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Bay Path University Names Sandra Doran as Sixth President

Sandra J. Doran, President of Salem Academy and College on Friday, June 14, 2019 on campus in Winston Salem, NC
Image copyright Lauren Martinez Olinger

The Bay Path University Board of Trustees is honored to announce that Sandra J. Doran, J.D., has been selected by unanimous vote to become the sixth president of Bay Path University effective June 30, 2020.  She will succeed Dr. Carol Leary, who retires in June following her 25-year presidency of Bay Path.

President-elect Doran’s appointment is the culmination of a comprehensive ten-month national search process to recruit, in Chair Jonathan Besse’s words, “the candidate whose experience, energy, and vision will build on the mission-driven and innovative legacy of Bay Path and propel our University into the future.”

“Sandy Doran is a charismatic leader who cares deeply about women’s education and is passionate about access to education and student success,” said Besse. “She has an impressive and broad background in a variety of complex organizations, all of which flourished greatly under her leadership.”

A respected higher education leader, innovator, and academic entrepreneur, at present Doran is the president of Salem Academy and College in Winston-Salem, NC.   As president, she led an inclusive and aggressive strategic planning process that resulted in a transformation of the College as evidenced by unprecedented growth in enrollment and fundraising.

“I am humbled by the trust the board has placed in me to continue the spirit of innovation here at Bay Path,” Doran said.  “The visionary nature of President Leary is inspiring and unprecedented in higher education, and I look forward to working with the Bay Path faculty and staff to build on her legacy. Serving our students, and providing them with a superior learning experience, gives us all great joy. I look forward to engaging with all members of our community, students, faculty, staff, alumni, trustees, and our business and philanthropic partners.”

Under the leadership of President Carol A. Leary, Bay Path was transformed from a small, traditional women’s college to a nationally recognized University offering undergraduate programs for women, and master’s and doctoral degrees for women and men.  With a student population of over 3,300, Bay Path has stayed true to its mission of providing a career-focused education by developing innovative academic programs that respond to the evolving workplace. Bay Path’s continued commitment to women’s education is best exemplified by The American Women’s College, the first all-women, all-online bachelor’s degree program in the country, and the Women’s Leadership Conference, celebrating its 25th anniversary in 2020.

Before serving at Salem, Doran was Chief Executive Officer at Castle Point Learning Systems (CPLS), a company that develops innovative teaching and learning technologies incorporating artificial intelligence and adaptive learning algorithms to provide better student outcomes in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM). Prior to her position at CPLS, she was president of the American College of Education in Indianapolis, IN, where she grew the organization into the fifth largest graduate school of education in the country, serving more than 5,000 adult and nontraditional students.   Her professional experience also includes positions at Stevens Institute of Technology in New Jersey as an Entrepreneur-in-Residence, as well as at the New England Board of Higher Education as the National Policy Director. Early in her legal career she transitioned into higher education, joining Lesley University in Cambridge, MA, in 2004 as Chief of Staff, Vice President, and General Counsel.

Doran currently serves as chair of the Board for Advancing Quality in Educator Preparation and on the Board of the Online Learning Consortium. She was named the Triad Business Journal’s Most Admired CEO, and Power Player of 2019.

According to Patricia Pierce, CFA, immediate past-chair of Bay Path University and co-chair, along with Besse, of the presidential search committee, Doran’s involvement with national organizations and her entrepreneurial leadership give her a firsthand understanding of the challenges faced by higher education. “Sandy is drawn to Bay Path for all the right reasons, and she is the right candidate to forge an exciting and leading-edge strategy for the University’s future.”

President-elect Doran holds a Juris Doctor degree from the Syracuse University College of Law and a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science from Southern Methodist University. She and her husband, Stephen, have two children, a son Adrian, who resides in Providence, RI, with his wife Elizabeth Howland, and a daughter Dana, who lives in Washington D.C.

Full information on Bay Path’s president-elect can be found by clicking here.


(Photo courtesy of Salem College)