Northern Essex Community College isn’t just graduating students. It is now graduating college presidents.
College Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs William Heineman was the unanimous choice of the North Shore Community College Board of Trustees to become the college’s fifth president. If approved by the Massachusetts Board of Higher Education, Heineman takes over July 1.
“What I saw during the interview process is a strong institution with a deep commitment to its students and its community. What I heard was a passionate desire to meet the challenges facing North Shore together, collaboratively and that is what we will do. The challenges that our rapidly changing world pose to North Shore and its community are significant enough that only a team effort can meet them and I am fully committed to leading that team,” Heineman said in a statement.
He was named provost at Northern Essex Community College this past January after serving in various roles dating back to 1998 when he was named to the faculty.
As Northern Essex’s vice president of academic and student affairs in 2016 and 2017, Heineman oversaw the $18 million renovation of the John Spurk classroom building. The 89,000-square foot building was 50 years old and required new windows, flooring and audiovisual equipment, a new HVAC system, new restrooms and handicapped accessibility upgrades. At the building’s reopening ceremony, he said, “If you wonder what we do in this building, there’s a simple and profound answer, we change people’s lives.”
Last summer, at the height of the coronavirus pandemic, he moved the college to online learning, investing half a million dollars in faculty training, $100,000 for new supports for student in online courses and resources toward a laptop requirement to ensure students have the technology they need.
Heineman holds a doctorate from UMass Boston, master’s from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University and bachelor’s when he graduated magna cum laude with Distinction from the University of Rochester, N.Y. He also participated in the Aspen Presidential Fellowship for Community College Leadership, the American Association of Community Colleges Future Leaders Institute and the Massachusetts Community College Leadership Academy.