Harry E. Dumay, Ph.D., who has a long and distinguished career in higher education, has been named the 11th president of College of Our Lady of the Elms, the college’s board of trustees announced today.
Dumay, who was chosen after a nationwide search, has served in higher education finance and administration at senior and executive levels for 19 years. He holds a Ph.D. in higher education administration from Boston College, an MBA from Boston University, and a master of arts degree in public administration from Framingham State University.
“Dr. Dumay is a multifaceted leader who understands Elms College and the importance of a liberal arts education based in the Catholic intellectual tradition,” said Cynthia A. Lyons, chair of the board of trustees. “He has a collaborative style and a demonstrated record of strengthening organizational and academic effectiveness, and he is enthusiastic about the future of Elms College.”
“At the very heart of his vision for our students, faculty, and the whole college community is ‘excellence for all’. He strongly believes education is the best tool to lift people out of poverty, to encourage positive discourse, and to create pathways to successful employment, while also supporting opportunities for strengthening ethical and spiritual development. This vision fits perfectly with the mission of Elms College,” Lyons added.
Dumay, who hails from Ouanaminthe, Haiti, currently resides with his family in Framingham, Mass. He is currently the senior vice president and chief financial officer at St. Anselm College in Manchester, N.H. He formerly served as chief financial officer and associate dean at Harvard University’s Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, associate dean at Boston College’s Graduate School of Social Work, and director of finance for Boston University’s School of Engineering. Dumay also served as an adjunct faculty member at Boston College for nine years.
“Elms College is committed to serve a diverse group of women and men and to combine an excellent liberal arts education with strong professional preparation,” Dumay said. “That resonated strongly with my belief in education that prepares individuals holistically for leadership, service, and citizenship.
“My campus visit reinforced my sense that Elms College is a special community in which the Sisters of St. Joseph’s spirit of Catholic solidarity pervades the campus. The students whom I met were all quite impressive, fully engaged with their campus community and ready to contribute to the world. The faculty and staff are welcoming, and enthusiastically dedicated to the teaching and learning that happens in and out of the classroom. The board is engaged and extremely supportive. I am honored and excited to lead Elms College as, together, we write the next chapter in the institution’s history.”
“Since its founding by the Sisters of St. Joseph in 1928, the College of Our Lady of the Elms has served those for whom Catholic higher education would be essential to a life rich in faith, learning, and economic opportunity,” said Sister Maxyne Schneider, president of the Congregation of the Sisters of St. Joseph and a member of the presidential search committee and board of trustees. “Dr. Dumay brings the professional and lived personal experience to continue this mission. We sense in him a spirit truly compatible with the charism of our sisters, and will support him in his leadership with our prayer and good will.”
Elms College’s most important goal is the success of its students, Lyons said. “The value of a liberal arts education, combined with career skills and a strong sense of the Elms values of faith, justice, community and mission, is a defining strategy for our students now and in the future,” she said. “We look forward to Dr. Dumay’s leadership as we continue to strengthen the Elms experience for all.”
“We are enormously grateful to all those who participated in the search process, including our search consultants R.H. Perry and Associates, the presidential search committee, and our entire campus community,” Lyons said. “We are already at work planning ahead, and the trustees have formed a broadly represented transition committee to welcome Dr. Dumay to our area and to plan an orderly transition. We will be holding a number of events in the future so everyone can meet the new president.”
Dumay’s appointment is effective July 1, 2017; his inauguration will be held in the fall. He succeeds Mary Reap, IHM, Ph.D., who will retire after serving as Elms president for the past eight years, and who is an inspirational and creative leader credited with transforming the campus, starting new programs and stabilizing Elms. Lyons indicated that during the rest of the academic year the campus will celebrate the contributions of Sr. Mary Reap and her lasting legacy at Elms.