For Immediate Release - December 04, 2008

Governor Patrick Appoints New Chair and New Member to Board of Higher Education

BOSTON - Thursday, December 04, 2008 - Governor Deval Patrick today announced the appointment of Dr. Charles Desmond as Chair of the Board of Higher Education (BHE). Dr. Desmond replaces Frederick W. Clark, Jr., who announced at the November 21st Board meeting that he is stepping down as Chair.

A Fulbright Scholar, Dr. 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 focus on student affairs and community collaboration. He was appointed by the Governor to the Board of Higher Education in September 2008.

Mr. Clark served as BHE Chair for the past 15 months and helped manage the search process for a new Commissioner of Higher Education. The Board will meet tomorrow to interview the candidate recommended by the Commissioner Search Task Force, Dr. Richard Freeland, President Emeritus of Northeastern University. The Board will also vote on his candidacy and forwarding his name to Education Secretary Paul Reville for final consideration.

"Fred Clark performed a tremendous service in his role and I thank him for his commitment to public higher education and his enduring support for students," said Governor Patrick. "I am pleased to appoint Charlie Desmond as Chair of the Board of Higher Education. His background in public higher education, his many years of service at the University of Massachusetts and his passion for ensuring the success of all students will guide his important work."

"Governor Patrick's selection of Charlie Desmond as the next Chair of the Board of Higher Education is a terrific choice," said Clark. "Charlie is long on experience in regards to the myriad of issues facing public and private higher education. He particularly understands that our state's economy cannot succeed in meeting short and long term challenges in attracting highly skilled, critically thinking and adaptable employees without a strong public higher education system."

Governor Patrick also appointed Dr. Nancy Hoffman to the Board of Higher Education. Dr. Hoffman is Vice President at Jobs for the Future, where she guides the activities of JFF's Youth Cluster's activities, the Early College High School Initiative, dual enrollment policies and practices and efforts to make college opportunity affordable. She has held positions at several institutions of higher education including Brown University, Temple University, Harvard Graduate School of Education and the University of Massachusetts Boston. Hoffman holds a B.A. and Ph.D. in comparative literature from the University of California, Berkeley.

"Nancy has worked hard over the years to make sure students from across the state have the access and the support they need to be fully engaged and successful learners who emerge from their higher education experience prepared to make a difference in our community," said Governor Patrick.

"Charlie and Nancy bring not only deep expertise but many years of dedicated service to students. We look forward to working closely with them as we improve our 29 campuses," said Education Secretary Paul Reville. "There is no finer advocate for public higher education than Fred Clark. We are deeply indebted to him for his service to the Commonwealth."

The 13-member Board of Higher Education includes a Chair, appointed by the Governor, as well as eight additional gubernatorial appointments, the Secretary of Education and segmental representatives for the University, the state colleges and the community colleges.

###