December 11, 2023

First published on

Concord, NH – Today, Governor Chris Sununu announced members of the Public Higher Education Task Force to Study the Strategic Alignment of Public Higher Education in New Hampshire, as established in Executive Order 2023-06. The first meeting of the task force will be held on December 21, 2023.

“As enrollment in institutions of higher education decline nationwide, New Hampshire is taking a proactive approach,” said Governor Chris Sununu. “I appreciate the members of this task force stepping forward to work collaboratively to ensure that New Hampshire’s institutions of public higher education are equipped to handle the changing landscape and continue providing a quality education for decades to come.”

“It is critical that we evaluate the strategic alignment of public higher education to ensure that our postsecondary institutions are positioned well for future success, and that New Hampshire’s students will have unlimited opportunities to excel,” said Stephen Appleby, Chair of the Task Force and Director of the New Hampshire Department of Education’s Division of Educator Support and Higher Education. “The creation of this task force is both significant and timely, as New Hampshire and other areas of the nation are facing declining student enrollment and increased costs per student. I look forward to working with the task force members in an effort to build an even stronger foundation for our higher education system.”

Thursday, December 21, 2023
Higher Education Task Force Meeting
8:00 am – 2:00 pm
NH Department of Education
25 Hall Street
Concord, NH 03301

Members of the Task Force include:

  • Stephen Appleby, Chair, Dept. of Education, Commissioner of Education’s designee;
  • Richard Lavers, Dept. of Employment Security, the Governor’s designee;
  • Dr. Jennifer MacDonald, ARMI, Governor’s business industry designee;
  • Butch Locke, BAE Systems, Governor’s business industry designee;
  • Mark Rubenstein, Chancellor of the Community College System of New Hampshire;
  • Cathy Provencher, Chief Administrative Officer of the University System of New Hampshire;
  • Senator James Gray, President of the Senate designee;
  • Rep. Rick Ladd, Speaker of the House designee;
  • Rep. David Luneau, Speaker of the House designee;
  • Nick Toumpas, Chair of the Community College System Board of Trustees designee;
  • Edwin Smith, Chair of the Community College System Board of Trustees designee;
  • George Hansel, Chair of the University System Board of Trustees designee;
  • M. Jacqueline Eastwood, Chair of the University System Board of Trustees designee

Per the Governor’s Executive Order, the Task Force shall provide a report of its findings no later than March 31, 2024.

In previous meetings of both the University System and Community College System, both boards voted unanimously in favor of the Task Force’s creation. An earlier announcement with additional information on the Commission can be found here.

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