nursing and our accrediting body, the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN).

Dr. Luetschwager also took the time to address the most talked about changes among the nursing students. Previously, students had three appeals they could use to get back into the program if they failed a clinical nursing course. They had to present their case as to why they should be allowed back in, and often times were left in limbo or scared to use up the appeals as once they went through all three appeals there was no coming back in. The newly created process is that if a student should fail their first nursing course at any time across the curriculum, they can retake the course the following semester provided there is room, and if there is not room, they can work on other degree requirements and retake the course as soon as space is available. She feels that changing the progression process will expedite things for the student. They will know right away if they can return to the program or should make alternate plans.

Dr. Luetschwager sends us off with a quote to live by. The Serenity Prayer, “God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; courage to change the things I can; wisdom to know the difference. Living one day at a time; enjoying one moment at a time; accepting hardships as the pathway to peace; taking, as He did, this sinful world as it is, not as I would have it; trusting the He will make all things right if I surrender to His will; that I may be reasonably happy in this life and supremely happy with Him forever in the next. Amen.” With such powerful words to live by it is no surprise that she would find her way to our great school on the mountain top of Cresson, Mount Aloysius College.

Ryan D. Butt Leads as Dean of College of Business

Dr. Ryan D. Butt became the dean of the College of Business and Graduate School of Management at Lewis University on July 10.

Previously, Butt served as dean of the College of Business and Leadership at Lourdes University from 2013-2017. He was instrumental in leading the College through the reaccreditation of six undergraduate business programs and achieving initial accreditation for two graduate business degrees, including the MBA: leading the reorganization of College administrative structures and programs; growing the Business Leadership Advisory Council to strengthen connections for student success; developing a study abroad program for undergraduate business students in Italy and promoting international collaborative programs with institutions on four continents; and conducting international recruiting initiatives within China.

Butt said, “I am humbled to be a member of the Lewis University community; and am grateful for the opportunity to collaboratively lead the College of Business and the Graduate School of Management. Lewis’ standing, as well as our business programs’ reputation throughout the region and afar can be directly attributed as a result of our exceptional faculty members, the recruitment of outstanding students and sharing in the successes of our alumni throughout the world. I look forward to continuing the Lasallian tradition of excellence in educating and preparing our students to embrace future leadership experiences, rooted with strong values and a multi-dimensional understanding of today’s dynamic global business environment.”

Butt received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Notre Dame and his Juris Doctorate from Valparaiso University.

The College of Business at Lewis University offers undergraduate majors in Accounting, Business Administration, Economics, Finance, Information Systems, Information Security & Risk Management, International Business, Marketing and Social Media Marketing. Graduate programs include Business Administration (MBA), Business Analytics, Finance, Information Security and Project Management.

Lewis University is an innovative and entrepreneurial Catholic university offering market-relevant undergraduate and graduate programs to 6,500 students. Sponsored by the De La Salle Christian Brothers, Lewis University is nationally recognized for preparing intellectually engaged, ethically grounded, globally connected and socially responsible graduates. Visit www.lewisu.edu for further information.

New dean named to Mercyhurst’s intelligence school

Mercyhurst University announced Tuesday the appointment of a new dean and two high-level personnel to lead its Ridge College of Intelligence Studies and Applied Sciences.

Retired U.S. Army Lt. Col. Duncan E. McGill, of Manassas, Virginia, was named the new dean of the school. McGill replaces James Breckenridge, who joined the U.S. Army War College as its provost in April. McGill most recently worked at the National Intelligence University as its associate dean for the school’s College of Strategic Intelligence in Washington, D.C.

“The big goal is to make Ridge the premium college in the country in this area of intelligence studies,” McGill said Tuesday. “And really to broaden the role of intelligence here. The Ridge College today is mostly about analytics, it’s about making judgments on data and we want to get beyond that. It’s really the understanding of data, not only from the government perspective but the private sector, too. Understanding information so that leaders can make good decisions.”

U.S. Navy Cyber Analyst Chad Griffin was also appointed to lead the Ridge College’s cyber initiatives, including the new cyber lab that will be constructed in Hammermill Library. M. Afzal Upal, a former senior data scientist for Canada’s Department of Defence, was chosen to lead the college’s data science program.

“We are thrilled to welcome these three superbly qualified individuals, widely known as experts in their respective fields, whose wealth of experience and exemplary records of service will further elevate the global reputation of the Ridge College and enable us to continue our mission of producing the highest caliber graduates in the industry,” said Mercyhurst University President Michael T. Victor.

McGill served as a nuclear and counterproliferation officer during his time in the U.S. Army. His research focuses on science and technology issues affecting U.S. national security, among them cyber, weapons of mass destruction, emerging and disruptive technologies and the IED capabilities in Iraq, according to the university.

Griffin served in the U.S. Navy as a cyber analyst since 2010. He provided technical and analytic support to cyberspace operations at the U.S. Pacific Command in Hawaii. He has more than two decades of professional experience with computer information systems and technology.

Afzal Upal has served as senior data scientist for Canada’s Department of National Defence for nine years. He is skilled in machine learning, a type of artificial intelligence that affords software applications more accuracy in predicting outcomes.

The college also announced it will soon have a new cyber lab and a network operations center, and additional job opportunities for students.

All of this is possible through a $1 million investment from Cleveland-based technology company MCPc, which will build the network operations center adjacent to the school’s Hammermill Library. MCPc will also manage the lab, which will employ at least 16 Mercyhurst students working with actual MCPc clients.

Harry Dumay Takes the Reins at Elms College

Soon after Harry Dumay reached that point professionally where he determined he was ready and willing to pursue a college presidency, he did what many people in that situation do.

He put together a wish list, or a preferred list, if you will, of the type of institution he eventually wanted to lead. And he did so because, in such situations, as so many eventual college presidents have told BusinessWest over the years, ‘fit’ is all-important — to both the candidate and the school in question.

When asked about what he preferred, Dumay ran off a quick list:

  • A Catholic institution would be ideal — he had already worked in high-level positions for two of them, Boston College and St. Anselm College in New Hampshire;
  • A sound financial footing was also high on the list — and there are many institutions not on such solid ground;
  • A commitment to strong academics was a must; and
  • Above all else, he desired to lead a school with a strong track record for diversity — not merely ethnic diversity (although that was certainly important), but the broad range of student and educational diversity (he would get into that more later).

Because Elms College in Chicopee could check all those boxes and others as well, Dumay not only desired to fill the vacancy to be created by the announced retirement of Sr. Mary Reap last year, but he essentially made the nearly 90-year-old school the primary focus of his presidential aspirations.

“The more I started looking into Elms College, the more I started to become fascinated by it, and I just fell in love with the place,” he told BusinessWest.

Dumay, who was serving as vice president for Finance and chief financial officer at St. Anselm when Elms commenced its search, said he was quite familiar with the school through another role he has carried out for several years — as a member of the New England Assoc. of Schools and Colleges’ Commission on Institutions of Higher Education.

He knew, for example, that not long ago, the school wasn’t on that sound financial ground he desired, and that it was only through a significant turnaround effort orchestrated by Reap that the school was no longer on a list of institutions being watched closely by NEASC for financial soundness.

“Sister Mary has essentially completed a turnaround of the financial situation at the institution over the past eight years,” he noted. “She took it from numbers that were not satisfactory to having successive years of positive margins and putting the college very well in the black.”

But as she put Elms on more solid financial footing, Reap also maintained and amplified what Dumay called “an entrepreneurial spirit” that manifested itself in new academic programs and construction of the Center for Natural and Health Sciences, which, when it opened in 2014, was the first new academic building on campus in more than 30 years.

And she led efforts that enabled the school to make great strides in what has become a nationwide focus on student success and, overall, greater return on the significant cost of higher education.

As he talked about his goals and plans moving forward, Dumay, who arrived on campus July 1, said his immediate assignment is to meet as many people within the broad ‘Elms community’ as possible. This means faculty, staff, trustees, and area business and civic leaders, he said, adding that his primary role in such meetings is to listen to what such individuals are saying about Elms — its past, its present, and especially its future.

This listening and learning process will continue at a retreat next month involving the school’s leadership team, he went on, adding that his broad goal is to attain a common vision concerning where the school wants to be in the years to come and how to get there and execute that plan.

But in most all respects, Dumay said his primary focus is on keeping the school on the upward trajectory charted by Reap. For this issue and its focus on education, BusinessWest talked at length with Dumay about that assignment and his approach to it.

A Stern Test

As he prepared to sit down with BusinessWest on a quiet Friday afternoon earlier this month, Dumay was wrapping up one of those meet-and-greets he mentioned earlier — this one a quick lunch with trustee Kevin Vann, president of the Vann Group.

As noted, there have been several of these sessions since he arrived, and there are many more to come as Dumay continues what could be described as a fact-finding, opinion-gathering exercise concerning not only Elms College but the region, and students, it serves.

As he mentioned, Dumay already knew quite a bit about Elms — and most of this region’s colleges and universities, for that matter — before arriving on the Chicopee campus. He is determined, though, to add to that base of knowledge.

He’s learned, for example, that nearly a third of the school’s students are first-generation, meaning that they’re the first in their family to attend college. Dumay said that statistic certainly resonates with him — he, too, is a first-generation college graduate — and that his career in some way serves as a model to the students he will soon lead.

A native of Quanaminthe, Haiti, Dumay came to the U.S. to attend college, specifically Lincoln University in Jefferson City, Mo., a historically black, public, land-grant university founded by African-American veterans of the Civil War.

He graduated magna cum laude, and would continue his education with a master’s degree in public administration from Framingham State University, an MBA from Boston University, and a doctorate in higher education administration from Boston College.

He would put those degrees to use in a number of different positions at some of the nation’s most prestigious schools.

He worked as director of Finance for Boston University’s School of Engineering from 1998 to 2002 (he was hired and later mentored by Charles DeLisi, who played a seminal role in initiating the Human Genome Project), before becoming associate dean at Boston College’s Graduate School of Social Work from 2002 to 2006, a rather significant career course change — in some respects, anyway.

“From engineering to social work … those are vastly different worlds,” he explained, “but my job was essentially the same: working on aligning resources —— technology, processes, and people — to support the work of the faculty.”

Dumay then took a job as chief financial officer and associate dean at Harvard University’s Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences in 2006, and served in that capacity until 2012.

That timeline is significant because he was at Harvard at the height of the Great Recession, which took a 30% bite out of Harvard’s huge endowment and not only prompted the delay of an ambitious initiative to expand the campus into Allston — a plan that included the School of Engineering — but also brought about campus-wide efforts to create greater operating efficiencies. And Dumay played a significant role in those efforts.

“That was some of the most rewarding work I’ve been part of,” he said. “And there were some great opportunities for learning how organizations can structure themselves to be more efficient.”

He then took another significant career course change, moving on to St. Anselm, where, instead of working for a specific school or division, he become CFO of the institution and later became senior vice president and, in many respects, the right hand of the president. In that role, he played a key role in developing a new strategic plan for the school.

After nearly two decades of work in higher education in these leadership roles, Dumay said he considered himself ready, professionally and otherwise, to pursue a presidency.

And others were encouraging him to take that next step.

“For a while, being a number two on a campus seemed to be very satisfying and very appealing,” he explained. “But, progressively, my former president started to encourage me to seek a presidency, even though I had been thinking about it as well.”

Harry Dumay says Elms College, like most colleges and universities today, is putting a strong focus on student success.

At the advice of his former president, he attended a year-long program sponsored by the Council of Independent Colleges designed to help individuals discern whether they have a ‘vocation for a college presidency.’

“Those are their words,” said Dumay. “They want people to think about this not as a job, not as a step in one’s career, but as a vocation, as a calling, because there’s a certain work to be done as a college president.

“It eventually became clear to me that the influence that I wanted to have and the way I wanted to contribute to higher education, a presidency was the best position, the best vantage point to make that happen,” he went on.

While many who reach that point where they can truly say this is a calling cast a somewhat wide net as they explore and then pursue opportunities, Dumay took a more specific focus. And when Reap announced her intention to retire last year, Elms became the focus of his ambition.

“This was the one search I was seriously involved in,” he said.

School of Thought

What intrigued him was the institution Elms has become over the past 89 years, and especially the past few decades — one that could easily check all those boxes mentioned earlier, and especially the one concerning diversity and the many forms it takes here.

The student body is just one example, he said, adding that it has historically been ethnically diverse and added a significant new dimension when men were admitted for the first time in 1997.

But it is diverse in many other respects as well, including the depth of its programs and the nature of “how teaching happens,” as Dumay put it.

“Elms College has a diversity of formats in which it provides a strong Catholic liberal-arts education,” he explained. “It happens on campus, it happens through online education, it happens with the residential population, it happens with people who commute, and it happens off campus through a number of sites. That’s a broad definition of diversity that appealed to me.”

Beyond the diversity, the school also has that solid financial footing that Reap had created, momentum in the form of new programs in areas from health sciences to entrepreneurship, and something else that Dumay identified — “courage.”

He used that term in reference to the school’s decision to admit men 20 years ago, but said it has been a consistent character trait.

“Institutions that have made big shifts like that … to me, that shows resiliency, forward thinking, and courage,” he explained, “because it takes courage to change an institution’s trajectory like that and make decisions that will not be popular with all constituents. To me, that was impressive.”

Equally impressive has been progress at the school in that all-important area of student success.

I’m not sure how that effort is going to continue with the current administration, but higher-education institutions have, in general, taken that message to heart. Instead of getting that mandate from the federal government, this sector has been telling itself, ‘we’d better to be able to prove ourselves … we need to show how our students are receiving value for the dollars they’re investing in their education.”

This isn’t a recent phenomenon, he noted, but there has been considerably more emphasis on ROI as the cost of education has continued to climb.

The Obama administration made that focus a priority, he went on, adding it worked to put in place measures for how well a specific school’s degree programs were translating into success (salary-wise) in the workplace.

“I’m not sure how that effort is going to continue with the current administration,” he went on, “but higher-education institutions have, in general, taken that message to heart. Instead of getting that mandate from the federal government, this sector has been telling itself, ‘we’d better to be able to prove ourselves … we need to show how our students are receiving value for the dollars they’re investing in their education.”

Measures created or emphasized in this regard include everything from graduation and retention rates to the starting salaries of graduates in various programs, he continued, adding that Elms has achieved progress in this regard as well.

“Sister Mary had started an initiative to really focus on student success as part of our strategic plan,” he explained. “And as part of that, there is a plan to create a center for student success, and she started a campaign to raise funds for it.”

That facility will likely be ready by the end of summer, he said, adding that the school’s commitment to not only enrolling students but giving them all the tools they will need to graduate and achieve success in the workplace was another factor in his decision to come to Elms.

Moving forward, Dumay said that, after several more meetings like the one he had that day, and after the leadership retreat in August, and after gaining a better sense of where the college is and where it wants to go, he will commence what he said is the real work of a college president.

“That is to ensure the coherence and the articulation of a common vision, so we can all be pulling in the same direction,” he explained, adding that this is the essential ingredient in achieving continued progress at any institution. “Anything that anyone has been able to do has begun with getting everyone in the same frame of mind and saying, ‘this is what we’re going to do.’”

Grade Expectations

As he talked about that process of getting everyone at an institution of higher learning on the proverbial same page, Dumay acknowledged that this can often be a stern challenge in this sector.

“The theory is, higher education is like steering a car on ice,” he said with a smile on his face, adding that such work can be made easier through clear articulation of a vision and the means through which it will be met.

And this is the essence of a college president’s job description, he said, adding that, back at that year-long program for aspiring college presidents, he definitely came away with the sense that he did, indeed, view this as a calling, or vocation, and not a job or stepping stone.

And Elms, as he noted, was the natural landing spot.

New BCC President Douglas officially steps into role

FALL RIVER — Laura L. Douglas, after months of preparation, officially stepped into her new role on Monday as president of Bristol Community College.

She said her first day was going “pretty well,” having started on the day of the BCC staff pre-Fourth of July cookout.

Formerly the prevost of Des Moines Area Community College in Des Moines, Iowa, Douglas, who has ties to the SouthCoast, plans to familiarize herself with the BCC campuses in Fall River, Attleboro, New Bedford and Taunton, as well as the needs of those communities.

“BCC really covers a lot of ground,” Douglas said. “Every community has different needs.”

But that’s something Douglas is accustomed to — having headed six campuses and more than 30,000 credit students in Iowa.

Over the past few months, she’s participated in video calls with staff and officials and learned about current issues important to BCC as “we position the college for the future.” She’s also visited with some local nonprofit organizations.

“I’ve had the gift of time since being appointed in January to landing here today,” Douglas said.

In the weeks ahead, Douglas will be meeting with staff, faculty, students, alumni, donors and members of the community and its leaders as part of her BCC Connect Tour.

Douglas will also have the help of a 14-member transition team made up of local business people, college officials and others to get her settled into the community and culture of BCC.

She said it will help her “identify key goals” and generate ideas for her first few months as the new BCC leader.

“My calendar is filling up,” Douglas said.

She is taking the helm where longtime president John J. “Jack” Sbrega left off in August. Sbrega retired after heading the college since 2000.

Douglas is BCC’s fourth college president in its 51-year history.

She was the top choice of BCC Board of Trustees, after the group whittled 45 applicants down to five finalists.

Douglas — who doesn’t have a permanent office or home yet — said her office at the main Fall River campus is being remodeled. She and her husband, Gregg Johnson, a business professor, have relocated to the area and are currently renting in Somerset while they shop for a new house.

Douglas grew up in Northampton, is familiar with Greater Fall River and summered on Cape Cod.

 Her grandfather, John F. Delahunt, was born and raised in Fall River. Her great-grandfather was employed in a cotton mill as a loom fixer. The family home was on Carver Street.

Douglas said she’s looking forward to touring the BCC campuses and getting to know everyone in her new role, especially students and alumni.

“Everywhere I go, there’s a BCC alumni,” Douglas said. “Everyone is connected to BCC. I’m looking forward to hearing the stories. That’s really just music to my ears.”

 

Haydon Named VP for Business and Finance at Stan State

Darrell Haydon has been selected as Stanislaus State’s Vice President for Business and Finance / Chief Financial Officer, having served in that role on an interim basis since January.

Haydon previously spent the nine years at CSU East Bay, starting as University Controller and being promoted to Associate Vice President of Financial Services in 2013. He also has been involved in a number of systemwide finance and accounting efforts, including serving as the Vice Chair for the CSU Financial Officers Association and serving on the planning committee for the annual CSU business conference that drew more than 450 attendees this year. Haydon has also been a lecturer at CSU East Bay, teaching Governmental Accounting, Accounting Information Systems and Managerial Accounting.

“I am delighted to have the opportunity to serve the Stan State community and to support President Junn,” Haydon said. “As a strong advocate for transparency and collaboration, I will continue to enthusiastically look for opportunities to discuss the financial and business operations of the campus with faculty, staff and students. I am looking forward to working with and supporting all of the different constituencies that serve this wonderful University.”

A former Marine, Haydon’s professional career began at Pacific Bell where he served in a variety of IT, accounting and finance roles. He then spent four years at Educational Testing Service as the Director for Financial Accounting.

Haydon earned his B.S. in Business Administration at CSU East Bay and his MBA in Finance from St. Mary’s College and holds a number of professional certifications including a CPA, a CGMA and a CIA. He is pursuing a Doctorate of Education in Educational Leadership for Social Justice at CSU East Bay and is looking forward to completing his dissertation in spring 2018.

Rural Regional College hires president

Joseph Nairn previously was an administrator at Finger Lakes Community College and Rochester Institute of Technology.

WARREN — The new Rural Regional College of Northern Pennsylvania has two of its top administrators in place.

The college, based in Warren, will begin full operations this fall.

Joseph Nairn, previously chief advancement officer at Finger Lakes Community College in Canandaigua, N.Y., has been hired as college president. The announcement was made Thursday by the college’s board of directors.

West Virginia and New Mexico community college and state universities veteran Debra Teachman previously was hired as vice president of academic and student affairs.

Nairn also worked 25 years at Rochester Institute of Technology, in the School of Engineering Technology, College of Applied Science and Technology, and in part-time and graduate enrollment services. An Aliquippa native, he earned undergraduate and graduate degrees at Thiel College, the University of Vermont and University of Maryland University College.

A chief financial officer is yet to be hired.

The Rural Regional College will serve students in nine northern Pennsylvania counties, including Erie, Crawford and Warren. Students in classrooms throughout the region will interact with instructors and each other via the internet.

Anyone with a high school diploma or GED can enroll.

The college is offering a limited number of classes this summer and will offer courses in partnership with Gannon University this fall.