Finalists for CCRI president post announced

WARWICK – The Council on Postsecondary Education has identified three finalists for the post of president at the Community College of Rhode Island and intends to appoint one of them at a meeting on Dec. 2.
Candidates were selected from a national search that yielded 41 applicants. They are:
Jean Wihbey, who is provost of the Palm Beach State College’s Palm Beach Gardens campus, a post she’s held since 2009. As campus CEO, she oversees academic programs, campus operations and school culture for 9,000 students.
Meghan Hughes, who had served as executive director of Year Up Providence from 2009 through May 2015 and recently received the Rhode Island Foundation’s 2015 Community Leader award. Hughes is credited with doubling the size of the Providence program and developing key workforce partnerships with Rhode Island employers.
Brenda Dann-Messier, a faculty member and trustee at Johnson & Wales University, where she earned a doctorate in educational leadership. Dann-Messier also had served as U.S. assistant secretary for the Office of Career, Technical and Adult Education from 2009 to May 2014. She also was acting assistant secretary for postsecondary education from 2013 to May 2014.
Search committee Chairman Bill Foulkes, who chairs the Council on Postsecondary Education, said all three finalists “have vision and experience necessary for improving student access and success at CCRI, as well as for advancing CCRI’s mission to maintain the highest academic standards, respond to community needs and contribute to our state’s economic development.”
The candidates will attend a council meeting in executive session Friday, Nov. 20, at 8 a.m. at the Office of the Postsecondary Commissioner, as well as open meetings with the CCRI Community from 1 to 5 p.m. at the CCRI Knight campus. The council will vote on the finalists on Dec. 2 at a 5:30 p.m. meeting.
The search committee is composed of CCRI faculty and alumni, business and community leaders, and representatives from the council.
CCRI President Ray Di Pasquale, who has been president since 2006, is not seeking the renewal of his contract. He continues to serve as president until his replacement is found. The newly named president is expected to take the helm during the spring semester.

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