Farrell to retire after long career in education

Rivier College’s first male president has announced plans to retire at the end of the school year, closing out nine years at the college and several decades in education.Dr. William Farrell, the Catholic college’s 11th president and first layperson to serve in the role, told staff and faculty at a school-wide meeting last month that he will retire at the end of the 2010-11 academic year, according to college spokesperson Karen Cooper.Farrell, 74, served as the college’s interim president in September 2001 and was appointed president in the spring of 2002.He not only has had a big impact on Rivier, but on postsecondary education throughout New Hampshire. Before taking the job in Nashua, Farrell was president of Plymouth State University, when it was still Plymouth State College, from 1984 to 1992. And he was chancellor of the University System of New Hampshire from 1992 to 2001.At Rivier, he is credited with pulling the college out of difficult financial straits and overseeing its first capital campaign, which raised more than $10 million.”While it is time to begin the next chapter of my life, I am content knowing the college will be left in the hands of a dedicated board of trustees and administration, as well as a committed faculty and staff,” Farrell said.60 degree programsThe college was facing monetary challenges when Farrell took over in 2001, according to Dr. Jamison Hoff, chairman of the college’s board of trustees. The college received a perfect 3.0 Financial Responsibility Score for 2006-08 from the federal Department of Education, Hoff said.The school’s first capital campaign raised $10.5 million in gifts and contributions for the college’s endowment fund. Farrell also secured the college’s first-ever million-dollar donation, which funded an 11,500-square-foot expansion and renovation of the Regina Library in 2008 and a 7,930-square-foot expansion of the Muldoon Fitness Center, which is scheduled to be completed in December, Cooper said.The college has 60 degree programs and launched the state’s first doctorate of education in leadership and learning in 2008. That program now has 40 students, Cooper said.Before joining Rivier, Farrell was an associate vice president for education development and research at the University of Iowa. His other experience in higher education includes being the director of foundation support at Marquette University, a faculty member at Marquette, the University of Chicago and the University of California-Berkeley. He began as a professor of English, Cooper said.He also volunteers as a trustee of Saint Anselm College and is a past trustee of the University System of New Hampshire. He now serves as commissioner of the Postsecondary Education Commission of New Hampshire and as a board member for the New Hampshire College and University Council, Cooper said.”Dr. Farrell has inspired and encouraged the academic lives of more than 5,000 Rivier students, and his immense achievements will continue to benefit thousands of future students in the decade ahead,” Hoff said. “He will always retain our deepest gratitude for his decade of strong, wise, productive, mission-driven leadership.””Rivier College has a bright and promising future,” Farrell said. “The Sisters of the Presentation of Mary created a lasting legacy when they founded this college in 1933, and its students, faculty, staff, trustees and alumni will continue that legacy long into the future.”Hoff said the college will launch a nationwide search to find Farrell’s successor. – JOSEPH G. COTE/THE TELEGRAPH