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President and Leadership

From the President

Thank you for your interest in Fisher College!

For over 116 years, Fisher has prepared students from across the country and around the world for exciting and satisfying careers in professional fields. With graduates from 49 states and 54 countries, we're an established higher education leader. 

Courses leading to our 26 career-focused bachelor’s degrees and four master’s degrees, including the MBA, are offered online or on our beautiful Boston campus.  Many of our programs are management-related or feature cutting-edge specializations in fields including information technology, cybersecurity, game design, sport management, criminal justice, fashion merchandising, and psychology, to name a few.

Speaking of management, at a time when weaker schools are closing, Fisher is growing.  For decades we have operated from a conservative fiscal philosophy.  As a result, today we enjoy a multi-million-dollar unrestricted endowment and an unbroken 18 years of generating revenue surpluses at the end of each fiscal year.  We’re a financially strong institution, a college that will be here long after you graduate.

If you're looking for a rewarding traditional college experience, residential or commuter, you can't beat our unique Back Bay location.  Our campus of elegant brownstones lined with brick sidewalks and fine landscaping puts you right in the heart of everything Boston.  As a Fisher student, you'll enjoy access to the businesses, industries, entertainment, thought-leaders, and cultures of this great American city.

We’re working hard to define ourselves to the public, and the public is taking notice: U.S. News & World Report’s 2020 college rankings put Fisher at #17 among Northern Regional Colleges, up four spots from the year before, and #10 among Best Value Colleges, up five spots.

As a student on our Boston campus, you’ll enjoy a small-classroom learning environment. Whether you choose to live on campus or off, you’ll never be just a number to us or to your classmates.  Like Boston itself, our campus is home to students of virtually every background, interest, and point of view.  

If you're already in the workforce and seeking to advance your career or change careers, or complete your undergraduate degree, our outstanding online Graduate and Professional Studies division is here to serve you.

And what about your future?  We're proud that 96% of our May 2018 graduates who responded to our employment survey reported they had obtained a career job or entered graduate school within six months of receiving their Fisher College degree.

I hope you’ll apply to join us on our Boston Campus in historic Back Bay, or online to study in one of our many graduate, undergraduate, or professional programs. Fisher College is eager to prepare you  for what comes next.

Alan Ray, PhD, JD, President

Dr. Alan Ray

President's Cabinet
Kathleen Ehlers, MEd
EdD (Candidate)
Vice President for Online, Graduate and Professional Studies 
Janet Kuser, MBA, EdD
Vice President for Academic Affairs
Shiela Lally, JD
Dean of Students
Robert Melaragni, MBA 
EdD (Candidate)
Vice President of Enrollment Management
Steven Rich, MBA
Vice President for Finance and Administration
Brenda Sanchez, BA
Vice President of Advancement and Alumni Engagement

President's Profile

A long-time educator, Dr. Alan Ray became the ninth President of Fisher College in July 2017.  Under his leadership, Fisher has adopted a new strategic plan; launched new academic programs at the bachelor's and master's degree levels; established an Office of Advancement and Alumni Engagement; brought in a leading higher education marketing firm to help drive enrollments and enhance the College's profile; raised the average entering student GPA to record levels; and embarked on a major revitalization of the College's online Graduate and Professional Studies division. 
Dr. Ray is a writer and speaker on the value of religious and cultural pluralism for a transformative college experience. His reflections on campus life and leadership have appeared in The Chronicle of Higher Education and Liberal Education magazine, among many other media.  By appointment of Governor Charlie Baker, he serves on the Board of Directors of the Massachusetts Educational Financing Authority (MEFA).  He is also a member of the Tax Policy Committee of the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities.
Before coming to Fisher, Dr. Ray spent 14 months as a Visiting Scholar at Harvard Law School, preceded by seven years as President of Elmhurst College, in Illinois.  Under his leadership, Elmhurst implemented its first two comprehensive strategic plans; launched a new School for Professional Studies; raised over $24M in gifts, pledges, and state grants; completed major capital projects; expanded the varsity athletics program; doubled its percentage of students of color; and, based on data from his final year as President, moved Elmhurst into U.S. News & World Report’s list of top 10 masters-comprehensive universities in the Midwest. 

Earlier in his career, Dr. Ray worked for the University of New Hampshire for four years as Vice Provost for Academic Affairs and Senior Vice Provost, after serving Harvard Law School for eight years as Associate Dean for Academic Affairs.  He is also an attorney who has practiced law in California and Massachusetts.  Dr. Ray has served on the boards of numerous nonprofit institutions in the Chicago and Boston areas and is currently a trustee of the Pingree School in South Hamilton, MA.  


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 National Advisory Council on Indian Education.  An experienced adjunct faculty member at institutions including Boston College, Harvard Divinity and Law Schools, and the University of New Hampshire, his scholarship and teaching in federal Indian law has addressed cultural and political questions including religious rights on public lands, tribal citizenship and sovereignty, and Native American identity.

Dr. Ray has been a featured speaker on Native American issues at institutions around the country, including Dartmouth College; the Mitchell Museum of the American Indian (Chicago); University of California, Hastings College of the Law (San Francisco); Union Theological Seminary (NYC); Vermont Law School; and Yale Law School.  As a member of the Faculty Advisory Board of the Harvard University Native American Program (HUNAP), he served for many years in a variety of leadership roles, and currently sits on the HUNAP 50th Anniversary Celebration Steering Committee. 


Dr. Ray graduated summa cum laude in philosophy from the former St. Thomas Seminary College in Denver.  He holds a PhD in religious studies from Harvard University and a JD from UC Hastings. 

Board of Trustees


Alexandra L. Bartsch, JD, Chair
Attorney at Law

Rebecca B. Costello '68, PhD
Scientific Consultant, RBCostello LLC
Walter J. Dillingham, Jr., CFA, Treasurer
Managing Director, Wilmington Trust N.A.–Endowments & Foundations

James Bayles, Clerk
Senior Manager, Consulting, ValueD Consulting, LLC


Nicholas W. Bankson, PhD
Professor Emeritus,
James Madison University
Educational Consultant
Stephanie Davidson, PhD
Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs, Ohio Board of Regents

Peter C. Everett, MD
Staff Physician, Boston University Affiliated Physicians, Boston Medical Center
Christian C. Fisher
President Emeritus, Fisher College
President, Ten Gates Development LLC

Scott A. Fisher '51, EdD
President Emeritus, Fisher College
Elizabeth Gavett, MA, CCC-SLP
Clinical Associate Professor Emerita, Boston University 
John McDonnell
Managing Director International, Tito's Handmade Vodka
Ashok Patel
Vice President, Development/Operations for Jamsan Hotel Management
Vikas Patel
Business Development, Boston Trade International
Mark Reardon
Principal, Equity Industrial Partners
Paul M. Rowe
Wellesley Volkswagen