College Town: Clark University announces plans to secure financing for new building, other work

WORCESTER — Clark University last week announced it is aiming to land $100 million in financing to help pay for a new academic building campus and other planned work.

The proposed interdisciplinary academic building, which will encompass computer science, visual and performing arts, and interactive media arts and game design, will be located east of the Strassler Center between Hawthorne and Woodland streets, Clark President David Fithian said in a message to the school.

Among the divisions to be housed at the new facility are the Becker School of Design & Technology, a program Clark subsumed earlier this year when Becker College closed. It will also be home to Clark’s department of computer science as well as individual programs within the department of visual and performing arts.

More: Clark buys vacant 7-acre parcel, site of former Park Avenue car dealership

“The intersection of these areas creates new opportunities for synergy in teaching, research, and innovation and advances new forms of pedagogy,” Fithian said.

Clark University
Clark University

The school’s efforts to secure new financing, meanwhile, “represents a substantial step forward that takes advantage of highly favorable market conditions and Clark’s strong financial position,” he said.

In addition to funding new construction, the university also intends to refinance $56 million in debt, according to the president’s announcement. Fithian also shared that credit rating agency Moody’s recently gave Clark a promising report of its financial status and long-term fiscal outlook, although it also slightly downgraded the university’s credit rating from A1 to A2.

QCC announces new senior dental care initiative in region

Quinsigamond Community College on Wednesday announced a new partnership with the Central Massachusetts Agency on Aging to offer free preventative dental care to seniors in the region.

The new Central Massachusetts Senior Dental Clinic will provide cleanings, assessments, X-rays and fluoride treatment, all at no charge, to residents who are at least 55 years old. Worcester’s Yellow Cab will also provide transportation for seniors to get to the program.

The American Rescue Plan Act is giving $60,000 to the initiative, thanks in part to Congressman James P. McGovern, D-Worcester, according to the college; QCC will provide a 50% match to cover expenses. Officials expect the funding will be able to help 2,000 seniors receive dental treatment over the next three years.

“Older Americans, particularly low income, underserved seniors, often lack access to dental care,” QCC President Luis Pedraja said. “Thanks to this partnership with the CMAA, we are helping to provide equitable access to important dental care for this vulnerable population, as well as enabling our dental hygiene students to become better prepared to care for senior patients when they enter the workforce.”

Mount Wachusett announces new leadership picks

Mount Wachusett Community College this past week announced it has appointed a new vice president of finance and administration as well as made several other leadership moves.

Sandra Quaye, who most recently worked at Franklin Pierce University in New Hampshire, will be the college’s new finance and administration head, replacing the retiring Robert LaBonte.

“I am excited to be joining the MWCC community,” said Quaye, who had been vice president of finance and administration, chief financial officer and treasurer at Franklin Pierce since 2014. “The opportunities MWCC provides to students, faculty, and staff as well as the local community are endless. I am energized by the work ahead and look forward to contributing to the success of MWCC.”

Mount Wachusett also announced it has tapped John Eisler, who came to MWCC from Springfield College last year, to serve as interim vice president of academic affairs, and Adam Duggan, previously dean of adult basic education, as its new vice president of workforce development and lifelong learning.

In addition, Senior Dean of Students, Jason Zelesky, will become the college’s interim vice president of student affairs.

Robin Frkal
Robin Frkal

Nichols names new associate deans for graduate programs

Nichols College recently announced its has named two new associate deans for its graduate programs.

Robin Frkal, associate professor of human resource management, will become the associate dean for the Graduate School of Business and Professional Studies. She has been at the college for three years.

Allison McDowell Smith, associate professor of criminal justice and counterterrorism, will take over as associate dean for the Graduate School of Liberal Arts. She has been with Nichols for seven years.

This article originally appeared on Telegram & Gazette: Clark University Becker Worcester financing buildings campus QCC MWCC