N.H. Community College System names new head

Dr. Mark Rubinstein has been president of Granite State College since 2015. (COURTESY PHOTO)

CONCORD — Dr. Mark Rubinstein, a highly respected and longtime leader in higher education in New Hampshire, has been named the next chancellor of the Community College System of New Hampshire.

Rubinstein was chosen through a search process chaired by Kathy Bogle Shields, chair of the community college system board of trustees.

The Community College System of New Hampshire consists of seven colleges, including White Mountains Community College in Berlin, Littleton and North Conway, as well as Great Bay Community College in Portsmouth and Rochester; Lakes Region Community College in Laconia; Manchester Community College; Nashua Community College; New Hampshire Technical Institute — Concord’s Community College; and River Valley Community College in Claremont, Lebanon and Keene.

The colleges offer associate degree and certificate programs, professional training, transfer pathways to four-year degrees and dual-credit partnerships with New Hampshire high schools.

The colleges in the system are committed to working with businesses throughout the state to train and retain employees to develop a robust workforce across all sectors and embraces the “65 by 25 Initiative,” which calls for 65 percent of New Hampshire citizens to have some form of postsecondary education by 2025 to meet future workforce demands.

Rubinstein comes to community college system from his current position as president of Granite State College, one of the institutions of the University System of New Hampshire, a post he has held since 2015.

Like New Hampshire’s community colleges, Granite State College is focused on meeting the educational needs of New Hampshire residents, particularly working adults, providing access to quality academic programs that are affordable and aligned with the state’s workforce needs and economy.

Granite State College is one of the strongest transfer partners for Community College System of New Hampshire. Graduates from New Hampshire’s community colleges can easily transfer to Granite State College to complete a baccalaureate degree in a wide variety of fields including business, health care, human services, education, technology and more.

“We are thrilled to appoint Mark Rubinstein to be the next chancellor of the Community College System of New Hampshire,” said Bogle Shields. “Mark is uniquely positioned to be the next leader of the system as we look to sustain our high level of service to our students, the state and our communities.

“Mark contributed to Granite State College being one of the most transfer-friendly institutions for community college graduates, helping hundreds of students every year to cost-effectively continue their education at the baccalaureate level while simultaneously advancing professionally. He has also been a key partner in identifying cost-saving and student-serving ways for New Hapshire’s public higher education institutions to work collaboratively on areas such as academic pathways, shared contracts and common software platforms. We know that Mark will embrace the Community College System of New Hampshire mission of providing affordable, market-driven, quality education in our local communities.”

As president of Granite State College, Rubinstein has focused on the quality and efficacy of academic programs, better alignment with the needs of the state’s workforce and its communities, and pursuit of greater affordability to support the institution’s access mission.

“Ultimately, I believe those are the essential elements for the future of public higher education,” said Rubinstein. “At the macro-level, demographic, economic and technology trends all point to the need for a more dynamic workforce. At the micro-level, the human level, people’s interests and circumstances and needs change. From either perspective, the clear implication is that New Hampshire and its citizens require the support of effective, responsive public postsecondary education.

“My time at Granite State College has been helpful to my understanding of these needs, and to connecting me to the work of the Community College System of NH, and I am grateful to the Community College System of New Hampshire for now allowing me to serve in this role and to build on that strong foundation.”

Paul Holloway, a former chairman of the Community College System of New Hampshire board and also a former chairman of the University System of N.H. board, applauded the choice.

“Mark Rubinstein is deeply respected as an insightful leader whose first focus is on making sure the institutions are positioned to serve students in the best ways possible and to partner across New Hampshire to build a highly skilled workforce. We know there are significant demands on higher education to be nimble and responsive to shifting needs and changing circumstances. Mark’s experience makes him the right individual for the job at this point in time, and I welcome the contributions he will bring as chancellor of the Community College System of New Hampshire.”

The Community College System of New Hampshire serves approximately 26,000 students across the state and offers the lowest-cost college tuition in New Hampshire. The seven community colleges partner with employers in all regions of New Hampshire to build educational programs that meet workforce needs, and provide opportunities for transfer to four-year colleges and universities.

In recent years, the system has developed several specialized workforce pathways, including apprenticeships and short-term programs that help New Hampshire residents build skills for professional advancement in high-demand fields.

The Community College System of New Hampshire has also increased the number of New Hampshire high school students who take courses for college credit, especially in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) fields.

For the fall semester, CCSNH has partnered with the N.H. Charitable Foundation to offer a free course to all high school graduates from the class of 2021, helping to mitigate the effects of the pandemic on the lives of this year’s high school seniors.

Prior to becoming president of Granite State College, Rubinstein held a number of positions at the University of New Hampshire in Durham, including vice president for student and academic services, interim vice president for university advancement, and roles within admissions, financial aid and the university’s advising and career center.

He began his career at Pennsylvania State University and the University of South Florida before moving to New Hampshire in 1998.

Rubinstein holds a doctorate in educational theory and policy from Pennsylvania State University, a master of science in education and a bachelor of arts degree in U.S. history and English from the University of Pennsylvania. He currently serves on the N.H. College & University Council’s Executive Committee and the N.H. Higher Education Commission.

Rubinstein will take up his new position Sept. 1, taking over from Dr. Susan Huard, who previously announced her plans to retire.

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