A community college president, a deputy higher education commissioner and a former Boston mayoral candidate were named Wednesday as finalists in the competition to succeed outgoing state Higher Education Commissioner Richard Freeland.
The Board of Higher Education on May 15 plans to interview the three candidates: Massachusetts Bay Community College President John O'Donnell, deputy commissioner for academic affairs Carlos Santiago, and Codman Square Health Center founder and past president Bill Walczak. The interviews will be conducted in Boston.
Board chairman Chris Gabrieli in a statement expressed confidence that the candidates possess the skills and knowledge to lead the 29-campus public higher education system.
Board member Dani Monroe led the search committee and in a statement highlighted the importance of leadership from the commissioner by noting that more than half of all Massachusetts high school graduates now choose Massachusetts' public campuses for post-secondary education.
The candidates will be interviewed during public sessions planned on the morning of Friday, May 15 at the Omni Parker House Hotel, and the board plans a meeting on May 20 to select a new commissioner.