Northern Essex President Glenn and Three Others in Running for State Education Post

Northern Essex Community College President Lane A. Glenn. (Courtesy photograph.)

Northern Essex Community College President Lane A. Glenn, seeking the post of Massachusetts higher education commissioner, and three other finalists will be interviewed tomorrow.

As only WHAV reported Tuesday, Glenn broke the news of his candidacy to college faculty and staff in a Monday afternoon email. Glenn said he was not looking for a job and, if he is not selected, he has “no plans to go elsewhere.”

Other finalists are Marty Alvarado, executive vice chancellor for equitable student learning, experience and impact at the California Community College Chancellor’s Office; Mary Churchill, associate dean of strategic initiatives and community engagement at Boston University Wheelock College of Education and Human Development; and Noe Ortega, former Pennsylvania secretary of education. All are vying to fill the job currently held by Commissioner Carlos Santiago, who said in January he plans to step down.

“We are delighted to have a strong and diverse slate of highly qualified individuals stepping forward offering to serve the Commonwealth as our next commissioner of Higher Education. We were pleased to see that the momentum, focus and cohesion of Massachusetts education, governmental and civic leaders made this such an attractive opportunity,” Board of Higher Education Chairman Chris Gabrieli said in a statement.

Santiago is paid $243,734 annually.

he Board of Higher Education plans to interview each finalist for 75 minutes at a public meeting Thursday, beginning at 8:30 a.m., at the Parker House Hotel in Boston. Each finalist will also participate in 45-minute virtual public forums with higher education and community stakeholders.

The commissioner reports to the board and works with the governor, state education secretary and presidents of the state’s 24 public colleges and universities, the University of Massachusetts system and independent institution heads.

The board plans to vote on its commissioner recommendation at a meeting next Tuesday, Aug. 30. The pick will be sent for formal confirmation to Secretary of Education James Peyser.

State House News Service contributed to this report.

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