Hugh McQuaid file photo

Sen. President Donald Williams will tour Quinebaug Valley Community College campus Thursday and speak with faculty and students about his desire to be their school president.

Williams, who isn’t running for re-election, is one of three finalists for the job and is the most controversial. Numerous editorials and letters-to-the-editor have questioned Williams’ qualifications for the position. He was one of 87 applicants, but lacks the extensive academic background of the other two finalists.

According to his resume, Williams was the director of a satellite campus for Connecticut College for two years until 1999. During that time he worked “closely with the president’s office to oversee the recruitment and scheduling of classes, lectures, theater performances and community events at Connecticut College’s downtown campus. He served as liaison for Connecticut College in the New London community, reaching out to the business, arts, and education communities.”

After that Williams, who earned a law degree from the Washington and Lee University School of Law, became the director of development for the Connecticut Bar Association. From 2004 until 2014 he was president of the state Senate where he oversaw a small staff.

The next president of Quinebaug Valley Community College will manage a student body of 2,000 and a staff of about 100.

As part of his resume, Williams touted his accomplishments in the state Senate as it pertains to Connecticut’s system of higher education and specifically Quinebaug Valley Community College.

“During the past 10 years, Williams has worked with QVCC leaders on a variety of critical projects and initiatives,” a press release announcing his visit to the school reads. “He worked with QVCC President Dianne Williams to secure approval and resources for a 30,000 square-foot addition to the college’s physical plant, the relocation of QVCC’s Willimantic Center to Main Street, and the creation of QVCC’s Middle College High School program and physical infrastructure.”

The press release also touts his help with drafting legislation that created three Advanced Manufacturing Centers at Connecticut’s community colleges. “Williams collaborated with QVCC faculty and staff to bring forward their strong proposal to state system leaders resulting in approval of locating one of the three manufacturing centers at QVCC,” it states.

Dale Allen and Carlee Drummer, the other two finalists for the position, previously toured the campus with little fanfare.

Allen has been the vice president for Community Engagement since 2008 at Quinsigamond Community College in Massachusetts and Drummer has served as executive director of Oakton Community College’s Advancement and the Educational Foundation since 2001. Oakton Community College is located in the northern suburbs of Chicago. 

There was a press release written in advance of Drummer’s visit to the campus today, but the one announcing Allen’s visit in earlier this month was sent after his visit.

Michael Kozlowski, director of public relations and marketing for the Board of Regents, said there was a miscommunication about who was sending out the announcement about Allen’s visit and as a result it never got sent.

QVCC has provided access to all three finalists’ resumes on its website, http://qvcc.edu/search/.