FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tom Horgan, Senior Advisor to the President
603.428.2417 or 603.568.8237
Seasoned Higher Education Executive to Lead Merger of Two Colleges
As the merger of New England College (NEC) and the New Hampshire Institute of Art (NHIA) moves forward, NEC President Michele Perkins announced today that NEC Senior Vice President of Academic Alliances Dr. James Murtha will assume a new expanded role as Campus Director of NHIA overseeing all day-to-day operations of the Manchester campus effective immediately.
Looking ahead, President Perkins commented on her designation of Murtha: “With his vast experience and deep engagement guiding the merger process for NEC, I cannot think of anyone better than Jim Murtha to steer a course for NHIA.”
Current NHIA President Kent Devereaux, who will depart the Institute at the end of this academic year to pursue other opportunities, has been working with Dr. Murtha to affect a smooth transition. “I am excited about the future potential of NHIA as part of New England College,” said President Devereaux, “and I feel confident that Jim is the right person to lead this merger integration effort.”
Dr. Murtha’s long and diverse career in higher education includes service in a variety of senior positions. He served as University Dean at the City University of New York (CUNY), Vice President for Finance and Administration at Baruch College (CUNY), Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of The New School (home to the Parsons School of Design) and most recently Chief Information and Effectiveness Officer at the College of New Rochelle (NY). From 2012-2017, he headed Maguire Associates, Inc., a noted higher education consultancy. Now on leave as board member, Jim chaired the NEC Board from 2009 through 2017. A sociologist by training, Jim has taught at Columbia University, St. John’s University, and Baruch.
“I look forward to working with the dedicated faculty and staff at NHIA as we begin the process of integrating the Institute into New England College,” says Murtha. “We have a lot of hard work ahead of us to ensure the success of this merger and I am encouraged by the support and enthusiasm I have seen every time I visit the Manchester campus.”
On Thursday, January 31, NEC President Perkins, NHIA President Devereaux, Dr. Murtha and other senior staff met with NHIA students, faculty, and staff to provide them with an update on the merger of NEC and NHIA. Highlights included that Spring 2019 enrollment at NHIA has exceeded expectations and Fall 2019 applications are trending even higher. Information was also shared on a number of new programs now available to NHIA students including opportunities to participate in NEC’s just launched Esports program, the 2020 College Convention hosted by NEC in Manchester during the presidential primary, and a new visiting Artist-in-Residence partnership with the Currier Museum of Art.
NHIA will operate as a subsidiary of New England College during the initial phase of the merger. After a period of planning and program integration, both continuing classes and new students from NHIA will be enrolled as New England College students. The NHIA campus will continue to operate in Manchester as the Institute of Art & Design at New England College, and students from both campuses will have the opportunity to study at either campus location. Perkins noted “We believe students and faculty of both institutions will benefit from this merger.”
About New England College
New England College has been helping students achieve their full potential for more than 70 years. We emphasize experiential learning as an essential component in the development of an enduring academic community. Building upon a strong liberal arts foundation, we challenge students through informed discourse and the pursuit of excellence in a framework of academic freedom. New England College is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education and offers courses both on campus and online.