Marty J. Alvarado

As the Executive Vice Chancellor for the Office of Equitable Student Learning, Experience, and Impact at the California Community College Chancellor’s Office, Marty J. Alvarado provides system and state leadership for teaching and learning, the student experience and wrap around supports, and workforce and economic development. One of the nation’s largest systems of higher education, the California Community College system includes 116 campuses and 73 distinct districts with locally elected Boards. In this role, Executive Vice Chancellor Alvarado actively engages in advising on state policy and budget advocacy for the community college system, and leads a 3 member Vice Chancellor team responsible for the design and deployment of policies and programs aimed at strengthening student outcomes and advancing the system’s Vision for Success.

Executive Vice Chancellor Alvarado joined the Chancellor’s Office Executive team in 2019 to support the rollout of new legislative priorities including Guided Pathways, a new competencybased online college, remedial education reform, and a new performance-based funding formula. In 2020, at the onset of the Covid 19 pandemic and mounting social unrest, Executive Vice Chancellor Alvarado quickly pivoted to focus on the transition of instruction and support services to system-wide, fully online offerings, providing stability, flexibility, and reliable leadership throughout the system. During this time, she also led the system’s transformational change efforts, including intersegmental transfer partnerships, the adoption of directassessment competency-based education regulations, new grading policies, updated workexperience regulations, and new systemwide personnel evaluation and tenure review policies that center diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility.

Prior to joining the Chancellor’s Office team, Executive Vice Chancellor Alvarado spent more than 10 years designing, facilitating, and funding innovative reforms at Long Beach City College, before leaving to join the national non-profit, JFF, to establish their California based office. While at JFF, Executive Vice Chancellor Alvarado led state and national initiatives designed to scale regional cross-sector partnerships, and support system and community leaders engaged in large scale transformation. This work focused on building regional ecosystems to support pathways to college and career success, contributing to economic mobility across the state, and working directly with state system leaders to create the enabling conditions for regional success.

Executive Vice Chancellor Alvarado’s personal and career long commitment to serve as a change agent for equitable outcomes began with her work as a job developer for a campus welfare to work program and the realization that inequitable access to resources went well beyond funding. She has continued to prioritize professional opportunities that allow her to contribute to transforming systems in education, workforce, and communities.

With more than 20 years of experience in higher education and community college systems, Executive Vice Chancellor Alvarado commands expertise in policy and research, program development and implementation, community engagement and partnerships, industry engagement and workforce development, and finance and resource development.

Executive Vice Chancellor Alvarado received her bachelor's degree in philosophy from Whittier College in Whittier, CA, and a master of arts in philosophy and cultural analysis from the Universiteit van Amsterdam located in the Netherlands.

Mary L. Churchill

Dr. Mary L. Churchill is a first-generation college graduate. She earned a Bachelor of Science in Psychology from Michigan State University and Master of Arts and Doctorate of Philosophy degrees in Sociology from Northeastern University. She has spent the last thirty years of her career giving back so that others could benefit from higher education as she did. In all of Dr. Churchill’s professional roles, from her first job as a financial aid counselor to her decades of leadership positions in private and public universities and colleges across New England, she has focused on race, class, and gender equity to ensure that all students can access higher education, succeed in their studies, and go on to thriving lives.

Dr. Churchill is the Associate Dean for Strategic Initiatives and Community Engagement at Boston University’s Wheelock College of Education and Human Development. In this role, she manages strategic relationships with local, state, federal, and international partners. This includes serving as the primary liaison with Boston Public Schools where she represents the college on the Universal Pre-K Advisory Board and convenes area colleges and universities participating in Early College and Innovation Pathway initiatives, She also leads the college’s participation in the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education’s Reducing the Shortage of Special Education Teachers Network Improvement Community.

Dr. Churchill is Professor of Practice and Director of the Higher Education Administration program at Boston University where she teaches courses in Higher Education Policy and Governance and Decision-Making. She serves as a trustee at Benjamin Franklin Cummings Institute of Technology, a four-year minority-serving college in Massachusetts, where she chairs the academic affairs committee. Nationally, Dr. Churchill serves as an advisor for the American Council on Education’s Learner Success Lab where she advises presidents and their senior leadership teams at public and private higher education institutions on student persistence and completion, life design and career exploration, and workforce skills development.

Prior to her time at Boston University, Dr. Churchill served as Vice President for Academic Affairs at Wheelock College; Associate Provost and Dean at Salem State University; and Senior Assistant Dean at Northeastern University.

Dr. Churchill is active in her local community and is a proud public school parent. In 2021, Dr. Churchill was appointed to serve as the Chief of Policy and Planning for Mayor Kim Janey in Boston where she was responsible for oversight of boards and commissions, managed college and university relationships for the mayor, supported the launch of the mayor’s Children’s and Youth Cabinet, and led the development of an alternative response to 911 calls for mental health emergencies.

Dr. Churchill is a strong advocate for equity and social justice in higher education. The promotion of women leaders and leaders of color is a particular emphasis of her board service on the American Council on Education’s Women’s Network Executive Council and the Massachusetts A.C.E. Women’s Network as well as her work as a faculty member of HERS Wellesley.

Dr. Churchill’s research and writing focus on equity, justice, and change management in higher education. Most recently, she co-authored When Colleges Close: Leading in a Time of Crisis (Johns Hopkins University Press) with David Chard, telling the story of the Wheelock Boston University merger. She is the author of the Higher Ed Policy and University of Venus blogs for Inside Higher Ed and Old School, New School for The Chronicle of Higher Education.

Lane A. Glenn

Dr. Lane A. Glenn is president of Northern Essex Community College (NECC), the first Hispanic Serving Institution in New England, which has campuses in both Haverhill and Lawrence, Massachusetts.

With more than three decades of experience in higher education, Dr. Glenn is passionate about helping all students achieve their educational goals and is a strong advocate for closing equity gaps, and for colleges and universities as engines of economic and workforce development, particularly in Gateway Cities.

As president of NECC, Dr. Glenn has led the significant expansion of the college’s Lawrence campus, including construction of the $27 million Ibrahim El Hefni Health and Technology Center, the donation of the Haffner Fournier Education Center, and the development of “The Hub” with university partnerships and the award-winning Revolving Test Kitchen. He is also the founding board chair of the Lawrence Partnership, a private-public collaboration of business leaders, community leaders, and elected officials devoted to economic development and improving the quality of life for residents of Lawrence, Massachusetts.

A highly collaborative, energetic leader, Dr. Glenn encourages experimentation and organizational innovation. Recently, NECC became the first college in the country to offer a competency-based associate degree in Early Childhood Education, and its police academy, the second largest in the state, was the first to be accepted into the National Active Bystander for Law Enforcement (ABLE) Training Program, designed to prepare police officers to successfully intervene to prevent harm and to create a law enforcement culture that supports peer intervention, leading to safer communities.

Prior to joining NECC in 2006, Dr. Glenn held various leadership and teaching positions at Lansing Community College, Oakland Community College, Michigan State University and the University of Illinois.

Dr. Glenn has been described as an “optimistic thought leader” who actively promotes higher education in a number of publications, on social media, and through his blog, “Running the Campus.” In 2018, he was named the “Pacesetter of the Year” for his higher ed advocacy efforts by the National Council for Marketing and Public Relations.

Dr. Glenn holds a PhD in Theater from Michigan State University, a master’s degree in Speech from Oklahoma State University and a bachelor’s in English from Northeastern State University. He is also proud to say that he started his education at Rose State College, a community college in Midwest City, Oklahoma.

Noe Ortega

Noe Ortega most recently served as Secretary of Education for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, a position he held since the fall of 2020. Prior to accepting his appointment as secretary, Dr. Ortega held the role of Deputy Secretary and Commissioner for the Office of Postsecondary and Higher Education (OPHE) at the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE). As commissioner, he led the work of the agency aimed at closing the postsecondary attainment gaps that have persisted among historically underrepresented populations and communities of color in Pennsylvania. Additionally, Dr. Ortega facilitated the efforts of the department to improve the diversity of Pennsylvania's educator workforce and to ensure that every student of the Commonwealth has access to educators who have been trained in culturally responsive and culturally relevant approaches to teaching and learning in the classroom.

Prior to joining PDE, Dr. Ortega spent eight years at the University of Michigan, where he held several academic and administrative roles. During his tenure he worked as the Assistant Director and Senior Research Associate at the National Center for Institutional Diversity and as the Managing Director for the National Forum on Higher Education for the Public Good. While most of his research has focused on postsecondary access and success for historically underserved students, his most recent publications examine how public investment in higher education influences decision-making at colleges and universities. Additionally, Dr. Ortega spent nearly a decade working in the areas of financial aid and enrollment management at both public and private universities in Texas, and he also served as a P-16 Specialist for the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB). Dr. Ortega also spent nearly seven years as director of a language institute in Japan where he trained teachers in the area of early childhood language acquisition.

Dr. Ortega received a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from St. Edwards University, a Master of Science in School Counseling from Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi, and his Ph.D. in Higher Education Policy from the University of Michigan.

Recordings & Feedback Surveys

Marty J. Alvarado
BHE Meeting Interview
Open Forum
Feedback Survey

*Please note that the survey will close at 11:59 p.m. on Sunday, August 28.

Mary L. Churchill
BHE Meeting Interview
Open Forum
Feedback Survey

*Please note that the survey will close at 11:59 p.m. on Sunday, August 28.

Lane A. Glenn
BHE Meeting Interview
Open Forum
Feedback Survey

*Please note that the survey will close at 11:59 p.m. on Sunday, August 28.

Noe Ortega
BHE Meeting Interview
Open Forum
Feedback Survey

*Please note that the survey will close at 11:59 p.m. on Sunday, August 28.

Special Meetings


Board of Higher Education Special Meeting
Tuesday, August 30, 2022
9:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.

Meeting Schedule

Past Forums

Open Forums

Moderated by Mary Grant, President of Massachusetts College of Art and Design
The virtual Open Forums with the finalists will be available for viewing at the time and Zoom link noted below. Questions for consideration may be submitted on DHE Commissioner Search website (questions for consideration may be submitted in advance here) in advance. Please register for the Open Forum using the links below.

10:45 – 11:30 Noe Ortega
12:15 – 1:00 Marty J. Alvarado
2:00 – 2:45 Mary L. Churchill
3:30 – 4:15 Lane A. Glenn
Past BHE Meetings


Board of Higher Education Special Meeting
Thursday, August 25, 2022
8:30 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.
Omni Parker House Hotel
Kennedy Room
60 School Street, Boston, MA 02108
Via Virtual Meeting
Past Stakeholder Group Meetings

Academic Search will host a series of open forums with different stakeholder groups to assist with the development of the Commissioner position profile. Please see the schedule below:

Public Sector Students Monday, May 2 11:00 AM
DHE Senior Staff Monday, May 2 12:30 PM
BHE Members Tuesday, May 3 10:00 AM
Public Sector Presidents Tuesday, May 3 2:30 PM
Legislators Tuesday, May 3 4:00 PM
Public Sector Boards of Trustees Wednesday, May 4 9:30 AM
Public Sector Administrators and Staff Wednesday, May 4 11:30 AM
Public Sector Faculty Wednesday, May 4 3:30 PM
Independent Sector Presidents Thursday, May 5 10:00 AM
DHE All Staff Thursday, May 5 1:00 PM
Community and Think Tank Partners Thursday, May 5 3:30 PM
Open Forum: Register Here Friday, May 6 11:00 AM
Agenda for Stakeholder Meetings:
Past Advisory Council Meetings


Commissioner Search Advisory Council Meeting
Wednesday, April 20, 2022
11:00 AM
Virtual Meeting


Commissioner Search Advisory Council Meeting
Thursday, May 12, 2022
3:00 PM - 5:00 PM
Virtual Meeting


Commissioner Search Advisory Council Meeting
Wednesday, July 20, 2022
1:00 PM - 3:00 PM
Virtual Meeting


Commissioner Search Advisory Council Meeting
Tuesday, August 2, 2022
1:00 PM - 5:00 PM
Virtual Meeting


Commissioner Search Advisory Council Meeting
Wednesday, August 10, 2022
11:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Virtual Meeting


Commissioner Search Advisory Council Meeting
Thursday, August 11, 2022
2:00 PM - 6:00 PM
Virtual Meeting

Letter from Chair Gabrieli

Full Letter


Search Timeline

Academic Search - Massachusetts Department of Higher Education Commissioner Search:
Timeline & Key Dates

Search Leadership

Advisory Council

Chris Gabrieli – BHE Chair

BHE Members:

Veronica Conforme
Paul Mattera, J.D. – State University Segmental Member
James Peyser – Secretary of Education
Paul Toner, J.D. – Labor
Bill Walczak – Community College Segmental Member

Non-BHE Members:

Leldamy Correa – Chief of Staff, Department of Elementary and Secondary Education
Katherine Craven – Chair, Board of Elementary and Secondary Education, and Chief Administrative/Financial Officer, Babson College
Aisha Francis, Ph.D. – President, Benjamin Franklin Institute of Technology
Mary Grant, Ph.D. – President, Massachusetts College of Art and Design, and State University Council of Presidents
Jorgo Gushi – Community College Student Segmental Advisor, Board of Higher Education, and Student, Quinsigamond Community College and Worcester Polytechnic Institute
Adrian Haugabrook, Ph.D. – Executive Vice President and Managing Director of Social Impact Collective, Southern New Hampshire University
Michael Horn – Senior Strategist, Guild Education
Scott Jenkins – Strategy Director for State Policy, Lumina Foundation
Juana Matias, J.D. – HUD’s Region I Regional Administrator, Office of Field Policy and Management
Pat Meservey, Ph.D. – President Emeritus, Salem State University
Dana Mohler-Faria, Ed.D. – President Emeritus, Bridgewater State University
Katherine Newman, Ph.D. – System Chancellor for Academic Affairs, University of Massachusetts President’s Office, and University of Massachusetts Representative
David Podell, Ph.D. – President, Massachusetts Bay Community College, and Community College Council of Presidents Representative
Bob Pura, Ph.D. – President Emeritus, Greenfield Community College
Francesca Purcell, Ph.D. – Faculty Director, Harvard Graduate School of Education
Elena Quiroz-Livanis – Chief of Staff and Assistant Commissioner for Academic Policy & Student Success, Department of Higher Education
Marjorie Ringrose, Ph.D. – Director of Education, The Richard and Susan Smith Family Foundation

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