Western New England University Prez to Retire After Nearly Quarter Century in Charge

By John O. Harney

Comings and Goings …


Western New England University President Anthony S. Caprio announced he’ll retire at the end of June 2020 after 24 years of leadership. The university’s longest-serving president, Caprio oversaw the launch of its first doctoral program and 2011 transition from Western New England College to Western New England University.

The Vermont College of Fine Arts Board of Trustees appointed Interim President Leslie Ward as permanent president, effective July 1, 2020. Ward was appointed interim leader in July 2019, when founding president Thomas Greene announced plans to step down as president and join the faculty of the college’s MFA in Writing & Publishing program.

Former Massachusetts Gov. Jane Swift, currently president of LearnLaunch, was appointed Jerome Lyle Rappaport Visiting Professor in Law and Public Policy at Boston College Law School’s Rappaport Center for the spring 2020 semester, where she will teach a seminar on “Governing in the Facebook Era: Privacy, Propaganda, and Public Good.”

The Alliance for Business Leadership named Massachusetts state Rep. Jennifer Benson as its next president. Benson has represented Acton, Ayer, Boxborough, Harvard, Lunenburg and Shirley in the House since 2009. The alliance is a coalition of CEOs, entrepreneurs, investors and business leaders who believe social responsibility and the sustainable economic growth go hand in hand.

Boston’s Museum of Science named Tim Ritchie, the former president of The Tech Interactive museum in Silicon Valley, to be the Boston museum’s new president, succeeding Wayne Bouchard, who served as interim president after Ioannis Miaoulis left the presidency in January 2019.

Kevin Finn, associate dean for the School of Health Sciences at Merrimack College, was named dean of the School of Nursing & Health Sciences and director of clinical partnerships at Colby-Sawyer College.

Angela Oechslie, a former workforce development specialist at Eastern Maine Development Corporation and the Workforce Coordinator at Tri-County Workforce Investment Board, was named the new Project>Login program director.

The Online Learning Consortium, devoted to advancing the quality of digital learning, announced newly elected officers to its board. Mary Niemiec, associate vice president for distance education at the University of Nebraska, became president of the board. Elizabeth Ciabocchi, vice provost for digital learning at St. John’s University in Queens, became vice president of the OLC board. Julia Parra, assistant professor at New Mexico State University, became secretary. OLC Founding President Frank Mayadas became treasurer.


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