(June 16th, 2017) Boston, MA: Fisher College, a private four-year institution based in Boston’s prestigious Back Bay, announced today that after a national search it has selected Dr. Alan Ray as its ninth president. The search process that led to his selection began when Dr. Thomas McGovern announced his decision to retire as Fisher College’s president after ten distinguished years of service. A search committee that included trustees, alumni/ae, faculty and staff, and advised by the Association of Governing Boards, spearheaded the process.
"Fisher College was fortunate to have attracted a strong pool of candidates interested in leading the College into the future,” said Dr. Alexandra Bartsch, Chair of the Board of Trustees and member of the Presidential Search Committee. “Dr. Ray stood out to us immediately, even in the company of extremely qualified candidates, as someone perfectly aligned with Fisher’s goal of providing a first class education that propels students to achieve their career goals in an increasingly global economy.”
“I am honored and deeply humbled to be given the privilege of serving and leading Fisher College,” Dr. Ray explained, “and I look forward to building on the transformative work of President Tom McGovern.”
Prior to joining Fisher, Dr. Ray served as president of Elmhurst College, in Illinois, for seven years. Under his leadership, Elmhurst implemented its first two comprehensive strategic plans; launched a new School for Professional Studies that significantly expanded its graduate, certificate, and online academic programs; raised over $24M in gifts, pledges, and state grants; substantially increased the diversity of the college’s student body, and, based on data from his final year, moved into U.S. News & World Report’s list of top 10 masters-degree-granting colleges in the Midwest.
Before Elmhurst, Dr. Ray’s higher education leadership included four years as Vice Provost for Academic Affairs and Senior Vice Provost of the University of New Hampshire, and eight years as Associate Dean for Academic Affairs at Harvard Law School.
“As someone who has lived in and around Boston for many years of my professional life,” said Dr. Ray, “I know Fisher to be at the forefront of providing outstanding pre-professional higher education. I recognized the minute I saw the open position that this was a college with the mission, location, and resources needed to achieve great things; in short, a college I wanted to lead.”
Dr. Ray expects to forge strong ties with members of the Fisher community and beyond. “I look forward to many years of collaboration with the entire Fisher College community, its students, faculty, staff, and alumni, as well as with the Boston region’s civic organizations, state and local governments, and regional businesses, as together we work to realize the full potential of this remarkable school.”
Dr. Ray is also an attorney, admitted to the bars of California and Massachusetts. Prior to entering academic administration, he practiced law in Los Angeles and Boston. As an associate with the firm Richards, Watson & Gershon in Los Angeles, he practiced municipal law as an assistant city attorney, focusing on land use law and planning, environmental, and constitutional law.
Born and raised in Oklahoma, Dr. Ray is an active citizen of the Cherokee Nation. In 2010, he was appointed by President Barack Obama to the 15-member National Advisory Council on Indian Education, a post he held for the duration of the Obama administration. An experienced adjunct faculty member at institutions including Boston College, Harvard Divinity and Law Schools, and the University of New Hampshire, Dr. Ray’s scholarship, teaching, and public speaking since the early 1990s have addressed cultural and political questions in federal Indian law, including religious rights on public lands, tribal citizenship and sovereignty, and Native American identity.
Dr. Ray graduated summa cum laude in philosophy from the former St. Thomas Seminary College in Denver. He holds a Ph.D. in religious studies from Harvard and a J.D. from the University of California, Hastings College of the Law. Dr. Ray has served on the boards of nonprofit institutions in the Chicago and Boston areas and is currently a trustee of the Pingree School in South Hamilton, MA. Dr. Ray, his spouse Angela Katsos Ray, and their three young children make their home on the North Shore.
Dr. Ray will assume the duties of president on July 1, 2017.
About Fisher College
Fisher College is an independent, non-profit, accredited four-year college offering masters degrees, based in Boston’s historic Back Bay with instructional site locations in Boston, Brockton, New Bedford, and North Attleboro. Fisher provides affordable, real-world education that prepares students to achieve their career goals and compete in today’s challenging economy. For more than a century, Fisher has been changing lives by providing opportunities to students focused on the three most important aspects of a college experience: education, dedication, and life. Fisher’s Division of Accelerated and Professional Studies offers a variety of online degree programs that provide flexible scheduling to busy students earning their degree. Additionally, Fisher’s “Military to Management” initiative proudly offers benefits and flexible degree options to veterans and active military personnel seeking higher education. For more information about Fisher College, please visit www.fisher.edu.