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MassBay Community College Announces Provost/Chief Academic Officer Appointment

Thursday, May 24, 2012

WELLESLEY HILLS, MA (May 24, 2012) – Massachusetts Bay Community College President John O’Donnell informed the Board of Trustees yesterday that the College has named Dr. Francesca Purcell the College’s next Provost/Chief Academic Officer.

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.

MassBay President John O’Donnell said, “Dr. Purcell has distinguished herself as a leader who can bring together faculty, administration, and college partners to advance the effectiveness of Massachusetts’ colleges in the areas of student access and success, academic program development, teaching and learning, community and business partnerships, and academic excellence. We are delighted to have her join our community.”

As Provost/Chief Academic Officer Dr. Purcell will provide leadership in the areas of academic programming, educational policy, technological applications in academic affairs, program reviews, accreditation matters, resource allocation, enrollment and student success initiatives.

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.

She will begin her tenure at the MassBay on July 24th.

Massachusetts Bay Community College (MassBay) is an open-access, accredited two-year public educational institution. The College grants associate degrees and certificates in a range of disciplines through its five divisions of academics: the Division of Health Sciences; the Division of Humanites; the Division of Science, Technology, Engineering & Math (S.T.E.M.); the Division of Social Sciences & Professional Studies; and the Division of Transportation & Energy. Offering over 60 academic programs, MassBay serves Boston and the MetroWest communities with locations in Wellesley Hills, Framingham and Ashland (Automotive Technology Center).