At their regularly scheduled meeting on Tuesday, May 22, 2012, the Board of Trustees of Berkshire Community College (BCC) recommended Ellen Kennedy to Massachusetts Commissioner of Higher Education Richard Freeland as the successor to President Dr. Paul Raverta, who retired in January.
"As Vice President for Administration & Finance and Interim President, Ellen Kennedy has proven herself to have a leadership style that is collaborative, inclusive and respected among all constituents of the college and community," said Susan Lombard, Chair of BCC's Board of Trustees. "She has the potential to take this college to the next level and to respond to the community's needs for education and workforce development. We, as a Board, are extremely pleased."
Kennedy 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. Kennedy joined BCC in 2008 and, prior to serving as the college's Interim President, she held the position of Vice President for Administration and Finance and CFO. In this role, she was responsible for all business-related functions, including budgeting, accounting and auditing, information technology, facilities management, campus security, food service, and ancillary services.
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 degree 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.
"I am honored that the Board had faith in my abilities to lead this fine institution. I look forward to building on the incredibly solid foundation that we have built and to meeting with the Board of Higher Education," said Kennedy upon learning of her recommendation. "I'm very appreciative of all the support I have received."
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 Foundation.
Since November 2011, Ross Dindio, Vice Chair of the BCC Board of Trustees has led the national search process for Dr. Raverta's successor. The search process was facilitated by R.H. Perry & Associates, and the search committee included representation from BCC's faculty, staff, students, and members of the Board of Trustees. The committee reviewed 38 applications and interviewed seven semifinalists. Ultimately, three finalists were selected and each made daylong visits to BCC's main campus, meeting with students, faculty, staff, administrators, community leaders, and the Board. After exploring all aspects of Kennedy's candidacy and comparing her experience against the criteria the Board had established, the trustees unanimously found that she was the best qualified and the best for fit the position.
"The needs of the Berkshires and of BCC are absolutely in the right hands with Ellen Kennedy as the next President," said Dindio. "Her openness and willingness to work with this Board were two of the overriding factors that helped me make my decision. I look forward to June 19th for the opportunity to answer any questions and address any concerns from the Board of Higher Education."
The Board's recommendation of Kennedy will go before the Board of Higher Education (BHE) for approval at their regularly scheduled meeting at Cape Cod Community College on June 19, 2012. Pending approval from the BHE, Kennedy will officially take the Presidential post beginning July 1, 2012 to serve as the college's 7th President.
Kennedy currently resides in Williamstown with her husband, Mark Gold.