Board of Regents Appoints Five Campus Chief Executive Officers

The BOR selected five campus chief executive officers who will be responsible for overseeing the day-to-day operations of Capital, Gateway, Housatonic, Manchester, and Middlesex

The Board of Regents for Higher Education (BOR) today selected five campus chief executive officers who will be responsible for overseeing the day-to-day operations of Capital Community College (CCC), Gateway Community College (GCC), Housatonic Community College (HCC), Manchester Community College (MCC), and Middlesex Community College (MxCC). The BOR is undertaking a major reorganization of Connecticut's community college system, known as Students First, and plan to merge the 12, independent community colleges into a single accredited institution by 2023. A regionalized leadership team, including campus CEOs, will administer the new institution.

“I am thrilled with the caliber of our new CEOs,” Connecticut State Colleges and Universities (CSCU) President Mark Ojakian said. “Notably, each of them has a deep commitment to equity, student success, and the goals outlined under Students First. Make no mistake; today’s action is a real step forward. We are closer than ever to accreditation as a single institution, and I am thankful for the BOR’s steadfast commitment to Students First, as well as all those who participated in the hiring process for our new chief executives.”

“The five CEOs we name today will be integral to the success of the new college,” BOR Chair Matt Fleury said. “I applaud the search teams for putting forward such an accomplished group of finalists. I know that the CEOs’ intelligence, commitment, and experience will serve our students and our campuses well under the new structure.”

CSCU conducted a national search for campus CEOs. Dr. Thomas Coley, regional president of the Shoreline West region, chaired the searches for HCC and GCC. Dr. Rob Steinmetz, regional president of the Capitol-East region, chaired the searches for CCC, MCC, and MxCC.

“I’m very pleased that our search process led to identifying a strong field of candidates and individuals with impressive leadership backgrounds — each will be a great fit for their respective Shoreline-West Region campus,” said Dr. Coley. “Along with our faculty, staff and students, I am eager to welcome the new campus CEOs, and I look forward to working with each of them as they help lead in the next phase of moving their campus forward in serving our students and the community.”

“I am delighted that these leaders will provide direction at three campuses in the Capitol-East Region,” said Dr. Steinmetz. “Each of them comes to us with extensive experience at community colleges and has shown a clear passion for the success of our students. I look forward to working with them as we support our faculty and staff during this exciting time of transition in our region and state.”

The following individuals will begin serving as campus CEOs beginning on July 1, 2020.

Dr. G. Duncan Harris will become campus CEO of Capital Community College in Hartford. He currently serves as interim campus CEO of CCC, where he is responsible for the executive oversight of the campus. Dr. Harris has 24 years of community college experience within the CSCU system, with 14 years at the management level. He was previously dean of the Student Affairs Division at Manchester Community College (MCC) and before that, was interim dean of Academic Affairs. Harris joined MCC in 1996 as a test administrator in the Learning Center and has previously served as MCC's interim director of the Center for Student Development, and coordinator of Academic Advising, and associate dean in the Academic Affairs Division. Dr. Harris also served for one year as the interim executive director of the CSCU Student Success Center funded by the Kresge Foundation to improve student completion. He also served as an adjunct faculty member at Manchester Community College. Dr. Harris is a member and past president of the National Council on Black American Affairs, National Council on Black Academic Affairs (NCBAA), Northeast Region, and commissioner of the American Association of Community Colleges – Student Success Commission. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in economics from the University of Connecticut, a Master of Science in student development in higher education, and Ed.D. in higher education leadership from Nova Southeastern University. He also holds a certificate from the Institute for Management and Leadership at Harvard University. See his Curriculum Vitae here.

“I am grateful for the opportunity to continue the work that I have been engaged in with the faculty and staff of Capital Community College over the past two years in my interim role,” said Dr. Harris. “We have worked diligently to develop success strategies and launch initiatives that close equity gaps and that result in improved student outcomes. I am truly delighted that I will be able to see these efforts through to fruition in the role of Capital’s CEO."

Dr. William (Terry) Brown will become campus CEO of Gateway Community College in New Haven. Dr. Brown is currently special assistant to the president for Strategic Initiatives at Nashville State Community College in Nashville, Tenn., where he also served as vice president for Academic Affairs & Student Success, the institution’s chief academic officer. In addition, Dr. Brown has more than a decade of experience within the CSCU system and was previously associate dean of Academic Affairs at Housatonic Community College, where he also served as acting dean of Academic Affairs. He began his career as a faculty member at Norwalk Community College where he served as associate professor of psychology and then served as Academic Division director of the Behavioral & Social Sciences Division at Naugatuck Valley Community College. He holds a Bachelor of Science in psychology with a minor in secondary education from the University of Florida, a Master of Arts in clinical psychology and a Ph.D. in clinical psychology, both from the University of Delaware. He was a NIMH Research Fellow and a Post-Doctoral Fellow at the Yale Child Study Center, and a Pre-Doctoral Fellow at the Yale University School of Medicine. Dr. Brown is also the program chair of the National Association of Career and Technical Education Information (NACTEI). See his Curriculum Vitae here.

“I am deeply honored to be selected as Chief Executive Officer for Gateway Community College, and I thank the Board of Regents, President Ojakian and the Gateway community for this incredible opportunity to return to Connecticut and serve at this college in the community, system and state that have given me so much,” said Dr. Brown. “Gateway Community College is a vibrant and innovative academic community, demonstrably dedicated to its students, and a committed partner in developing a skilled workforce in the region.  I am humbled to follow in the footsteps of Presidents Kendrick and Broadie, and excited to join Dr. Coley and Gateway’s students, faculty, staff, administrators and community and industry partners in fulfilling our mission of education, training and service.”

Dr. Dwyane Smith will become campus CEO of Housatonic Community College in Bridgeport. Dr. Smith has 35 years of higher education leadership and teaching experience, and currently serves as interim president of Harris-Stowe State University in St. Louis, Mo., which mainly serves first generation, underrepresented students. At Harris-Stowe, Dr. Smith also served as provost and vice president for Academic Affairs. Under his leadership, Harris-Stowe was designated a Statewide Mission in STEM for underrepresented and underserved students, and was awarded more than $12 million in external funding, including a $5 million National Science Foundation grant. At Avila University in Kansas City, Mo., Dr. Smith served as an assistant professor and assistant vice president of Academic Affairs. He was also associate vice president for Enrollment Management and assistant professor of education at Park University in Parkville, Mo. at Truman State University in Kirksville, Mo., Dr. Smith served as associate dean of Multicultural Affairs, and assistant director, Admissions and coordinator of Recruitment and Underrepresented Groups where he created the university’s first diversity department. Dr. Smith serves as chair of the Board of Higher Education Consortium, was appointed by the Missouri Commissioner of Higher Education to the President's Advisory Council and was named to the U.S. Department of State Fulbright Specialist Program. He holds a Bachelor of Science in psychology and a Master of Arts in education administration, both from Truman State University, and Ph.D. in educational leadership and policy analysis from the University of Missouri. He also completed Harvard University’s Management Development Program. See his Curriculum Vitae here.

"I am excited and honored to serve as campus CEO of Housatonic Community College and lead the institution during this unprecedented time period,” said Dr. Dwayne Smith. “My vision for education is about access and opportunity, and I believe that HCC is the perfect institution for this to occur. My interactions at HCC have been wonderful, and I look forward to working with my new HCC family."

Dr. Nicole Esposito will become campus CEO of Manchester Community College in Manchester. Dr. Esposito is currently assistant dean of Liberal Arts and Professional Studies at Springfield Technical Community College in Springfield, Mass., where she provides strategic direction for enrollment, retention, and fiscal management. Dr. Esposito returns to Manchester Community College after serving five years as a program coordinator/program head and associate professor in the disability specialist and Speech/Language Pathology degree programs. At MCC, she was an instructor of social and human services and psychology. She also taught psychology, student advising and online course development at Holyoke Community College, and is an instructor for the graduate, undergraduate and online programs at Bay Path University. She also was a Faculty Advisory Committee representative to the Board of Regents and a CSCU Framework Implementation and Review/Transfer and Articulation Policy and Committee member. She holds Bachelor of Science in psychology and a minor in criminal justice from Springfield College, a Master of Science in forensic psychology, a Certificate of Advanced Graduate Studies in Adjustment Counseling, and a Doctor of Educational Psychology, Ed.D., all from American International College. See her Curriculum Vitae here.

"I am thrilled to serve as the Chief Executive Officer of Manchester Community College,” said Dr. Esposito. “This is a time of great transformation in Connecticut as community colleges are evolving to meet the needs of our students and larger community. I am confident that MCC will thrive during this transformation, and I am honored to be a part of this change as the MCC campus Chief Executive Officer."

Dr. Steven Minkler will become campus CEO of Middlesex Community College in Middletown. Dr. Minkler has 30 years of leadership and teaching experience within the Connecticut community college system, working at three of the colleges. He currently serves as interim campus CEO at MxCC where he has also served as dean of Academic Affairs, the chief academic officer. At MxCC, he developed new degree and certificate programs to increase enrollment and implemented the CSCU Transfer Pathway programs. Dr. Minkler also served as academic division director of Business, Science, Health & Technology at Northwestern Connecticut Community College; and director of Academic Media Technology at Capital Community College, where he also served as acting assistant to the academic dean. He joined CCC as an audio-visual media specialist in 1987. Dr. Minkler holds a Bachelor of Arts in communication, Magna Cum Laude, University of Hartford; Master of Arts in communication, University of Hartford; and Doctor of Educational Leadership, (Ed.D.) University of Hartford. See his Curriculum Vitae here.

“I am delighted to have been selected as Campus CEO of Middlesex Community College, and am honored by this vote of confidence in the work I have done for the past three years as MxCC's Interim Campus CEO,” said Dr. Minkler. “I pledge to continuing placing students at the center of our institution, especially during this extraordinarily challenging time with a public health crisis and economic dislocation. I look forward to strengthening MxCC's signature programs both in on-ground and online format, its innovative spirit, and the many community partnerships that provide high-quality experiential learning opportunities for our students. I will continue to work with my fellow CEOs and regional presidents to help build a cohesive, collaborative executive team for the new Connecticut State Community College. “

All campus CEOs have an annualized salary of $155,250.

For more information

For more information, please contact Leigh Appleby, Director of Communications at 860-723-0617, applebyl@ct.edu