At their regularly scheduled meeting on Tuesday, October 25, the Board of Trustees of Berkshire Community College (BCC) unanimously approved the appointment of Ellen Kennedy as the college's new interim president. She will take the interim position beginning January 8, 2012, following the retirement of Dr. Paul E. Raverta, who announced intentions to leave his post this past September.
"The board believes that Ellen Kennedy has proven herself to be a trusted and respected leader in her present position," said Susan Lombard, chair of BCC's Board of Trustees. "Additionally, she will advance the goals and initiatives begun by Dr. Paul Raverta and will provide stable guidance and direction during this leadership transition."
Kennedy, who holds a Master of Business Administration from the University of Massachusetts, a Master of Public Administration from Harvard University and is currently completing a doctoral degree from Northeastern University, joined BCC in 2008. Serving as the college's Vice President for Administration and Finance and CFO, she has been responsible for all business-related functions, including budgeting, accounting and auditing, information technology, facilities management, campus security, food service, and ancillary services.
While at BCC, Kennedy has managed multi-million dollar infrastructure repairs and the deployment of American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) funds for initiatives such the installation of over 1,800 roof-mounted solar arrays, the upgrade of college equipment and classrooms, and the Envelope Project, which will replace all campus windows and seal the college's buildings to improve energy efficiency. Kennedy has also been actively involved with state and other educational partners on efforts including the Massachusetts Vision Project, the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College & Career (PARCC), and Advancing a Massachusetts Culture of Assessment (AMCOA). Well respected among the BCC community, she has worked to advance the missions and initiatives of Academic Affairs, Student Affairs, Advancement, and Workforce Development through creative problem solving and collaborative long-range planning.
"One of Paul Raverta's many legacies to BCC is a very strong staff and senior management team. I have no doubt that together we will continue the positive momentum we now enjoy while the Trustees seek a new leader for the college," said Ellen Kennedy. "BCC is a community of good thinkers with good ideas - all motivated to provide a high-quality educational experience to our students. Together, we can keep moving forward in this time of transition. I look forward to the opportunity to provide leadership in this endeavor."
Prior to joining BCC, Kennedy served as Interim COO for the National Patient Safety Foundation, formerly located in North Adams, and the Director of Development for WFCR New England Public Radio. With a Bachelor of Science in business administration from North Adams State College, now MCLA, Kennedy began her career in higher education at her alma mater serving in a variety of roles including Coordinator of Office Services, Director of Administration Services, Chief Advancement Officer and President of the MCLA Foundation.
In addition to her professional qualifications, Kennedy has a network of established relationships within the community college system and is highly regarded by her colleagues throughout the state. Currently, she serves as vice chair of the CFO community college statewide group and on the board of directors for the Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation.
"I recommend without reservation that Ellen Kennedy be approved as Interim President of Berkshire Community College," said Dr. Raverta at the meeting of the Board of Trustees. "She will ensure that the college can maintain its current pathways for many initiatives. She is well respected here at BCC, within our community, among elected officials and the legislative delegation, and throughout the state. Ellen has all of the leadership and management skills needed to move BCC forward..."
Ross Dindio, Vice Chair of the Board of Trustees will lead a national search process, facilitated by a search firm to be determined by the board at the November board meeting. In addition to Chairman Dindio, trustees Darlene Rodowicz, Michael Supranowicz, and Paul Caccaviello will join the committee. The faculty representatives will be Ellen Shanahan from the Humanities Division, Stacy Evans from the Nursing, Health, and Social Sciences Division and Diane Sturtevant from the Business, Science, Mathematics and Technology Division. Liz Recko-Morrison, MCCC, Marzi Carlopoli, AFSCME, Eleanor Velez, Unit Professional, Anna Gallo-Foss, Non-Unit Professional, Vice President Michael Bullock from the Executive Council, Barbara Hochberg, representing the BCC Foundation and OLLI, and Karla Pauta, representing the students, complete the list of voting members. Deborah Cote, Vice President for Human Resources and Affirmative Action Officer, will be a non-voting member as will a staff member from the Commissioner of Higher Education's office. The search committee will begin its work on November 14th with an introductory meeting and training session. The target date for a new president's start is July 1, 2012.