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Presenter Bios

David Cedrone is Associate Commissioner for Economic and Workforce Development for the Massachusetts Department of Higher Education. He oversees the critical requirement to align education and training programs offered by the Commonwealth's 29 public universities and colleges with the needs of local businesses and industry. He is also assuming a new responsibility within the Department as Executive Director of the Governor's STEM Advisory Council.

David's responsibilities include leading the Department's efforts to expand student interest and achievement in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) education careers (pre-K to 16); increasing capacity and refining education programming to address the changing needs for nursing and allied health professionals; developing sector-specific workforce development initiatives for Information Technology, Life Sciences and Healthcare; and conducting outreach initiatives to the business community in support of the Department's Vision Project.

David most recently served on behalf of the Governor of Rhode Island at the Rhode Island Economic Development Corporation as Director of "Project Making the Grade." This statewide initiative implemented STEM educational improvements throughout Rhode Island schools.
David brings a strong management and technology background to state government with previous work experience in the private sector for both Compaq and Digital Equipment.


Patricia Crosson is Senior Advisor for Academic Policy for the Massachusetts Department of Higher Education. She is also a Professor of Higher Education Emeritus and former interim Provost of the University of Massachusetts Amherst, former Chair of the Greenfield Community College Board of Trustees, and former President of the Community College Trustee Association. Patricia is Chair of the Working Group on Student Learning Outcomes and Assessment.


Charles Desmond was appointed by Governor Patrick in September 2008 to the Board of Higher Education, and in December 2008, the Governor appointed him to serve as Chair.
A Fulbright Scholar, Charlie served from 2002 to 2009 as Executive Vice President of the Trefler Foundation, a nonprofit dedicated to improving educational opportunities and success for Boston's urban youth.

Prior to Trefler, Charlie worked for 30 years at the University of Massachusetts Boston, with a focus on student affairs and community collaboration. He was Associate Chancellor for School/Community Collaboration, Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs, Director of the Department of Pre-Freshman Programs and Project Director of College Preparatory Program/Upward Bound, among other positions. He has also served as a guidance counselor at Northeastern University’s African/American Institute, and in the Boston Public Schools.

Charlie is active in civic and community organizations, including service as President of AARP Massachusetts and as a member of the Review Committee for the Broad Prize in Urban Education. He is a decorated veteran of the U.S. Army, receiving both Silver and Bronze stars.


Timothy J. Flanagan became the 15th President of Framingham State University, a member of the Massachusetts State University system, on August 1, 2006.

From 1998 to 2006, Dr. Flanagan was Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs of the State University of New York College at Brockport. As Provost he was the chief academic officer, overseeing the academic development of the campus and the allocation of resources within the college’s largest division. Working with the deans of the campus schools, College Senate leadership and other vice presidents, he helped guide SUNY Brockport through a period of substantial development. He was also a Professor in the Department of Criminal Justice.

Prior to joining SUNY Brockport, President Flanagan was on the faculties of Marshall University, the State University of New York at Albany, and Sam Houston State University. For seven years he was Dean of the College of Criminal Justice and Director of the Criminal Justice Center at Sam Houston State.

Timothy Flanagan is the editor or co-editor of three anthologies and fifteen reference volumes, and forty journal and law review articles about crime, justice, and public policy. Dr. Flanagan has delivered invited lectures throughout the United States, and at leading universities in Austria, Belgium, China, Ireland, Mexico, Scotland and Australia. He maintains an active interest in his research specialization centering on public opinion and public policy, and in higher education.


Richard M. Freeland is Commissioner of Higher Education for Massachusetts, appointed to this position by Governor Deval Patrick in January 2009. Working with the Board of Higher Education, he is responsible for providing overall direction to public higher education in Massachusetts and helping shape state-level policies that maximize the benefits of higher education to the Commonwealth and its citizens

Previously, Freeland was President of Northeastern University for ten years, from August 1996 to August 2006. Under his leadership, Northeastern pursued excellence as a national research university that is student-centered, practice-oriented and urban. Freeland emphasized Northeastern’s leadership in practice-oriented education by enhancing the University’s flagship program of cooperative education and strengthening links between co-op and classroom. A major achievement of Freeland’s presidency was the transformation of Northeastern into a nationally selective, residential university with a high-achieving student body, increased enrollments from beyond Massachusetts and New England, improved graduation rates and enhanced academic stature. Over the ten years of Freeland’s presidency, Northeastern rose from 162 to 98 in the US News ranking of “Best National Universities,” a repositioning the Boston Business Journal called “one of the most dramatic since US News began ranking in 1983.”

Freeland has spent his entire academic career in urban higher education. As Assistant to the President of the University of Massachusetts in 1970, he focused on the development of a new campus in Boston. For the next 22 years, he was associated with UMass/Boston, serving as Assistant to the Chancellor, Director of Educational Planning, founding Dean of the College of Professional Studies, and Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. Between 1992 and 1996 Freeland was Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs at the City University of New York, the country’s largest urban system of public higher education.

An American historian, Freeland is the author of two books, Academia’s Golden Age, a post- World War II history of universities in Massachusetts, published by Oxford in 1992, and The Truman Doctrine and the Origins of McCarthyism, published by Knopf in 1972.


Robert J. Haynes has served the 400,000 union members of the Commonwealth as an officer in the Massachusetts AFL-CIO since 1987. He began his career in the labor movement in 1968 when he went to work as an 18-year-old ironworker. Haynes rose through the ranks of Ironworkers Local 7, serving as an apprentice, journeyman, foreman, steward, and was ultimately elected financial secretary-treasurer of Local 7 in 1979. His career as a state federation leader began when he was elected as the Massachusetts AFL-CIO Secretary-Treasurer in 1987. Haynes served in that post until his election as President of the State Federation in 1998.

A former vice-chairman and member of the University of Massachusetts Board of Trustees, President Haynes currently serves on the Boston Private Industry Council Board of Directors, the Massachusetts Workforce Investment Board, the Partnership for Health Care Excellence, the Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts Board of Directors, and the Friends of Boston’s Homeless Board of Directors. He has served on the Workers’ Compensation Advisory Board, the Lowell Center for Sustainable Production Advisory Board, the Steering Committee for the Campaign for Research, and Chair of the Cancer Advisory Committee at the University of Massachusetts Medical Center.

Haynes was re-elected to his unprecedented third term as Massachusetts AFL-CIO President in 2007.


Jonathan E. Keller is Associate Commissioner for Research, Planning and Information Systems for the Massachusetts Department of Higher Education. He oversees data analysis and reporting activities with special emphasis on performance measurement and accountability. He also serves as the Chief Information Officer. In his capacity at the DHE, Jonathan has sought to expand and enhance the data resources and analytic capabilities of the Department. Jonathan takes pride in his successes in the development of a unique data-sharing agreement between K-12 and higher education and the establishment of a new innovative indicator for community college student success. Jonathan was part of the School-to-College Database Leadership Team, which won the 2007 Commonwealth Citation for Outstanding Performance for the DHE. Jonathan also keeps engaged in the activities of national higher education research associations and has served on several advisory committees to the National Center for Education Statistics.

Jonathan has worked for more than 16 years in higher education administration. Prior to joining the DHE staff in 2004, Jonathan designed and coordinated accountability systems for both the University of Wisconsin System and the Arizona Board of Regents. He also worked with the Arizona Postsecondary Commission.


Aundrea E. Kelley is Deputy Commissioner for P–16 Policy and Collaborative Initiatives for the Massachusetts Department of Higher Education. As Deputy Commissioner, Aundrea seeks to advance strategic initiatives through collaboration among the public and private higher education sectors, early education and care, elementary and secondary education, government, the non-profit sector, and business. She has contributed to numerous college readiness and student success initiatives at the state, regional and national levels, including ACHIEVE and the American Diploma Project.

In addition to her leadership on policy initiatives to increase student readiness and success, including admissions standards, school-to-college alignment, early assessment and dual enrollment, Aundrea has also overseen large-scale reviews intended to foster academic program quality in the Commonwealth; veterans education policy, including the Department’s work for the USVA as the Massachusetts State Approving Agency; and collaborative work with senior staff to develop and implement Board policies and initiatives across a range of DHE functional areas.

Aundrea has worked for the Department of Higher Education for 14 years, including as acting Commissioner for Higher Education and as Associate Vice Chancellor for Academic Policy. In 2005, Aundrea was awarded the Citation for Outstanding Performance by Governor Romney.
Prior to joining the DHE staff in 1996, Aundrea held positions in private industry, the non-profit sector and higher education.


Alan G. Macdonald is Executive Director of the Massachusetts Business Roundtable (MBR), a not-for-profit organization of 75 leading executives of major Massachusetts enterprises. Through research and analysis of critical state issues, MBR seeks to offer strategic and managerial perspectives to state officials to influence the design and implementation of public policies affecting the quality of life and the economy in Massachusetts.

Prior to coming to MBR in 1989, Macdonald worked for ten years with General Electric Company as GE’s New England Manager of Government Relations. Earlier, from 1975 to 1979, he held positions with Gulf Oil Corporation as Manager of Government Affairs and Manager of Public Affairs in New England, Pittsburgh and Washington, D. C. From 1969 to 1975, he was an Assistant Attorney General for Massachusetts, working primarily in the areas of environmental law and criminal law enforcement.


Clantha McCurdy serves as the Senior Deputy Commissioner for Access and Student Financial Assistance for the Massachusetts Department of Higher Education. Having joined the staff in 1994, Clantha manages the Office of Student Financial Assistance, which administers all state-funded financial aid programs and has oversight responsibility for three additional statewide initiatives—the Police Career Incentive Pay Program (Quinn Bill), GEAR UP and the Ronald McNair Reserve. Clantha represents the Department and the Commonwealth in numerous state, regional and national organizations and has provided leadership in gaining access to higher education for students throughout the Commonwealth. She won the 2006 Commonwealth Citation for Outstanding Performance for the DHE for her work with the Task Force on Student Financial Aid.

She has over 20 years of higher education experience, with previous service to the Kansas Board of Regents, the University of Kansas, and USA group, a federal guarantor for student loans. In her employment at the Kansas Board of Regents, she managed the statewide financial aid programs.


Mary Jo Meisner is Vice President for Communications, Community Relations and Public Affairs at the Boston Foundation. She is responsible for all of the Foundation’s communications, media and government relations, and its civic leadership activities, including the Boston Indicators Project and the Foundation’s public policy initiatives.

Prior to joining the Foundation, Meisner spent 25 years in the newspaper business. Most recently, she was Editor and Vice Chairman of Community Newspaper Company of Boston. Prior to that, she was Editor of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel; Managing Editor of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram; City Editor of the Washington Post; Metro Editor of the San Jose Mercury News; and City Editor of the Philadelphia Daily News.

She is a member of the American Society of Newspaper Editors (ASNE) and the International Press Institute, of which she is still a member of the board. She has served as a Pulitzer Prize juror three times and was chair of the 1996 ASNE Writing Awards. In addition, she has taught various writing, editing, journalism ethics and management courses at the Maynard Institute, The Poynter Institute and the American Press Institute.


Francesca Purcell is Associate Commissioner for Academic and P-16 Policy, serving as senior academic policy officer providing leadership in policy development, implementation, and effectiveness. She also oversees the comprehensive evaluation process of academic program proposals from public, independent, and out-of-state higher education institutions seeking to offer new degrees in Massachusetts. Francesca chairs both the statewide Commonwealth Transfer Advisory Group charged to improve student transfer across the public higher education system and the Achieving the Dream State Policy Team, which aims to improve community college student success through change in state and federal policy. Most recently, Francesca was awarded the 2008 Commonwealth Citation for Outstanding Performance for the DHE by Governor Deval Patrick, in recognition of her contribution to the goals of the Department.

Prior to working for the DHE, Francesca worked at several Massachusetts colleges in student services or faculty positions and consulted for the Tertiary Education Division of the World Bank. Francesca is the author of Coming of age: Women’s colleges in the Philippines during the post-Marcos era. (2005). New York: Routledge; and Women’s universities and colleges: An international handbook. (2005). Rotterdam: Sense Publishers.


Paul Raverta holds a doctorate in higher education administration from Boston College and spent over 30 years at Holyoke Community College (HCC) before becoming Berkshire Community College’s (BCC) interim president in September 2005, and now president. During his tenure at HCC, he served as a faculty member as well as a senior-level administrator in a variety of positions including Vice President for Student Development, Vice President for Student Affairs, and Interim President.

He serves on a number of boards in Berkshire County including Berkshire Health Systems, Berkshire Economic Development Corporation, Berkshire Chamber of Commerce, Western Massachusetts Boy Scouts, Berkshire Business Roundtable, and the Berkshire Regional Employment Board.


Paul Reville is the Secretary of Education for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. As Secretary, Paul Reville directs the Executive Office of Education and works closely with the Commonwealth’s education agencies—Department of Early Education and Care, Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, Department of Higher Education and the University of Massachusetts system—while serving as a voting member of the governing board of all four education agencies. He is the Governor’s top advisor on education and helps shape the Commonwealth’s education reform agenda including the recent Achievement Gap Act of 2009—the most sweeping education legislation since the landmark Education Reform Act of 1993. Prior to his appointment as Secretary, Paul was the Director of the Education Policy and Management Program and a senior lecturer on educational policy and politics at the Harvard University Graduate School of Education and was also the founder and president of the Rennie Center for Education Research & Policy.

Paul has played a leading role in education reform in Massachusetts since the 1980s. He has been a teacher and an administrator, led business efforts to advance education and, as co-founder of the Massachusetts Business Alliance for Education, was deeply involved in the design and implementation of the Education Reform Act of 1993, the Commonwealth’s landmark initiative to establish standards and accountability. He is a national leader on time and learning, educational improvement and community engagement.


David Shulenburger is the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities’ (APLU) first Vice President for Academic Affairs. His immediate areas of concentration are on accountability and assessment in higher education and on the economics of higher education. Before joining APLU in June 2006, David Shulenburger was Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor of the University of Kansas. He served there as chief academic officer for thirteen years. He came to the University in 1974 as an assistant professor and now holds the emeritus professor title. He received his Ph.D. and master's degrees from the University of Illinois and his undergraduate degree from Lenoir Rhyne College. He previously served as a faculty member at Clemson University and as a labor economist for the U.S. Department of Labor.

His current research and writing focus on accountability, the economics of universities and of scholarly communications. He has been active nationally and internationally as an advocate for reform in the areas of accountability, scholarly communication and academic accreditation.
He was chair of the Board of Directors of the Center for Research Libraries from 2005–07, and a member of that board from 2001–09, the National Commission on Writing, and a Consulting Editor for Change Magazine. He was Chair of the National Association of State Universities and Land-Grant Colleges Council on Academic Affairs in 2000–2001, a member of the BioOne board and of the Kansas Technology Enterprise Corporation.


Jack M. Wilson is the 25th President of the five-campus, 66,000-student University of Massachusetts System. He has led UMass since September 2, 2003. During his career, Wilson has held positions as Professor of Physics, Department Chair, Research Center Director, Dean, Vice President, Provost, and a private sector entrepreneur. At the University of Massachusetts, he was previously the Vice President for Academic Affairs and founding CEO of UMassOnline.

Prior to arriving at UMass, Wilson was the J. Erik Jonsson '22 Distinguished Professor of Physics, Engineering Science, Information Technology, and Management at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, where he held positions as Dean, Research Center Director, and Provost. Before being appointed at Rensselaer, he served at the University of Maryland, College Park, and as an officer of the American Association of Physics Teachers, the American Institute of Physics, and the American Physical Society.

At the University of Massachusetts, Wilson called for a rededication to the land grant mission of accessibility, research and discovery in the public interest, as it might be viewed in the context of a modern innovative society. He emphasized the critical role that the University plays as the state's innovation engine, asserting that: "The path to economic and social development in Massachusetts goes through the University of Massachusetts."

Research activity at UMass has grown by $165 million during Jack Wilson's presidency with expenditures rising from $324 million in Fiscal Year 2003 to $489 million in Fiscal Year 2009. UMass now ranks in the Top 10 nationally in generating licensing and royalty income from faculty inventions and discoveries. Annual intellectual property income has risen from $20 million as President Wilson was taking office to $73 million during Fiscal Year 2009.

As founding CEO of UMassOnline, President Wilson built the system-wide initiative into one of the largest externally directed online education programs in the United States, which offers more than 92 fully accredited degree and certificate programs serving over 45,000 enrollees. Since its inception in early 2001, the online consortium has achieved double-digit growth in both enrollments and revenues.

President Wilson is nationally and internationally known for his leadership in the reform of higher education initiatives. He won the Theodore Hesburgh Award, the Boeing Award, and the Pew Charitable Trust Prize for his innovative programs. Wilson was awarded an Outstanding Civilian Service Medal by the U.S. Army for service to the Army Education program. He is a Fellow of the American Physical Society.

 

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