As the chief executive officer of the Board of Education for matters pertaining to higher education, Dr. Purcell will serve as the chief administrative officer for the Office of Higher Education and will function as the point of contact between the executive and legislative branches and the three institutions of higher learning: the Community College of Rhode Island, Rhode Island College, and the University of Rhode Island.
Dr. Purcell has worked in the field of higher education for more than 25 years, including such areas as academic program development and review, course evaluations, planning and policy analysis, research, and student retention, graduation, and placement. He has worked at two-year colleges, four-year colleges, and universities in five states. Dr. Purcell has been the chief higher-education executive in both Arkansas and Louisiana as well as the Associate Vice Chancellor for Strategic Planning and Analysis in Oklahoma.
Enhancing the states higher education institutions is essential to the success of its citizens, Dr. Purcell told the Board of Education. Universities and colleges rich in tradition can only be as successful as the financial and emotional support for their mission from the state and its citizenry. & I am fervent in my efforts to collaborate, connect, and build consensus around a common goal.
We are pleased that we have been able to attract to Rhode Island a Commissioner of Higher Education who has a broad range of experience and deep understanding of the issues that our colleges and universities face in their pursuit of excellence, said Eva-Marie Mancuso, Chair of the Board of Education. I look forward to working closely with Dr. Purcell to ensure that our three institutions of higher education continue to provide a world-class education and to support high-quality scholarship and research.
Dr. Purcell holds a bachelors degree in public administration from Auburn University, a masters in education in counseling from the University of Montevallo, and an Ed.D. in higher-education administration from the University of Alabama. He is currently a resident of Alabama.