For Immediate Release - October 01, 2008

Governor Patrick Appoints Four New Members To Higher Education Board

Affirms commitment to higher education

BOSTON - Wednesday, October 1, 2008 - Underscoring his commitment to higher education, Governor Deval Patrick today named four new members to the Board of Higher Education: Dr. Mary Elizabeth Beach, Dr. Mario R. Borunda, Dr. Charles Desmond, and Kathryn Quigley.

"These four individuals bring a wide variety and depth of experience, and understand the critical role higher education plays in preparing our students to succeed in the 21st Century global economy," said Governor Patrick.

Mary-Elizabeth Beach, a resident of Springfield, is the Superintendent of Ware Public Schools and has extensive elementary and secondary school experience as an administrator, teacher and director of guidance. In addition, Dr. Beach brings to the Board expertise in the area of research and accountability, as well as curriculum development.

Mario Borunda is the Dean of the School of Education at Lesley University, and has overseen the largest period of expansion in the school's history. In addition, Dr. Borunda has done extensive research and writing on the subject of women and minorities in higher education.

A Fulbright Scholar, Charles Desmond currently serves as Executive Vice President of the Trefler Foundation, a nonprofit dedicated to improving educational opportunities and success for Boston's urban youth. Prior to this, Dr. Desmond worked for 30 years at the University of Massachusetts Boston, with a particular focus on student affairs and community collaboration.

And Kathryn Quigley, a Senior at Westfield State College and resident of Wilbraham, will serve as the student member of the Board, representing her peers across the public higher education system. Active in campus affairs as well as numerous charitable organizations, Kate will bring to the Board her solid understanding of issues of importance to her fellow students, including the need for greater support of financial aid.

Over the summer, the Patrick Administration, under the leadership of Education Secretary Paul Reville, laid out the Governor's Education Action Agenda - a 10-year blueprint for the next phase of education reform in Massachusetts to build a more robust and student-focused system that will ensure all students have the skills and knowledge they need to reach proficiency and achieve success. The plan places a sharp focus on building better connectivity among the education sectors of early childhood, elementary and secondary and higher education and underscores the commitment of the Commonwealth to improve the education provided at each level to promote lifelong learning for all students.

The appointments fill out the now13 member Board of Higher Education, and complete the Governor's appointments to the three education boards of Early Education and Care, Elementary and Secondary Education, and Higher Education.

The Board of Higher Education's first meeting of the academic year will be on October 2 at Quinsigamond Community College.

"Governor Patrick has articulated a new vision of education reform, one that reaffirms our belief that excellent education for all is the Commonwealth's aspiration and obligation," said Secretary Reville. "Success will only be possible through collaboration at all levels of public education so that we build a seamless system to meet the needs of students at every step of their education. Volunteer board members play a critical role in this process, and will offer valuable input as we move forward to implement the Governor's Education Action Agenda."

In his role, Secretary Reville serves as a member on the three education boards as well as on the Board of Trustees at the University of Massachusetts (UMass). Secretary Reville will continue to build partnerships among the education agencies and attend all of the meetings. He attended his first meeting as a member of the UMass Board on Friday.

"These new appointments collectively bring to the Board some terrific new members who bring diverse backgrounds on issues which are of critical importance to the future success of public higher education," said Frederick W. Clark, Jr., Chairman of the Board of Higher Education. "I look forward to their input as we together strive to strengthen our public higher education system and prepare our students to meet the demands of the 21st century."