The Board of Regents named three new presidents to three of the state’s community colleges Friday morning, but Senate President Donald Williams was not among those appointed.
Williams was one of the three finalists for the presidency at Quinebaug Valley Community College. There were questions raised about whether the Board of Regents could even make him an offer based on the state Constitution, which prohibits an individual from simultaneously serving in two branches of government. Williams announced his retirement from the Senate earlier this year, but his term doesn’t expire until January.
There were concerns among some, like the Rev. David L. Cannon of Preston, who sat on the community college board for 34 years, that it would violate the Constitution even if they made the offer to Williams prior to the expiration of his term in January. As recently as Thursday, Cannon thought it was a foregone conclusion that Williams would be offered the job.
But he was wrong. The board hired Carlee Drummer, who is currently the executive director of college advancement at Oakton Community College in Illinois.
“I was honored to be considered and want to congratulate Carlee Drummer on her appointment and wish her great success,” Williams said in a statement. “I also want to thank the students, faculty, staff, and the foundation of Quinebaug Valley Community College for their participation in this process and their work for the continued achievement of the college.”
Board of Regents President Gregory Gray did not take any questions after the meeting, but said in a press release that “Drummer brings an exceptional portfolio of scholarship and experience to her new position, and impressed everyone involved in the search process with her seasoned leadership, imaginative ideas, and high energy.”
Board of Regents Chairman Nick Donofrio, who conducted the meeting by telephone, said that the board received 269 applications and whittled those down to three finalists for the three presidencies at Asnuntuck Community College, Three Rivers Community College, and Quinebaug Valley Community College.
James Lombella was selected president of Asnuntuck Community College, Mary Ellen Jukoski was selected to head Three Rivers Community College, and Drummer was selected president of Quinebaug Valley Community College.