Commissioners

Executive

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Dr. Davie Jane Gilmour, Chair

President (Ret.) Emeritus, Pennsylvania College of Technology

Term: 2022-2022

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Dr. Davie Jane Gilmour, Chair

Before retiring in 2022, Dr. Davie Jane Gilmour had served as President of Pennsylvania College of Technology since 1998, guiding the institution through a period of robust growth and dynamic innovation while overseeing its development into a national leader in applied technology education. During her tenure, Penn College, a special mission affiliate of The Pennsylvania State University, has substantially increased its baccalaureate degree offerings and established its first graduate-level program (a Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies). Dr. Gilmour served on the Executive Committee for the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE) in 2019 after rejoining the Commission that year. She previously served from 2012 to 2017 and during that time was on the Executive Committee in 2017. In 2022, Dr. Gilmour was elected Chair of the Commissioner after serving as Vice-Chair in 2020 and 2021. In 2019, she served on the MSCHE Rebranding Committee that was charged with creating a new messaging platform for the Commission. She joined Penn College in 1977 as an instructor and curriculum developer in the Dental Hygiene Program. In 1983, she was appointed to the first of many administrative positions including Division Director for Health Sciences, and Dean of Instruction. In 1993, she became the College's highest-ranking academic officer, Vice President for Academic Affairs, and in 1996, she assumed the position of Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost. She holds a doctorate and a master's degree in health education from The Pennsylvania State University, and she earned a Bachelor's Degree in Dental Hygiene Education and an Associate Degree in Dental Hygiene from West Liberty State College. Prior to her career in education, she worked as a dental hygienist for a number of Harrisburg-area dentists. Her community affiliations and professional activities include: Member and former Chairman of the Little League International Board of Directors; Vice Chair of the UPMC Susquehanna Health Board; President of the Community Arts Center Board of Directors; Chair of Presidents Council of the Northeast Athletic Conference; and Board Member of the First Community Foundation Partnership of PA as well as serving as Chairman for two terms, member of the Executive Committee and Board; Chair of Economic Community & Growth Corporation and Emerson Project for the Williamsport-Lycoming Chamber of Commerce Board.

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Dr. Katherine S. Conway-Turner, Vice-Chair

President, SUNY Buffalo State

Term: 2022-2022

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Dr. Katherine S. Conway-Turner, Vice-Chair

Dr. Conway-Turner began her tenure as the ninth president of Buffalo State College on August 3, 2014. As president of SUNY's largest and only comprehensive college located in an urban setting, Dr. Conway-Turner's vision for Buffalo State is to become Buffalo's College through engagement, excellence, and social responsibility. In 2016, Buffalo State was among five colleges and universities from across the country chosen to share in the Washington Center's annual Higher Education Civic Engagement Awards. Dr. Conway-Turner, who has served as a Peer Evaluator and Team Chair for the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE), was elected to the Commission in 2019. She was elected to serve as Vice-Chair of the Commission in 2022 after first being named to the Executive Committee in 2020 and 2021. Prior to Buffalo State, Dr. Conway-Turner was Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs at Hood College in Frederick, MD (July 2010 to July 2014); Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs at SUNY Geneseo (2004 to 2009); Dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences at Georgia Southern University; and Associate Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Delaware. Dr. Conway-Turner serves on numerous boards, committees, and programs nationally, statewide, and locally. She is chair of the Board of the National Campus Compact and on the Executive Committee of The Coalition of Urban and Metropolitan Universities. She also serves as a Pathway Program mentor for the NCAA and on their Division III Presidents Council. Her statewide commitments include serving as co-chair of the Western New York Regional Economic and Development Council, and board service on the Say YES Buffalo Operating Committee, the United Way of Buffalo and Erie County, and the Western New York Women's Foundation among others. She also is a member of the board of directors of Haiti Outreach Pwoje Espwa (H.O.P.E.) and frequently travels to Haiti to provide educational, medical, and community development needs. Dr. Conway-Turner earned her Ph.D. and Master of Arts degrees in Social Psychology, and her Bachelor of Arts degree in Microbiology, all from the University of Kansas. She is the author of numerous articles, chapters, books, and book reviews.

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Mr. Lloyd Ricketts, Treasurer

Vice President and Treasurer, Wilmington University

Term: 2022-2022

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Mr. Lloyd Ricketts, Treasurer

Mr. Lloyd Ricketts joined Wilmington University (DE) as Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer in October 2022 following 23 years at The College of New Jersey (TCNJ) where he left as Vice President and Treasurer. Mr. Ricketts was elected to the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE) in 2019 and a member of the Executive Committee since 2020. As a member of the Executive Committee, he was elected Treasurer of the Commission in 2021 and 2022. After serving as Vice-Chair of the Finance Committee in 2020, he now chairs the Committee since 2021. He has previously served as a peer evaluator for MSCHE, participating in a number of accreditation site visits, including chairing a team visit. Since joining the College, he has played an integral role in the College's fiscal management. Under his leadership at TCNJ, the College had successfully implemented new financial systems with improved campus financial reporting, as well as other initiatives aimed at preserving the institution's long-term financial health. He had implemented a multi-year financial model to provide a forward-looking assessment of the College's financial condition based on key assumptions such as the level of state support, enrollment level, financial reserves, capital expenditures and strategic restructuring of the College's debt portfolio. Mr. Ricketts serves ex officio and as a regular member of the Board of The College of New Jersey Foundation, Inc., the nonprofit, tax-exempt corporation that solicits, receives, and administers gifts, bequests, and trusts for the benefit of the College. Mr. Ricketts earned his undergraduate degree from New York University Stern School of Business (B.S. in Accounting) and his Master's Degree from New York University Robert F. Wagner School of Public Service (Public Finance).

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Dr. Valerie D. Lehr, Secretary

Professor of Gender Studies/Government, St. Lawrence University

Term: 2022-2022

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Dr. Valerie D. Lehr, Secretary

Dr. Valerie D. Lehr is a Professor in the Gender Studies program and Government department at St. Lawrence University, where she has been a member of the faculty since 1988. Her term as a Commissioner for the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE) began in January 2018, and in 2021 and 2022, she was elected to the MSCHE Executive Committee and as Secretary. In 2020, she served as Chair of the Substantive Change Committee and has served MSCHE as a Team Chair, Peer Evaluator, and as a Periodic Review Report Reviewer. At St. Lawrence, she has also served as Vice President and Dean of Academic Affairs from 2007 through 2016, and as Associate Dean of the First-Year from 1997 through 2001. She has served on two MSCHE self-study committees at St. Lawrence. As part of her responsibilities as Vice President and Dean of Academic Affairs, she convened the University's Assessment Committee.

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Dr. James Sunser, Immediate Past Chair

President, Genesee Community College

Term: 2022-2022

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Dr. James Sunser, Immediate Past Chair

Dr. James Sunser assumed his duties as President and Chief Executive Officer of SUNY Genesee Community College on August 1, 2011. Prior to his appointment at Genesee, he held several senior level positions at SUNY Onondaga Community College over a 22-year period. Earlier, he served for five years as an administrator at Syracuse University. On behalf of the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE), Dr. Sunser has chaired or served on numerous Decennial Review Teams. In 2021, Dr. Sunser, who is in his second term as a Commissioner, was reelected MSCHE Chair after holding the position in 2020 and as Vice-Chair in 2019. Following his term as Chair, Dr. Sunser was named to the newly established position of Immediate Past Chair on the Commission's Executive Committee in 2022. In addition to his service as a Peer Reviewer, he was a member of the Steering Committee that reviewed and recommended changes to MSCHE's accreditation standards and the Steering Committee that worked on changes to the Commission's accreditation processes and cycle. He served on the MSCHE Rebranding Committee that was charged with creating a new messaging platform for the Commission in 2019. He has also served as a presenter at MSCHE's Chairs and Evaluators workshops and during the Commission's Annual Conference.

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Dr. Susan D. Looney, J.D.

President, Reading Area Community College

Term: 2022-2022

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Dr. Susan D. Looney, J.D.

Susan D. Looney, J.D., Ed.D., became the sixth President of Reading Area Community College (RACC) in Reading, PA, on July 1, 2018. Her teaching career began in 1998, when she accepted a full-time faculty position in Accounting at Mohave Community College (AZ). In her 21 years as a full-time community college educator, eight as a faculty member and 13 years as a senior administrator, Dr. Looney worked in diverse roles at Mohave Community College, Delaware Technical Community College, and Colorado Mountain College. She was named Dean of Instruction at RACC in 2014 and named Senior Vice President of Academic Affairs/Provost at RACC in 2015. While a faculty member at Delaware Technical Community College, she was honored with two awards that speak to her commitment to students in and outside the classroom: the Distinguished Advisor Award from Phi Theta Kappa and the Teaching in Excellence Award from the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs. After completing her A.A. at Brookdale Community College (NJ), Dr. Looney went on to earn her B.S. and M.B.A. in business administration from Monmouth University (NJ), a J.D. from Widener University School of Law (DE), and ultimately an Ed.D. in higher education leadership from Nova Southeastern University (FL). Prior to entering higher education as a professional, Dr. Looney spent almost five years with the Department of Defense as an Operations Research Analyst at Fort Monmouth in NJ. In her first term as a Commissioner with the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE) that began on January 1, 2021, she was named to the Executive Committee in 2021 and 2022.

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Dr. Havidan Rodriguez

President, SUNY at Albany

Term: 2022-2022

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Dr. Havidan Rodriguez

Dr. Havidán Rodríguez became the 20th President of the University at Albany in September 2017. Before coming to UAlbany, Dr. Rodríguez was the founding Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs at The University of Texas-Rio Grande Valley. A respected scholar who studies the socioeconomic impacts of disasters and the economic well-being of minority populations in the U.S. and Puerto Rico, he formerly directed the University of Delaware's acclaimed Disaster Research Center, the world's first research center devoted to studying the complex social problems that result from natural and technological disasters and other community-scale crises. Dr. Rodríguez is also a national leader in the area of diversity and inclusion in higher education and is currently accelerating UAlbany's success toward reaching its vision to be the nation's leading diverse public research university. Dr. Rodríguez received his Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology from the University of Maryland, his M.A. in Sociology from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, and his Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. His first term as a Commissioner with the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE) began on January 1, 2020, and he was elected to the Executive Committee for 2022.

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Mrs. Roberta Griffin Torian

Partner, Retired, Reed Smith LLP

Term: 2022-2022

Public Representative

Mrs. Roberta Griffin Torian Headshot

Mrs. Roberta Griffin Torian

Mrs. Torian is a former Partner in the global law firm of Reed Smith, LLP, where she was a member of the firm's Executive Committee. Since announcing her retirement in January 2019, she has been focusing on her consulting firm whose mission is to address policy and legal issues of financial inclusion for women in developing countries. For more than two decades, Mrs. Torian has been a frequent presenter at ABA Continuing Legal Education programs on topics relating to banking regulation and payments law, and is a regular panelist on the biannual Banking Law Update CLE series of the Pennsylvania Bar Institute. With an expertise in corporate law with a specialty in banking regulation, she had mentored numerous summer associates at Reed Smith and had spoken to many groups of college and law students, educating them on careers in the law. For over a decade, Mrs. Torian has made annual visits to Jamaica to support the educational mission of the Mt. Zion All-Age School. Mrs. Torian has extensive community service experience including as a the first elected President of the Episcopal Diocese of Pennsylvania, one of the five largest Episcopal Dioceses in the U.S., Board Member of St. Barnabas Episcopal School, a Trustee of the Philadelphia Bar Foundation, The Church Foundation of the Episcopal Diocese of Pennsylvania, and the Berkeley Divinity School at Yale, as well as a Board Member of United Way of Southeastern Pennsylvania and the Women's Commission of Chester County, PA. Mrs. Torian was a member of the U.S. legal delegation for the People to People tour of Russia, Norway, Denmark, Finland, and Sweden. She is a Fellow of the American College of Consumer Financial Services Lawyers, has published numerous articles in the ABA's leading scholarly journal The Business Lawyer and a member of the Editorial Board of the American Bar Association publication Business Law Today. She was elected to her second term as a Commissioner with the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE) beginning on January 1, 2022. She was elected to the Executive Committee in 2022 after serving as Vice-Chair of the Committee on Applicant and Candidate Institutions in 2021.