Saint Joseph’s College announces interim president

The Board of Trustees at Saint Joseph's College has appointed Honorable Kenneth M. Lemanski of Winchester, Mass., as interim president. "Mr. Lemanski brings knowledge and depth of experience in college and university leadership, strategic planning and management, having held senior positions at the University of Massachusetts, the Council of Presidents for the Massachusetts State University system, and at Westfield State University," said Claire Bowen, Board Chair at Saint Joseph's. Lemanski assumed his position on Oct. 3.

Most recently the Vice President of Advancement and University Relations at Westfield State University in Westfield, Mass., Lemanski has played a major role in advancing private, state and federal dollars for university priorities there, including $71 million from the Massachusetts State College Building Authority.

Ken Lemanski, interim presidentLemanski has been an active member of the Board of Trustees at Saint Joseph's since 2008. "I'm looking forward to engaging everyone within the college community, and I am so honored and grateful for the Board's vote of confidence in me as I begin serving the Saint Joseph's College and Mercy community as interim president," he said. "My experience at Westfield State, specifically in the areas of fundraising and capital projects development, has been invaluable. I am sad to temporarily leave Westfield, but look to the future with Saint Joseph's with great enthusiasm, and I thank President Dobelle for the opportunity to both work and learn from him."

"Ken's experience in government relations and higher education made him pivotal to the success of Westfield State's master planning process and the subsequent construction on campus," said Evan S. Dobelle, president of Westfield State University. "He is an able academic administrator and Saint Joseph's is fortunate to have him on its team."

Lemanski earned a bachelor's degree in political science from the University of Massachusetts, a law degree from Western New England University School of Law, and is a candidate for a doctoral degree at the University of Massachusetts/Amherst in the area of higher education policy, leadership and administration. Lemanski served in the Massachusetts House of Representatives in various leadership positions for 13 years from 1976 to 1978 and 1980 to 1991, and has led numerous nonprofit community service efforts. He is a former member of the New England Board of Higher Education. While at the University of Massachusetts in Boston for seven years, he played a key role in city and state government relations as associate chancellor and chief of staff.

Throughout his career, Lemanski has held a diverse set of responsibilities in academics, enrollment, financial aid and strategic planning. While executive director at the Council of Presidents of the Massachusetts State University system, he coordinated the efforts of the campuses in their relations with the state and federal governments, reporting to nine presidents. He was responsible for initiating the legislative designation of those former "colleges" as "universities." At the University of Massachusetts /Lowell, he chaired the successful self-study process leading to the New England Association of Schools and University reaccreditation of the institution.

A search committee composed of trustees, faculty and Sisters of Mercy, with the assistance of a retained recruitment firm, will conduct a national search for a permanent president.

October 3, 2011
Contact: William McCarthy at (207) 893-7721 or e-mail