We made it to May.

The past few weeks – and really the entire academic year – were unlike any that Massasoit has ever faced. Despite the difficulty of the tragic loss of President DiPasquale, this community has rallied together. Last week’s exciting events and programs, coupled with our ongoing work to wrap up the semester, prepare for Commencement, and plan for next Fall, is a testament to your commitment to forge ahead.

Faculty and staff eating lunch at the all-college bbq.
Faculty and staff members at our Spring 2024 All-College BBQ.

In the commotion of the end of the year, I didn’t want to miss this chance to thank you, sincerely, for this work. While I have been a part of this community for many years, you’ve welcomed me into this role and have given me the support and encouragement needed to do the work and carry on Ray’s legacy. The challenges and opportunities we face will not always be easy, but I know we will be ready for them because of your individual and collective efforts.

What’s on the horizon? As classes end and exams begin, our attention is focused on closing out the year strong. We’re extremely excited about the long list of academic programs and celebrations planned before our 57th Commencement on May 23, and we will be honored to host President DiPasquale’s Celebration of Life on May 20. I hope you can join us at both events.

Important College Updates

Besides these milestone events and happenings, there are several pieces of business on which I want to update you.

Strategic Plan

The Strategic Plan is set to be reviewed by Massachusetts DHE at their June meeting.  Thank you to everyone who has made a contribution or added their insight to this process!  From this point various units of the College will be asked to develop a more specific plan for their area of the college.  Work is underway for the Academic Plan and Strategic Enrollment Management and Marketing Plan.


The NECHE self-study process will officially kick off in the Fall.  This is a community wide opportunity to assess the health and quality of Massasoit Community College based on the following standards:

  • Standard One: Mission and Purposes
  • Standard Two: Planning and Evaluation
  • Standard Three: Organization and Governance
  • Standard Four: The Academic Program
  • Standard Five: Students
  • Standard Six: Teaching, Learning, and Scholarship
  • Standard Seven: Institutional Resources
  • Standard Eight: Educational Effectiveness
  • Standard Nine: Integrity, Transparency, and Public Disclosure

A committee will be formed of faculty, staff, students, and administrators for each standard.  That group will be asked to determine the effectiveness of the institution based on the criteria defined in the standard with recommendations on how we can improve.  The College is asked to develop this report and host a team of reviewers from peer institutions every ten years.  This is how we maintain our accreditation.  Co-chairs for each committee will be selected by the President based on recommendations from the planning team.  The co-chairs will receive training and support to help guide their group through the development of that standard’s report.  At convocation in the Fall, you will be given the opportunity to volunteer to be part of one of the committees. Please start thinking now about how you would like to make a contribution to this important effort.

Changes to Title IX

The U.S. Department of Education recently released new Title IX regulations, which become effective on August 1, 2024. While Title IX remains focused on preventing gender-based discrimination, some details related to definitions and process will change. In the coming months, the Board of Education will release an updated Policy on Affirmative Action, Equal Opportunity & Diversity that reflects the changes in the law. Be on the lookout for additional information and training opportunities this summer and Fall. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact the College’s Title IX Coordinator, Amee Synnott, at asynnott@massasoit.mass.edu or x1304.

Renovation Project

The Certifiable Building Study for the Transformation Through Renovation project is complete and has been submitted for certification. To quote DCAMM Senior Project Manager Jenny Burton, “…this is an exemplary document that reflects the immense amount of work and heart that has gone into all aspects of the project.”

Hip-Hop Art Show gallery.
Hip-Hop Art Show at the Akillian Gallery at our Canton Campus on Wednesday, April 24.

The report itself is described as “…a clear and detailed frame of reference for the design and implementation process, and recommends a solution that can be accomplished within the appropriation or authorization for that project.” The 122-page report is the end result of months’ of work and effort performed by a sprawling team of Massasoit faculty and staff, as well as our external partners led by the team at Jones Architecture and the Office of Planning of the Commonwealth’s Division of Capital Asset Management and Maintenance. Certification of this study is a major milestone and brings Massasoit Community College one step closer to this historic transformative project coming to fruition.

Academic Affairs Alignment with the Strategic Plan

Phase one of the Academic Plan is to align the divisions and departments within Academic Affairs with the work to be done as defined in the strategic plan. To that end, a reorganization of Academic Affairs has been shared with the faculty and staff.  Vice President Gibson Sheffield will hold a series of feedback sessions on the Brockton and Canton campuses.  A zoom link will be provided.  These sessions will be held:

  • Tuesday, May 7th at 2:00pm in Brockton – LA 560
  • Wednesday, May 8th at Noon in Brockton – LA 560
  • Thursday, May 9th at 9am in Brockton – LA 560
  • Friday, May 10th at Noon in Canton – Room 211

We certainly have a lot to look forward to this month, over the coming months, and in the next academic year. These projects – important priorities set in motion by President DiPasquale – will advance the College and enhance the experiences of our faculty, staff, and students.

Organizational and Personnel Updates

The Office of Institutional Research, the Women’s Leadership Initiative, and the new Entrepreneurial Center will be integrated into the Division of Academic Affairs to better align their programs with the objectives and goals of the College presented in the Strategic Plan.

Additionally, I would like to share with you a few important personnel changes that will support this ongoing work:

  • William O’Neill will serve as the Interim Vice President for Administration and Chief Financial Officer.
  • Patricia Marcella will serve as the Interim Associate Vice President of Finance and Comptroller.
  • Lydia Dodson will serve as the Executive Director of the Entrepreneurial Center and Women’s Leadership Initiative.
  • Jennifer Holbrook will serve as Staff Associate to the President’s Office.
TRIO students at the Baseball Spirit Game.
TRIO students at the Baseball Spirit Game on Tuesday, April 23.

These changes will ensure continuity in the leadership of the Administration & Finance Division, provide additional support to the President’s Office, and represent an investment that strengthens our commitment to the success of the WLI, the Entrepreneurial Center, and the programs they will support. It is important to note that as these individuals step into new roles, they are not additional positions.

Good Luck This Month

With a full calendar of events to look forward to, I will see many of you soon. But if I don’t, please enjoy the final days of the semester and best of luck as the academic year comes to an end.

Thank you for your continued support of the College and dedication to Massasoit’s students and mission.



President Mitchell posing with two students at the 50th Anniversary of Hip-Hop Symposium held on April 27, 2024.
President Mitchell with students at the 50th Anniversary of Hip-Hop Symposium on Saturday, April 27.