"I am 100 percent certain that Ellen Kennedy is the right choice for president of Berkshire Community College," trustees Vice Chairman Ross Dindio said.
Kennedy earned the vote after a search committee narrowed 38 applications down to three finalists — Kennedy; Stephen Budd, president of River Valley Community College in Claremont, N.H.; and Valerie Roberson, vice president of academic affairs at Joliet (Ill.) Junior College.
The board's recommendation of Kennedy will go before the Board of Higher Education for approval at its regularly scheduled meeting at Cape Cod Community College on June 19. Pending approval from the BHE, Kennedy will officially take the presidential post beginning July 1.
While the trustees spoke highly of the other finalists after interviewing them in May, Kennedy was chosen because of her understanding of the school, community and vision.
"She understands the mission of the college and she advocates for the students," Trustee Pamela Roberts said.
Kennedy has already made connections with government officials, the trustees, staff and students. The board members said they were more confident in her longevity and commitment to the school. Trustee Darlene Rodowicz said Kennedy can "hit the ground running" and the staff and community members have all spoken highly of her.
"I have a sense that people like to work for her," Trustee Paul Caccaviello said. "We can rely on her to have the best interests of the students in mind."
Trustees Michael Wynn and Al Ingegni listen to the other trustee's reasons behind endorsing Kennedy.
Chairwoman Susan Lombard said the only downside was that Kennedy does not have a doctorate degree. However, Kennedy will finish her graduate work shortly and erase that negative, Lombard said.
"She is the right person at the right time," Lombard said. "She sees not only the institution but the bigger community ... She definitely knows and is not afraid to make the decision to move this college forward."
Kennedy has a master of business administration from the University of Massachusetts, a master of public information from Harvard University and is completing her doctoral degree from Northeastern University.
She joined BCC in 2008 to oversee all of the business-related functions.
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