Summers Accepts MCLA Presidential Position

Greg Summers, provost and vice chancellor for academic affairs, will start on July 1 as 12th president of Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts in North Adams, Massachusetts.

The Massachusetts state Board of Higher Education unanimously approved Summers for the position on Tuesday, March 10. He was one of 59 applicants from around the country.

Salary range and contract details are being finalized. According to an online database on Madison.com, Summers’ salary for the 2014-15 academic year is $160,156. Mary Grant, 11th MCLA president, earned $243,212 in 2014, according to an article in The Berkshire Eagle.

“I’m excited to have new personal and professional opportunities at MCLA, both for myself and for my wife and kids,” Summers said. “I’ve been blessed to have lots of opportunities here at UWSP to help manage the changing landscape of higher education, from curricular and co-curricular reform, assessment and accreditation, to advancing strategic plans, new budget models and partnerships for economic development.  These experiences will certainly be useful as I move into my new role.”

He said he owes a great deal to his colleagues who have entrusted him with many opportunities and responsibilities.

Chancellor Bernie Patterson is taking suggestions for an interim replacement for Summers’ positions.

“Right now I have a list of maybe a dozen or more possibilities, but I will be consulting with the vice chancellors and deans and some of our directors as well as the provost’s office, and then we will be issuing a call to campus,” Patterson said.

He said there is likely to be added stress any time there is a disruption in leadership, and especially during the planning regarding the state budget proposal.

“That’s just how organizations function,” Patterson said “We will certainly deal with that, and we have processes in place, because this does happen.”

Summers applied for the position last fall before the budget crisis materialized.

“You always worry about the potential impact of this kind of leadership change, especially in the midst of this kind of budget concern,” Summers said. “Still, I have tremendous confidence in my colleagues within academic affairs, and I’m sure they will work to ensure that the transition goes smoothly.”

Patterson said he is honored MCLA looked to UWSP as a campus that nurtures faculty and staff to their full potential, and is not surprised the college chose Summers.

The nationwide search for Summers’ replacement will begin this semester.

“We will be in contact with Faculty Senate to initiate the process,” Patterson said.

He said Summers’ greatest impacts on the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point are his efforts to reform the General Education Program, his hand in the creation of A Partnership for Thriving Communities, UWSP’s strategic plan to build relationships throughout Central and Northern Wisconsin, and his help with the revival of convocation.

MCLA, which has about 1,500 undergraduates, is part of the state university system and has been the state’s public liberal arts college since 1997.

The Massachusetts Board of Trustees was impressed with Summers’ passion for higher education and eagerness to become involved in the Northern Berkshire community.

 

MyKayla Hilgart

News and Environment Editor

mhilg143@uwsp.edu

 

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