Gov. Patrick shakes up RCC board, adds new members

By 
Matt Murphy, State House News Service
Sep. 6, 2012

In a further shake-up of the leadership at Roxbury Community College, Gov. Deval Patrick plans on Thursday to appoint six new members to the college's board following questions raised over crime reporting, financial aid distribution and the former president's stewardship of the school's educational mission.

The six new board members are Kathy Taylor, who will take over as chairwoman, Beth Williams, Michael Curry, Mark Culliton, Glynn Lloyd and Jeffrey Greenberg. Steven Tompkins, a member of the RCC board since 2010, will also be reappointed for a second five-year term.

While the change in leadership puts Patrick's imprint on a majority of the 11-member board, Patrick is also replacing three trustees that he put on the board during his first term.

"Roxbury Community College is a vital part of our public higher education system here in the Commonwealth and a pillar of the community in Roxbury," Patrick said in a statement. "I am confident that this group of individuals, with Ms. Taylor at the helm, will successfully chart a path of excellence for the students, faculty and leadership at the college."

Former Roxbury Community College President Terrence Gomes resigned in June after nine years at the helm, under pressure following revelations that his college was being audited by the U.S. Department of Education for non-compliance with national campus crime reporting requirements. Gomes was replaced by interim-President Linda Turner.

State Auditor Suzanne Bump is also looking into the alleged underreporting of crime on campus along with the financial management of the Reggie Lewis Track and Athletic Center, while the Department of Education has raised concerns about computer controls that may have resulted in a delay in financial aid reaching students.

In the wake of the controversies that led to Gomes' resignation, the community college board hired former U.S. Attorney Wayne Budd last month to investigate the campus crime and financial aid issues.

Taylor, executive director of the Black Philanthropy Fund, replaces Anita Crawford as chairwoman - Crawford had previously been appointed to the board by Patrick.

"I am excited to take up Governor Patrick's challenge to help build a strong, independent Roxbury Community College that will better serve the needs of its students, faculty, administrators and all of the communities that benefit from its activities," Taylor said in a statement. "As a Roxbury native, I am especially pleased to work with the business community to ensure that the students from RCC are prepared to enter the job market both here in Massachusetts and across our global economy."

Gomes had been criticized before leaving for refusing to participate in a business-funded job-training program for students, which the Patrick administration and others have defined as a critical role for community colleges to play in the economy.

The six new board appointees will bring membership to 10, with one more vacancy for an alumnus of the community college still to be filled by Patrick.

In addition to Crawford, Patrick appointees John Cruz and Michele Courton Brown are also being replaced. The fourth board member being replaced is Russell Aims, appointed by former Gov. Mitt Romney, and still serving as a holdover though his term had already expired.

Williams is the CEO of Roxbury Technology Corporation, and will fill one of two vacancies on the board, the second taken by Culliton, who is the CEO of College Bound Dorchester.

Curry, the legislative affairs director and senior counsel for the Massachusetts League of Community Health Centers, takes Cruz's spot on the board, while Lloyd, the founder and CEO of City Fresh Foods in Dorchester, takes over for Brown whose term has expired.

Greenberg will fill the seat previously held by Aims whose term has also expired. Greenberg is an associate medical director for Brigham and Women's Physician Organization leading projects to improve the quality of care.