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New President Announced at River Valley Community College

  • The Board of Trustees of the Community College System for New Hampshire has appointed Alfred Williams IV as the President of River Valley Community College. (Courtesy photograph)



Valley News Correspondent
Wednesday, June 06, 2018

Claremont — The Community College System of New Hampshire Board of Trustees has named Alfred Williams IV as River Valley Community College’s next president, the trustees announced on Wednesday.

Williams comes to RVCC from Quinebaug Valley Community College in Danielson, Conn., where he is dean of academic affairs and student services. He has been at Quinebaug for 15 years and held other positions at the school, including interim dean of student services, director of enrollment management, and director of financial aid and veterans services.

“I was interested in the college because it is similar to where I am now,” Williams, 46, said in a phone interview on Wednesday. “I also see a lot of potential and opportunity at River Valley and in higher education in New Hampshire and that is what drew me there.”

Williams has been in education for 20 years. Before joining Quinebaug, he was at MassBay Community College in Wellesley, Mass., and Northeastern University in Boston, Mass.

Williams previously worked for five years as a prosecutor in Illinois, where he received his law degree from the University of Illinois College of Law. He grew up in Rhode Island and has an undergraduate degree in government from Cornell University.

Williams said he was impressed with RVCC’s strong science programs for nursing, physical therapy and radiology and he sees potential to grow the liberal arts offerings at the school and give students more opportunities and options to transfer credits to other institutions if they wish.

In a release from the community college trustees, Williams said he discovered his “true professional calling.”

“Community colleges change lives,” Williams said. “When students receive that degree or certificate and graduate prepared for a fulfilling career or to take the next step on their educational pathway, we see the transformative effect of a student-centered college education. And we do this in a cost-effective way for the students and taxpayers.”

CCSNH Chancellor Ross Gittell recommended Williams to the trustees after a search process that involved people from the college and community.

“Alfred Williams showed a deep understanding and appreciation for the role River Valley Community College plays for the communities it serves and strong commitment to student success, and he has a strong track record on both leading and collaborating to achieve institutional goals,” Gittell said in the news release.

He also noted Williams’ success in the financial aspect of getting a college education, including helping students graduate debt free, and his innovative approaches to financial aid and fundraising.

“He has delivered innovative strategies and strong results on student financial aid, enrollment and retention, program development and building partnerships with area employers,” Gittell said.

CCSNH Board of Trustees Chairman Jeremy Hitchcock said Williams stood out among applicants for a number of reasons.

“We were particularly impressed with the breadth of Alfred’s expertise in all facets of college operations, his commitment to student success and his affinity for rural institutions that serve a diverse student population and a base of small- and medium-sized employers that operate in an economy that is highly local in workforce development needs, while increasingly global in skills attainment,” Hitchcock said.

Williams and Cory LeClair, the assistant superintendent of SAU 6, were the two finalists for the position from a field of 40 applicants.

Williams, who is married with two young children, will start at RVCC on July 1 at an annual salary of $130,610.

In addition to its main campus, RVCC has two satellite academic centers in Keene and Lebanon. The college has been without a permanent president since Alicia Harvey-Smith left in August 2016 to become executive vice chancellor at Lone Star College in Houston.

Patrick O’Grady can be reached pogclmt@gmail.com.