Dr. Richard A. Gustafson has been appointed as the new Director of the Division of Higher Education – Higher Education Commission under the N.H. Department of Education.
Dr. Gustafson has been in the field of higher education for over 39 years and has served in a variety of positions, including vice president of academic affairs at Keene State College. During his tenure, significant new directions for the academic programs were developed. In the summer of 1987, Dr. Gustafson was appointed as the fourth President of New Hampshire College in Manchester, NH and served in that position for 16 years and transformed the small business college into Southern New Hampshire University. The University now awards degrees at the doctoral level and has schools of business, education, liberal arts and hospitality. In the fall of 2005, Dr. Gustafson was appointed as Interim President of the New Hampshire Community Technical College in Manchester, NH and served in that capacity until the new president assumed her responsibilities in April 2006. In July 2007, the Governor and Council and Board of Trustees of the Community College System of New Hampshire appointed Dr. Gustafson as Chancellor of the seven college system. He served in that capacity until the summer of 2011, guiding the System through name changes for the colleges and in a major transition to self-governance.
Dr. Gustafson is a graduate of Boston University (1963) where he earned a Bachelor of Arts in Biology and Chemistry and a Master of Education in Science Education in 1964. He earned an additional Masters in Teaching English as a Second Language from Notre Dame College in 1997 and completed a Doctor of Philosophy in Educational Management and Educational Research with Computer Programming and Statistics from the University of Connecticut in 1970. He is also a graduate of the Harvard Institute for Educational Management (1982) and was a Fulbright Senior Research Fellow in Thailand (1999).
He has served in a leadership capacity on the boards of the New Hampshire College and University Council, the New Hampshire Postsecondary Education Commission (now the Higher Education Commission under the NH Department of Education, Division of Higher Education), the New Hampshire College Tuition Savings Plan Advisory Commission, the United Way of Greater Manchester, the Manchester Chamber of Commerce, the Elliot Health System, AAA of Northern New England, and the professional organizations of the Association of Collegiate Business Schools and Programs International Division, and the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities.
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