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Mary Ellen Jukoski, the outgoing president of Mitchell College, was selected Friday by the Board of Regents for Higher Education as the next president of Three Rivers Community College.
Jukoski will succeed Grace Jones, who will retire at the end of June, and take the reins at Three Rivers on July 7. She will receive an annual salary of $191,400.
Jukoski, the first woman to lead Mitchell College, announced in September that she would retire from the presidency at the end of June. In the announcement of her retirement, the college said Jukoski planned to take a “year-long sabbatical to explore and pursue a number of opportunities to serve the wider non-profit educational community.”
Jukoski said she is attracted to the community college mission of providing accessible, affordable education to nontraditional students and professionals.
“The value of a community college education has never been more important than it is today,” Jukoski said in a statement. “In fact, my passion in higher education has been providing access to education for first generation students and adult learners of all ages. I welcome the opportunity at Three Rivers to work collaboratively with faculty, staff and students to partner with the community to expand the mission of this vitally important community college in our region.”
The Board of Regents described Jukoski in its statement as “an energetic, action-oriented administrator with substantial higher education administrative experience.” That experience impressed the board and “brought extra value to her candidacy.”
The board appointed Jukoski after reviewing more than 90 applications and hearing recommendations from the Regents Search Committee.
“The decision was in large part based on the vision Dr. Jukoski conveyed for the college and the community during her interview process,” Gregory Gray, president of the Board of Regents, said in the statement. “It’s clear Dr. Jukoski is strongly committed to creating a diverse learning community for the students, providing a rigorous liberal arts foundation with a global perspective, and assisting students in gaining life management skills to prepare them for professional success.”
Jukoski is the sixth president of Mitchell College. She served as dean from 1990 to 1995 and was appointed acting president on July 1, 1994. Following a national search, the board of trustees appointed her to the presidency on March 1, 1995.
During Jukoski’s presidency at Mitchell, the college on the banks of the Thames River grew from a two-year college to a four-year institution that offers nearly 30 baccalaureate degree majors. It also created the Thames Academy, a credit-granting, post-high school program.
Since Jukoski joined the school administration, Mitchell College has expanded its campus facilities, renewed the college’s 10-year accreditation and spearheaded the move to NCAA Division III athletics. Enrollment has nearly tripled and its endowment doubled.
“We are proud to see her achievements at Mitchell be recognized, and know that Mary Ellen will bring to Three Rivers the same enthusiasm and dedication that proved so transformative at Mitchell College,” Mitchell College Board of Trustees Chairwoman Elizabeth Ivey said in a statement.
In March, Mitchell College appointed as its seventh president Janet L. Steinmayer, chairwoman of the board of trustees at Eagle Hill-Southport, a school that helps children with learning disabilities develop, effective July 1.
The Board of Regents on Friday also appointed new presidents for Quinebaug Valley and Asnuntuck community colleges.
Retiring state Senate leader Donald Williams, who was a finalist for the presidency at Quinebaug Valley Community College, was not appointed by the Board of Regents. The board instead chose Carlee Drummer, an administrator at Oakton Community College in Illinois. Williams, a Democrat from Brooklyn, is retiring from the Senate this year after two decades in the legislature.
Asnuntuck’s new president is James Lombella.