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Saturday, June 29, 2013

USNH trustees appoint Leach to serve as chancellor

CONCORD – The University System of New Hampshire has a new leader after the board of trustees selected Todd Leach to serve in the post.

Leach, president of Granite State College, has been interim chancellor since March, after the retirement of Ed MacKay. ...

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CONCORD – The University System of New Hampshire has a new leader after the board of trustees selected Todd Leach to serve in the post.

Leach, president of Granite State College, has been interim chancellor since March, after the retirement of Ed MacKay.

“Having watched Dr. Leach serve as interim chancellor, the board became convinced he was the best choice to lead the University System of New Hampshire,” said Richard Galway, chairman of USNH’s board of trustees.

“Dr. Leach demonstrated an incredible vision and work ethic. He’s an innovator, and will continue the great work being done for our state at the University System.”

Leach will oversee four public institutions: the University of New Hampshire, Keene State College, Plymouth State University and Granite State College, which educate more than 40,000 students combined.

He takes the helm at a particularly trying time for the system, and for higher education in general.

As interim chancellor over the last few months, Leach worked with state leaders to restore funding for the University System after 2011 cuts took away nearly half of state aid for higher education.

The budget passed by the House and Senate this week will restore much of those cuts.

Leach was hired as interim chancellor earlier this year.

He was paid $25,000 at the start of his service and $25,000 at the end, with $6,250 for each month of service.

Leach already earned nearly $200,000 in his role as president at Granite State College.

His salary as permanent chancellor wasn’t immediately available Friday.

MacKay earned nearly $300,000 as chancellor at the same time that leaders in the House argued the chancellor’s office should be eliminated, moving its responsibilities to the USNH board of trustees and the presidents of the four campuses.

In May 2012, the Senate stopped that plan, which proponents said would have saved the system money and lowered tuition.

Leach came to the system in 2010 to serve as president of Granite State College after attracting a national reputation for leading an explosion in online education at Northeastern University.

Under Leach’s leadership, Granite State College has achieved the highest enrollment levels in its 40-year history, and in 2013, it celebrated its largest graduating class.

He also led the development of the college’s first master’s-level programming, and helped boost the college’s online offerings.

Earlier this year, U.S. News and World Report ranked Granite State College 27th in the nation for its online bachelor’s programs.

Leach serves on the USNH board of trustees and as one of New Hampshire’s commissioners of higher education. He is also a member of the boards of New Hampshire College, the University Council and the New Hampshire Forum on the Future.

“Todd Leach brings to the chancellorship a keen understanding of education in the 21st century and the importance of a relevant education to a strong economy,” said Fred Kocher, president of New Hampshire’s High Technology Council.

Danielle Curtis can be reached at 594-6557 or dcurtis@nashua
telegraph.com. Also, follow Curtis on Twitter (@Telegraph_DC).