Posted: 07/13/2021 08:52:34 AM
GREENFIELD – Following the resignation of President Yves Salomon-Fernández, the Board of Trustees of Greenfield Community College has appointed Richard R. Hopper Interim President.
Salomon-Fernández announced in June that she plans to step down from the post she held for the past three years, effective August 15, after accepting a senior vice president position at Southern New Hampshire University. Hopper, the former president of Kennebec Valley Community College in Fairfield, Maine, will assume the interim leadership role at GCC starting August 16.
“I am very excited to be starting my new role at Greenfield Community College,” Hopper said in a statement. “I have immense respect for GCC and all it has accomplished, and I look forward to continuing this good work.”
Hopper said he loved the Pioneer Valley, where he has family and was a frequent visitor. He also said that GCC’s nearly 60-year history as an institution that brings hope and positive change to the community strengthens his decision to take the job.
GCC Board Chairman Robert Cohn said that just before the vote for Hopper’s nomination, members were “delighted and proud to present a nominee that the board feels very comfortable with.” .
“We have been fortunate enough to work with Dr Carlos Santiago, Commissioner for Higher Education, and others during this research, and we feel really optimistic and confident about the transition period,” Cohn said in a press release announcing the hiring.
He also stressed the importance of bringing in an interim leader by mid-August to ensure a smooth transition of the Salomon-Fernández presidency, and to allow Hopper “to meet with students, faculty and the staff at the start of the first GCC face-to-face meeting. semester since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Hopper brings his experience in the administration of rural community colleges, having served as president of Kennebec Valley Community College for almost nine years. Prior to that, he held various leadership positions as an Education Specialist at the World Bank and was a Fulbright Fellow.
Hopper currently serves on the Economic and Workforce Development Commission of the American Association of Community Colleges, which aligns with GCC’s mission statement and will help inform the implementation of its plan. strategic, according to GCC.
After the vote, Board member Isaac Mass thanked Salomon-Fernández for his services to the college and expressed confidence that Hopper would support and maintain the important initiatives currently underway at the GCC, particularly in the areas of diversity, equity and inclusion. Another board member, Christopher Donelan, noted that an official presidential search will begin shortly.