Katy Abel, Massachusetts Department of Higher Education
617-994-6932 (office) or 617-429-2026 (cell)
For Immediate Release
October 17, 2014
Maura Banta of IBM and Tom Hopcroft of Mass Technology Leadership Council Bring New Business Vision to BHE
BOSTON – The Department of Higher Education today announced that Governor Deval Patrick has appointed Maura O. Banta, IBM’s Director of Citizenship Initiatives in Education, and Tom Hopcroft, President & CEO of the Mass Technology Leadership Council, Inc. (MassTLC), to the Massachusetts Board of Higher Education (BHE) effective immediately.
”I am very pleased to appoint Maura and Tom to the Board of Higher Education,” said Governor Patrick. “I know their background in business partnered with their dedication to innovation and education will be a huge asset to the board’s future.”
Banta is a longtime marketing and sales executive at IBM who also worked in the company’s government relations and philanthropic divisions. She previously served as Chair of the Massachusetts Board of Elementary and Secondary Education, from 2008-2014. Banta is a board member of the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation, the Boston Plan for Excellence, The Rennie Center for Education Research and Policy, and The Carroll School of Management at Boston College.
As President & CEO of MassTLC, Hopcroft leads a high-profile technology association that addresses critical leadership issues of innovative technology and technology-enabled companies. He is an attorney and former adjunct professor at Northeastern University’s College of Business Administration. Mr. Hopcroft formerly founded and led the New England Business and Technology Association (NEBATA) which merged with the Mass Software Council in 2005.
“Maura Banta and Tom Hopcroft bring great expertise to the Board,” said Charles Desmond, Ed.D., BHE Chairman. “Maura’s extensive involvement in K12 education reform efforts will be invaluable as we work closely with K12 colleagues to prepare students for college. Tom brings his connections to one of the most powerful constituencies in the employer community – tech companies – that will be essential as we work to close the so-called ‘skills gap.’”
“I am thrilled to join the distinguished members of the Board of Higher Education,” said Maura Banta. “I see this new opportunity as a natural extension of the work that my colleagues and I did on the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education to enhance the college and career readiness of all students.”
“Public higher education has never been more vital to meeting the workforce needs of the state,” said Hopcroft. “I look forward to working with our public campuses and state leaders to make sure that each one of our college graduates has the skills and content knowledge to succeed in key industry sectors, particularly STEM and other tech-enabled fields.”
The 13-member Massachusetts Board of Higher Education is the statutorily-created agency responsible for defining the mission of and coordinating the Commonwealth’s system of public higher education and its 29 campuses, including fifteen community colleges, nine state universities and five campuses of the University of Massachusetts. The Board works to create and maintain a system of public higher education “which provides Massachusetts citizens with the opportunity to participate in academic and educational programs for their personal betterment and growth; to contribute to the area’s existing base of research and knowledge; and to contribute to the Commonwealth’s future economic growth and development.”
The Board’s core responsibilities are in the following functional areas: Academic Policy and Program Approval, Financial Aid, Fiscal and Capital Planning, Research and Performance Measurement, Workforce Development, and overseeing the Commonwealth’s Optional Retirement Program.
In 2010, the Board approved a strategic agenda for Massachusetts public higher education called The Vision Project, which coordinates state-level and campus work to achieve national leadership among state systems of higher education.