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Francesca Purcell

Francesca Purcell           


Provost and Chief Academic Officer


PhD, Boston College

MS, Northeastern University

BA, Amherst College


Wellesley Campus
Phone  (781) 239-3111



Dr. Francesca Purcell arrives at MassBay from her post as Associate Commissioner for Academic and P-16 Policy for the Massachusetts Department of Higher Education. In that role, Dr. Purcell engineered policies for Massachusetts’ public higher education institutions designed to increase student success in collaboration with multiple on- and off- campus stakeholders. She served as the liaison for the community college Achieving the Dream and Complete College America state teams and developed policy in student transfer, developmental education, and performance-based student financial aid. Dr. Purcell was awarded the Commonwealth Citation for Outstanding Performance by Governor Deval Patrick for the Department in recognition of her contributions to public higher education.

Prior to her work at the Massachusetts Department of Higher Education, Dr. Purcell worked at several Massachusetts colleges and universities including Tufts University, Dean College, Roxbury Community College, Northeastern University, and Amherst College. She has held adjunct faculty positions at Suffolk University and Boston College. Dr. Purcell has also consulted for the Tertiary Education Division of the World Bank and co-authored works on international women’s colleges and universities.

After receiving her bachelor’s degree from Amherst College, Dr. Purcell earned her M.S. from Northeastern University in College Student Development and Counseling and her Ph.D. from Boston College in Higher Education Administration.