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Claremont, NH - The Board of Trustees of the Community College System for New Hampshire (CCSNH) has appointed Alfred Williams, IV as the President of River Valley Community College. The unanimous appointment was made by the CCSNH Board of Trustees upon recommendation of CCSNH Chancellor Ross Gittell.
Williams most recently served as Dean of Academic Affairs and Student Services at Quinebaug Valley Community College in Danielson, CT, where he also held positions as Interim Dean of Student Services, Director of Enrollment Management, and Director of Financial Aid and Veterans Services. Before joining Quinebaug, over the course of a twenty-year career in higher education he held positions at MassBay Community College in Wellesley, MA and Northeastern University in Boston, MA.
“We are very pleased to appoint Alfred Williams to the presidency of River Valley Community College,” said Jeremy Hitchcock, Chairman of the CCSNH Board of Trustees. “We were particularly impressed with the breadth of Alfred’s expertise in all facets of college operations, his commitment to student success, and his affinity for rural institutions that serve a diverse student population and a base of small and medium-sized employers that operate in an economy that is highly local in workforce development needs, while increasingly global in skills attainment,” said Hitchcock.
Williams, who holds a Juris Doctorate from the University of Illinois College of Law and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Government from Cornell University, spent his early career in the legal profession but found his “calling” working at community colleges. “When I started working at a community college, I found my true professional calling,” Williams said. “Community colleges change lives. When students receive that degree or certificate and graduate prepared for a fulfilling career or to take the next step on their educational pathway, we see the transformative effect of a student-centered college education. Being part of those successes inspires me every day to advocate for students and ensure we provide the best experience possible for them. And we do this in a cost-effective way for the students and taxpayers.”
Chancellor Ross Gittell recommended Williams after a search process that included stakeholders from the college and community. “Alfred Williams showed a deep understanding and appreciation for the role River Valley Community College plays for the communities it serves and strong commitment to student success, and he has a strong track record on both leading and collaborating to achieve institutional goals,” said Dr. Gittell. “He has delivered innovative strategies and strong results on student financial aid, enrollment and retention, program development, and building partnerships with area employers.” Gittell said that Williams also stood out because of his specific interest in rural-serving institutions, which face unique circumstances involved in meeting the needs of a geographically dispersed population in a financially sustainable way.
Gittell noted that Williams has been engaged in addressing emerging trends on college campuses, including efforts to help students graduate debt free through innovative approaches to financial aid and fundraising, and addressing issues of food insecurity faced by students across all educational sectors, including community colleges.
Williams has taught courses in Business Law, American Government and Comparative Politics while at Quinebaug Community College, and has led in bringing Open Educational Resources to students to reduce the costs for textbooks and course materials. He has also been part of accreditation teams through the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC). As president of River Valley Community College, Williams will lead the institution through its upcoming NEASC re-accreditation process.
CCSNH Trustee Allen Damren, who chaired the search committee, said “Alfred emerged from a pool of strong candidates as a very good fit for River Valley. We were impressed by his energy and commitment, as well as by his appreciation for the challenges within higher education at this time. I think he will be a very strong contributor to the college, the system and the state.”
Williams will start July 1, 2018.
About River Valley Community College: River Valley Community College is one of seven colleges in the Community College System of New Hampshire, offering thirty-nine associate degree and certificate programs in Claremont, Keene, Lebanon, and Online. Financial Aid and Scholarships are available. The seven community colleges in the system are committed to working with businesses throughout the state to train and retain employees to develop a robust workforce across all sectors and embraces the "65 by 25 Initiative," which calls for 65% of NH citizens to have some form of post-secondary education by 2025 to meet future workforce demands.