GCC President Appointed to Higher Education Accreditation Agency
Posted on Friday January 4th 2013
Greenfield Community College President Dr. Robert L. Pura has been appointed to serve a three-year term as a Commissioner on the Commission on Institutions of Higher Education (CIHE) of the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC). NEASC provides accreditation services for more than 2000 public and private institutions in the six-state region – Pre-K through university. The Commission on Institutions of Higher Education (CIHE) of the New England Association of Schools and Colleges is the regional accreditation agency for colleges and universities in the six New England states. The Commission consists of faculty and administrators from affiliated institutions and public members.
Pura has 34 years of experience in the Massachusetts Community College System, the past twelve years as President of Greenfield Community College. Prior to coming to GCC, Pura served five years as Dean of Academic Affairs at Berkshire Community College, fifteen years as a faculty member and administrator at Massasoit Community College, and two years as a Program Coordinator for the Massachusetts Board of Regional Community Colleges. Pura is also a proud graduate of a community college. As the first in his family to attend college and the child of an immigrant, Pura understands what a community college education can mean to students. Pura’s passion for the community college mission was enhanced by his academic pursuits at The University of Texas at Austin where he earned his Ph.D.
Commenting on his appointment to the Commission, Pura said, “It is important for GCC to be at the table and engaged in the conversation about standards for higher education. I am pleased to bring the perspective of a small rural college that is committed to access and excellence, the very best that higher education has to offer. The Commission on Institutions of Higher Education is an august group of smart, engaged, and committed educators and members of the public that take seriously the work of the accreditation process. The challenges higher education faces are significant The Commission establishes standards by which each college is accountable and makes sure that all of its standards are being met. Every college in New England is accredited by the Commission, from Harvard to Mount Holyoke College from Yale to the University of Maine.”
Pura has made presentations for the American Association of Community Colleges, the National Institute for Staff and Organizational Development, the League for Innovation in Community Colleges, Mt. Holyoke College and Harvard University where he also attended the Harvard Institute for Experienced Presidents. Pura is a member of the American Association of Community College Commission on Academic, Community and Student Development; Past President of the Massachusetts Community College President’s Council and visiting lecturer at The University of Texas at Austin where he is a distinguished alumni. Examples of his active community and civic life include serving on the Boards of the Franklin County Chamber of Commerce, Community Foundation of Western Massachusetts and WFCR. Pura is also a heavily fined Rotarian.
Pura is joined as a newly appointed Commissioner by David P. Angel, President of Clark University in Worcester, MA and G. Timothy Bowman, Executive Dean for Administration, SEAS, of Harvard University in Cambridge, MA. The Commission is recognized by the U.S. Secretary of Education as a reliable authority on the quality of education for the institutions it accredits. The Commission is also recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA), affirming that its Standards and processes are consistent with the quality, improvement, and accountability expectations that CHEA has established. NEASC accreditation uses self-reflection, peer review and best practices as integral components of its assessment process. After an institution has gone through a rigorous evaluation process, the Commissioners vote on the accreditation or re-accreditation of each institution.
The Commission comprises up to twenty-four persons elected by the member colleges and universities for no more than two consecutive three-year terms. At least one in seven Commissioners is a representative of the public interest, with the remainder being faculty and senior administrators from member institutions. Following is a list of current Commissioners, the end dates of their elected terms, and their titles and institutional affiliations. Further information about the Commissioners is available upon request.
Carson, David E. A. (2015), Public Member, Hartford, CT
Dwyer, Thomas L.G. (2015), Executive Vice President, Johnson & Wales University, Providence, RI
Evans, Andrew B. (2014), Vice President for Finance and Treasurer, Wellesley College, Wellesley, MA
Finney, David F. (2013), President, Champlain College, Burlington, VT
Gabranski, John F. (2015), Public Member, Haydenville, MA
Graves, David S. (2014), President, Laureate Hospitality, Art and Design, Clarens, Switzerland
Hitchner, R. Bruce (2014), Professor of Classics and International Relations, Tufts University, Medford, MA
Jukoski, Mary Ellen (2014), President, Mitchell College, New London, CT
Kennedy, William F. (2015), Trustee Member, Boston, MA
Levinson, David L. (2014),President, Norwalk Community College, Norwalk, CT
Mallory, Bruce L. (2014), Professor of Education, University of New Hampshire, Durham, NH
Meservey, Patricia Maguire Vice Chair (2014), President, Salem State University, Salem, MA
Muncaster, Karen L. (2015), Vice President for Professional and Continuing Education, Boston Architectural College, Boston, MA
Nieves, Wilfredo (2013), President, Capital Community College, Hartford, CT
Ortiz, Christine(2015), Dean for Graduate Education, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA
Oxman, Jon S. (2015), Public Member, Auburn, ME
Peterson, Jacqueline D. (2015),Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students, College of the Holy Cross, Worcester, MA
Shanley, Rev. Brian J., O.P. (2015), President, Providence College, Providence, RI
Sullivan, Christopher J.(2014), Public Member, Concord, NH
Wells, Linda S. (2013), Dean, College of General Studies, Boston University, Boston, MA
Wyld, Jean A. Chair (2015), Vice President for Academic Affairs, Springfield College, Springfield, MA
Angel, David P. (2015), President, Clark University, Worcester, MA
Bowman, G. Timothy (2015), Executive Dean for Administration, SEAS, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA
Pura, Robert L. (2015), President, Greenfield Community College, Greenfield, MA
Biographical statements for Commissioners are available upon request to firstname.lastname@example.org
For further information contact Greenfield Community College President’s Office, 413-775-1410.
By Mary McClintock, ’82