Governor Lamont appoints Joann Ryan as chair of the Board of Regents and appoints Juanita T. James and James McCarthy as board members
(HARTFORD, CT) – Governor Ned Lamont announced today that he will appoint JoAnn Ryan to chair the Connecticut Board of Regents for Higher Education (BOR) and Juanita T. James and James McCarthy to serve on the board. The BOR is the governing body for the Connecticut State Colleges and Universities (CSCU) system, which consists of four state universities, 12 community colleges and Charter Oak State College.
Ryan has been vice chair of the BOR since February and a board member since 2018. In addition to serving on the board, she is President and CEO of the Northwest Connecticut Chamber of Commerce. Ryan will succeed Matt Fleury as BOR Chairman. Fleury has been chairman of the BOR since 2016 and a member since 2011. His term of office ends on June 30, 2022.
“As the leader of the Northwest Connecticut Chamber of Commerce, JoAnn brings tremendous experience and strong connections to the business and educational communities,” said Governor Lamont. “As Vice Chair of the Board of Regents, she has consistently demonstrated her support for higher education in the state of Connecticut and her commitment to Connecticut’s 17 state colleges and universities. In her new role as chair, she will be an asset to the board and the CSCU system.”
“It is an honor to receive this appointment and a privilege to be Chair of the Board of Regents,” said Ryan. “I look forward to working with Governor Lamont and President Cheng to ensure that the CSCU system upholds its core mission of providing access, equity and affordability for Connecticut’s students to thrive and graduate on time.” “
“JoAnn’s dedication and strong relationship with educators, students and businesses is just the right experience and leadership style we need to ensure our 17 colleges and universities are empowered to help students thrive and provide a competitive advantage in the staff.” said CSCU President Terrence Cheng. “As CEO, JoAnn will continue to foster student success throughout the CSCU system and increase the number of students graduating from college.”
President Cheng also paid tribute to outgoing BOR Chairman Fleury and Regents Budd and Jimenez.
“Matt’s leadership on the Board of Regents over the past six years has brought stability to CSCU and made our 17 institutions more accessible, affordable and equitable to Connecticut students.” said Cheng. “Matt has been an extremely effective chair, driving important policies—like the merger of 12 community colleges into Connecticut State Community College—to improve the college experience for our students. We are grateful for his tireless work and dedication to the CSCU system and will miss him dearly. CSCU is also better off thanks to the contributions of Aviva Budd and David Jimenez, both of whom were intelligent, thoughtful, and dedicated board members; We will miss their prospects for the future.”
“It was a great honor to be both a member and Chair of the Board of Regents,” said Fleuri. “I have had the opportunity to work with outstanding faculty, staff and students with the goal of making CSCU colleges and universities accessible and affordable for all students, regardless of their life experience or background. I am proud of what we have accomplished in maintaining the highest quality educational options for our students.”
“Matt Fleury has led with integrity, compassion and responsibility while always prioritizing the financial and community health of the CSCU system and its individual entities.” Governor Lamont added. “A graduate of community college, Charter Oak State College and the University of Connecticut School of Business, Matt understands the transformative power of public higher education and has placed the needs of students at the heart of his work. His leadership, intelligence and dedication will be missed on the board.”
As the new CEO, Ryan also serves on BOR’s Finance and Infrastructure Committee and Personnel and Administration Committee. She has served as President and CEO of the Northwest Connecticut Chamber of Commerce since 2002, and is the first woman to hold that title since the Chamber of Commerce was founded in 1901. She is a Northwestern Connecticut Community Colleges, high school history and English teacher, and Torrington councilwoman. Since leading the Chamber, Ryan has initiated numerous programs and has served on many boards and steering committees concerned with health and human services, education, recreation, philanthropy, heritage preservation, the arts and business.
Ryan holds a Bachelor of Arts in History from Albertus Magnus College and a Master of Arts in Education from Trinity College.
Also appointed to the board were Juanita T. James, president and CEO of the Fairfield County Community Foundation, and James McCarthy, former interim provost and senior vice president of academic affairs at Baruch College, City University of New York. James’ term begins on July 1, 2022, and McCarthy’s term begins immediately. They replace Regents Aviva Budd and David Jimenez.
New board member Juanita T. James, President and CEO of the Fairfield County Community Foundation, was previously Pitney Bowes’ Chief Marketing and Communications Office and a member of the Chairman’s Council. She also spent a 20-year career at Time Warner and five years at Bertelsmann, where she held several senior positions including President of Time-Life Libraries.
James is Vice Chairman of the Board of Trustees at Lesley University, Board of Trustees Emeritus at Princeton University, and former Board of Trustees at the University of Connecticut. She is also a member of the Asbury Automotive Group’s Nominating and Governance Committee and a director of First County Bank. She was named a “Power 300 – Most Influential Black Corporate Directors” by Savoy Magazine in 2015 and 2021 and a “2018 Most Influential Corporate Director” by Women Inc. She has received many honors including the League of Women Voters for Outstanding Women in Philanthropy. Award, NAACP 100 Most Influential Blacks in Connecticut Award and Stamford Citizen of the Year.
She earned a master’s degree in business policy from Columbia University and a bachelor’s degree from Princeton University. James also holds honorary doctorates in law from Mitchell College and Fairfield University, and an honorary fellow in Humane Letters from Housatonic Community College.
Before his last appointment at Baruch, McCarthy was also President of Suffolk University from 2012 to 2014. At Baruch, McCarthy was Distinguished Lecturer and Director of the Graduate Program in Higher Education Administration, the Marx School of Public and International Affairs; and from 2007 to 2012 he was Provost and Senior Vice President of Academic Affairs and Professor of Public Affairs. He was also Dean of the School of Health and Human Services and Professor of Health Management and Policy at the University of New Hampshire; and as Director of the Heilbrunn Center for Population and Family Health and Heilbrunn Professor of Public Health at Columbia University. He was previously a faculty member at Johns Hopkins University and a member of the research faculty at Princeton.
He has a Ph.D. in Sociology, Princeton University; an MA in Sociology, Indiana University; and a BA in Sociology, College of the Holy Cross. McCarthy was born and raised in Waterbury and has lived in Clinton for 15 years.
Governor Lamont added that he was pleased that new board members James and McCarthy had accepted positions on the board of regents. “Juanita’s extensive experience in philanthropy and serving on college councils, along with Jim’s extensive knowledge and experience of higher education, will benefit CSCU by ensuring our students have rewarding academic experiences,” said the governor.
“I am pleased to welcome these new Regents to the CSCU system,” said President Cheng. “Their professional backgrounds, life experiences and perspectives will be an asset to the important work the Board is doing in support of CSCU’s 17 colleges and universities.”