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Bay Path University’s New President, Sandra J. Doran, J.D., Takes Office

July 22, 2020, Longmeadow, MA – Bay Path University extended an enthusiastic, community-wide welcome to its new President, Sandra J. Doran, J.D., as she formally took office on July 1. Doran’s appointment as Bay Path’s sixth president was announced in February 2020 by a unanimous vote from the Bay Path Board of Trustees.

“On behalf of the Board, I am excited to officially welcome Sandy to Bay Path,” stated Jonathan Besse, chair of the board. “At this extraordinary point in time when higher education is being challenged in so many ways, we couldn’t be more confident and optimistic in Sandy’s talent and ability to lead our University forward by seizing the spirit of innovation that is Bay Path’s hallmark. Sandy’s robust career experience demonstrates her ability to lead through change, problem solve, and embrace opportunity. Fully aligned with Bay Path’s mission, Sandy understands what is necessary to deliver high quality on-campus and online educational experiences, and, most importantly, she will focus on student success and career readiness.”

A respected higher education leader, innovator, and academic entrepreneur, Doran was the President of Salem Academy and College, the country’s oldest women’s college, prior to joining Bay Path.  Her previous positions include serving as the National Program Director of the New England Board of Higher Education, as Entrepreneur in Residence at the Stevens Institute of Technology, as Chief Executive Officer at Castle Point Learning Systems, and as President of American College of Education. Additionally, Doran’s experience in higher education includes serving as Chief of Staff, Vice President, and General Counsel at Lesley University in Boston.

On her first day in office, Doran launched the University’s newly established “Diversity Equity and Inclusion Advisory Committee to the President.” In addition to creating an inclusive and welcoming environment where all can succeed, Doran is committed to enhancing Bay Path’s award-winning online learning degree programs for traditional and adult women, offering best in class graduate programs, and providing a robust on ground education for students seeking a transformative residential experience.

In keeping with this commitment to serving all students with best-in-class educational practices, Bay Path announces three additional leadership changes.

Amanda Gould, Vice President for Learning Innovation, Technology & Analytics, who has demonstrated success in increasing student achievement by implementing technology solutions and data-driven approaches at Bay Path over the past decade, including serving as Chief Administrative Officer at The American Women’s College, will lead a new division focusing on strengthening the undergraduate experience through innovative practices. This division will build a support structure throughout the student life cycle, focusing on academic achievement and innovative practices for student engagement. Fundamental to this work is the implementation of the recent Title III grant awarded to the University: “Learning for the 21st Century: Reshaping the Student Experience.

Dr. Stacy Sweeney joins Bay Path’s executive leadership team as the Interim Vice President for Academic Administration. Dr. Sweeney comes to Bay Path with an accomplished and diverse background, having served as President of Bay State College in Boston, Chief Administrative Officer at Southern New Hampshire University, and as a former Commissioner for the New England Commission on Higher Education, among other higher education leadership and board positions. Dr. Sweeney will focus on continued development of innovative and niche career-focused graduate programs, align enrollment management areas to serve better and meet prospective and diverse students, develop strategic marketing plans, and oversee compliance and accreditation at the University.

Dr. Melissa Morriss-Olson, announced her decision this past spring to transition back to the classroom to bring her passion for teaching and mentoring to the next generation of higher education leaders. Appointed Provost Emerita in May of 2020, she continues at Bay Path as Distinguished Professor of Higher Education Leadership; Founding Director, Doctoral Program in Higher Ed Leadership and Organizational Studies and the Center for Higher Ed Leadership and Innovative Practice. She also recently launched the IngenioUs podcast and blog. In her prior role as Provost, she implemented many of the University’s signature programs including 40 graduate programs and the Women as Empowered Learners and Leaders (WELL) program.

In reflecting on her new role, Doran stated, “we are positioning our students for the future. Bay Path excels at offering innovative undergraduate programs for women, delivers unique programs for women adult learners in hybrid and online experiences and offers high demand graduate programs for men and women. Students in every program are individually supported by a culture that is strongly committed to supporting students in and out of the classroom. I relish working with the entire Bay Path community, students, faculty, staff, board members, and alumni to serve our students with an unparalleled experience that provides academic growth and career opportunities.”


About Bay Path University

Bay Path University was founded in 1897. With locations in Longmeadow (main), East Longmeadow (Philip H. Ryan Health Science Center), Springfield (MA), Sturbridge (MA), and Concord (MA), Bay Path’s innovative program offerings include traditional undergraduate degrees for women, The American Women’s College, the first all-women, all-online accredited bachelor’s degree program in the country; over 40 graduate and doctoral programs for women and men; and Strategic Alliances, offering professional development courses for individuals and organizations.  Bay Path’s goal is to give students confidence in the fundamentals of their chosen field, the curiosity to question the ordinary, the leadership to show initiative, and the desire to make a difference.