Board of Governors for Higher Ed appointments

Twelve new members of the R.I.Board of Governors for Higher Education began their tenure in April 2011with one returning member who continues to serve on the 13-member panel that oversees the system of public higher education in the state.

The new members were appointed by Gov. Lincoln Chafee in January, and confirmed by the Senate in March.

“These individuals represent a wide spectrum of backgrounds and a diversity of perspectives, opinions and talents. But what they share is a commitment to higher education in the state of Rhode Island - and all of them are determined, as I am, to see our public colleges and universities become national models of success,” said Chafee in a media release announcing the new appointments.

As stated on the website, the mission of the Board of Governors is to provide an excellent, efficient, accessible and affordable system of higher education designed to improve the overall educational attainment of Rhode Islanders and thereby enrich the intellectual, economic, social and cultural life of the state, its residents, and its communities.

The new members:

Lorne A. Adrain – Chairman: A graduate of URI, managing director of Ballentine Partners, a wealth-management firm; founded initiative to create National Neighborhood Day; co-founder of Social Venture Partners/R.I., which encourages entrepreneurs in community innovation.

Joan C. Abrams: Director of the master’s program in communications management at Simmons College; holds degrees from Simmons and a master’s degree in public administration from Harvard.

Dr. Antonio Barajas: Emergency room physician at Roger Williams Medical Center; president of the Rhode Island Mexican-American Association. He holds a bachelor’s degree from URI and an MD from the University of Guadalajara, Mexico.

Amy Beretta: A graduate of Northwestern University law school, she works for MetLife Auto and Home. She recently served on the Board of Regents for Elementary and Secondary Education.

George Caruolo: Chair of the Board of Regents for Elementary and Secondary Education, Harvard alumnus and Suffolk law school graduate, and attorney in private practice, formerly with the firms of Caruolo & Conley and Brown, Rudnick, Berlack & Israels.

William C. Maaia: Earned a bachelor’s degree from Providence College and a JD from Suffolk University; first job after law school was with the R.I. Department of Education. He also served on the East Providence School Committee for 12 years.

Eva-Marie Mancuso: A graduate of the University of Rhode Island with a JD from Suffolk University, she is managing partner at Hamel, Waxler, Allen & Collins. She has served as an adjunct professor at the Community College of Rhode Island.

Jane B. Sherman: Worked for eight years on staff of the Providence Plan as project director for the Woonasquatucket River Greenway Project. She has a bachelor’s degree from Mount Holyoke College and taught in elementary schools in Chicago and Providence.

Michael M. Tikoian: He holds a bachelor’s degree from Bryant College and an MBA from Providence College. He works for the accounting firm of Piccerelli, Gilstein & Co. and is chairman of the state Coastal Resources Management Council.

John A. Walsh: A social studies teacher and department chairman at North Kingstown High School, he holds a bachelor’s degree from Rhode Island College and a PhD in education from URI and RIC.

Joseph B. White: A partner in the Providence law offices of Nixon Peabody, he holds a bachelor’s degree from Providence College and a JD from Syracuse University. He is a municipal court judge in North Kingstown.

Student representative to the board is Tessa Constant, from CCRI. This two-year post is appointed to a qualified student from each of the three state colleges on a rotating basis.

Thomas Rockett, a URI professor emeritus, a vice-provost emeritus, a consultant and a freelance writer on technical subjects, maintains his board post until 2012.