Following a yearlong search carried out amid a financial crisis, The College of New Rochelle has named William W. Latimer as its next president.
The college announced today that Latimer will step into the role on April 15. Latimer, the founding dean of the School of Health Science, Human Services and Nursing at Lehman College in the Bronx, takes over a school still recovering from a financial crisis that emerged late in 2016.
Former college President Judith Huntington resigned in October 2016 after the college’s board said it found “significant unmet financial obligations” threatening the school’s survival. Later that month, college trustees announced that a probe into the school’s finances found $20 million in unpaid payroll taxes spanning eight quarters since 2014 and an additional $11.2 million in debts and liabilities.
A $5 million anonymous donation helped keep the school afloat during the turbulent time, but the college was forced to lay off about 70 employees to keep afloat. Those layoffs led to a pair of lawsuits filed last year.
Dorothy Escribano, the college’s former provost and senior vice president for academic affairs, has served as interim president since Huntington’s resignation. The college said Wednesday that it attracted nearly 100 applicants for job.
Latimer said an initial goal of his presidency will be to “fully restore financial stability to The College of New Rochelle with a significant focus on shared governance and transparency in decision making.”
He brings to the job 20 years of administrative and faculty experience. At Lehman College, a CUNY school, he developed new academic programs and partnerships for the School of Health Sciences, Human Services, and Nursing. Beyond Lehman College, Latimer has held faculty positions at the University of Florida, the University of Minnesota and the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.
“I am humbled and excited to join The College of New Rochelle community given its rich history and mission,” Latimer said. “Forty years of data demonstrate the unparalleled value of a traditional liberal arts education yet recent trends demand accountability. A greater emphasis on graduation and job placement has replaced a singular emphasis on building enrollment.”
Latimer received a doctorate in clinical psychology from the University of Rhode Island; a master of public health in epidemiology from the University of Minnesota; and a master’s degree in developmental psychology from Teachers College, Columbia University. He graduated from Hobart and William Smith Colleges upstate in Geneva with a bachelor’s in English and psychology.