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June 21, 2024

Central Mass. colleges downsize consortium, appoint new board chair

An office entrance Image | Courtesy of Google Maps HECCMA's offices in downtown Worcester

The Higher Education Consortium of Central Massachusetts, an organization of 11 colleges and universities in the region, has eliminated its two dedicated staff members, as the group has named the dean of the Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University as its next board chair.

In what the consortium is calling a move to streamline its operating model, HECCMA has eliminated its two dedicated staff positions of executive director and program support coordinator.

Jeanine Went, executive director of HECCMA since 2013, will conclude her tenure with the organization on June 28, according to a press release issued by the organization on Thursday.

“On behalf of the entire board of directors, I am grateful for the service Jeanine has provided over the past eleven years,” Vincent Rougeau, president of the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester and the prior board chair of HECCMA during 2023-2024 fiscal year, said in the press release. “Jeanine has been a valued collaborator and facilitator for all of our member institutions, and I am confident she will be an asset to the next organization she chooses to serve.”

HECCMA’s website lists Alice Promisel, a program support coordinator, as its other dedicated staff member. 

Photo | Courtesy of Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University
Alastair Cribb, the dean of the Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University in North Grafton

Alastair Cribb, dean of the Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University, will take over as board chair from Rougeau. Cribb was named dean of the North Grafton-based school in April 2019

Under Cribb’s leadership, the organization will focus on government and community relations, he said in the press release.

In the past, HECCMA has collaborated on initiatives that include a joint purchasing group, where members met regularly to establish group purchasing contracts that allowed participating colleges to make cost-effective purchases of scarce or limited resources, according to HECCMA’s website.

HECCMA, formerly known as the Colleges of Worcester Consortium, was founded in 1968, according to a collection of HECCMA-related documents archived by the Worcester Historical Museum. 

HECCMA’s Worcester-based members are Assumption University, Clark University, College of the Holy Cross, MCPHS University, Quinsigamond Community College, UMass Chan Medical School, Worcester Polytechnic Institute, and Worcester State University. 

Members outside the city are Anna Maria College in Paxton, Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University, and Nichols College in Dudley. 

The group was granted 501(c)(3) status in 2014, according to nonprofit financial tracking service GuideStar. The organization reported $176,950 in revenue and $158,649 in assets in 2022, according to tax filings. 

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