Holyoke Community College names 4 finalists for president

  • Naydeen T. Gonzáles-De Jesús SUBMITTED PHOTO

  • Graduate Martha King-Devine gives the student address during the Holyoke Community College commencement ceremony earlier this year at the MassMutual Center in Springfield. FILE PHOTO

  • Laura L. Douglas SUBMITTED PHOTO

  • Christina Royal SUBMITTED PHOTO



Published: 10/13/2016 3:13:24 PM

HOLYOKE — A Holyoke Community College search committee has named four finalists for the position of president. All four are women, which means the college will likely soon have its first-ever female president.

The four finalists announced Thursday come from a list of 11 semifinalists who were selected out of 30 initial applicants who met the qualifications set by the search committee and a private search firm.

Each woman will participate in a two-day visit at HCC in the coming weeks with an itinerary that includes meetings, tours and discussions with administrators, faculty, staff and students. There will also be a coffee hour attended by each candidate open to the public, according to HCC.

Former HCC president William F. Messner retired in July.

The finalists are vying for the post are:

Northampton native Laura L. Douglas, who has served as provost of Des Moines (Iowa) Area Community College’s Urban Campus since 2005 and has a doctorate in education

Naydeen T. Gonzáles-De Jesús, who is the vice president of student affairs at Bergen Community College in Paramus, New Jersey and has a doctorate in industrial/organizational psychology.

Julie A. White, who is the vice president of student engagement and learning support at Onondaga Community College in Syracuse, New York and has a doctorate in educational leadership.

Christina Royal, who is the provost and vice president of academic affairs at Inver Hills Community College in Inver Grove Heights, Minnesota and has a doctorate in education.

The Board of Trustees will pick its top choice following the interviews, a decision that must then be approved by the state Board of Higher Education.

The new president is expected to begin work before the start of the spring 2017 semester, according to college officials.

Chris Lindahl can be reached at clindahl@gazettenet.com


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