Mercy College Announces Dr. José Herrera as New Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs

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With a wide range of experience in higher education, Herrera’s leadership, background and skill set will expand the potential and build upon the achievements of Mercy College.

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Dr. Herrera embraces the mission of Mercy College. His commitment to seeing students succeed, from all walks of life, is what made him stand out.

Mercy College has appointed Dr. José Herrera as Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs. Currently the Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at Western New Mexico University (WNMU), Herrera will join Mercy College on January 17, 2017. With a wide range of experience in higher education, Herrera’s leadership, background and skill set will expand the potential and build upon the achievements of Mercy College.

In making the announcement, Mercy College President Tim Hall said: “Dr. Herrera embraces the mission of Mercy College. His commitment to seeing students succeed, from all walks of life, is what made him stand out. As a scientist, an administrator and a leader he will work collaboratively with students, faculty and staff to build a solid vision for the future of Mercy College.”

This selection followed a comprehensive search with a highly qualified applicant pool. Provost Search Committee Chair Dr. Helen Buhler said: “Dr. Herrera is committed to high quality academic programs and to student success. With experience in institution-wide planning, academic program development and external funding cultivation, he brings energy and enthusiasm and will be a great addition to the Mercy College community.”

At WNMU, a Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI), Herrera transformed the grant opportunities for the University. He developed the University’s Grants Office bringing in new opportunities for students and faculty. Under his leadership, the amount of external funds quadrupled from the prior year. He is also guiding the restructuring of the general education curriculum, and working to reduce the amount of credit hours for Associate and Baccalaureate degrees while still maintaining a strong academic curriculum.

Herrera was the Founding Dean of WNMU’s College of Arts and Sciences, building the College from the ground up. He led the development of the strategic plan for the College. During his time at WNMU Herrera has maintained his classroom presence, continuing on as a Professor. He is a strong proponent of technology in curricular and co-curricular learning.

Before being hired at WNMU, Herrera was a Program Director for the National Science Foundation in Arlington, Virginia where he oversaw various programs within the Division of Undergraduate Education.

Herrera is a lifetime member of Mycological Society of America and the Society for the Advancement of Chicanos & Native Americans in Science (SACNAS). He is also a member of Sigma Xi and the Council on Undergraduate Research (CUR).

Herrera, a first-generation college student, graduated from the Chicago Public School System and admits his family could not afford access to higher education. Despite financial obstacles, he went on to earn his Bachelor of Science and Master of Science degrees in biology from Northern Illinois University, and his doctorate in microbiology from Kansas State University. He spent the early part of his career as a high school biology teacher in Illinois.

Herrera will replace Dr. Concetta Stewart who has served as Mercy College’s Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs since August 2012, and who served as Interim President of Mercy during the 2013-2014 academic year. Hall said: “She has wholeheartedly and diligently committed herself to the academic excellence of Mercy College and the success of its students and faculty. We wish her all the best in the next phase of her career and look forward to a smooth transition in the months ahead.”

About Mercy College

Mercy College is the dynamic, diverse New York City area college whose students are on a personal mission: to get the most out of life by getting the most out of their education.

Founded in 1950, Mercy offers more than 90 undergraduate and graduate degree and certificate programs within five schools: Business, Education, Health and Natural Sciences, Liberal Arts and Social and Behavioral Sciences. Mercy College challenges its faculty and staff to make higher education work for anyone hungry enough to earn a better place in life. With campuses in Dobbs Ferry, Bronx, Manhattan and Yorktown Heights, the vibrancy of the College culture is sustained by a diverse student body from around the region.

Committed to supporting students throughout their education, Mercy College offers a personalized learning experience that includes the College’s Personalized Achievement Contract (PACT) program. PACT is a nationally recognized mentoring program that serves as a model for student success. http://www.mercy.edu/ 877-MERCY-GO.

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Catherine Cioffi
Mercy College
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