Dr. Paula M. Rooney was named the 13th president of Dean College in 1995. During Dr. Rooney’s 17 years in office, Dean College’s enrollment has more than doubled and overall retention has increased; campus grounds and technology have been greatly improved; new baccalaureate partnerships and programs have been launched to complement the college’s established associate degree programs; Dean College has been noted as one of the first colleges in the country to create a “wireless technology environment” for all members of the college community; and Dean College’s endowment has tripled from $7.9 million to over $30 million ensuring that long-term finances have been solidified.
Recent highlights of Dr. Rooney’s tenure include establishment of five baccalaureate degree programs taking the College from a mix of 100% associate degree students to one with a mix of 65% associate and 35% baccalaureate degree students; the completion of a $42M campus improvement project that consists of a renovated library learning center and revamped campus center featuring state of the art classrooms, new theatre, multi-purpose room, center for career planning and academic advising and a new residence hall under construction.
Dean College has received national recognition for “The Dean Difference” -– the College’s distinct model for student success that increased the graduation rate by over 30%. By preparing these students and having them see their potential, Dr. Rooney’s goal is to help each student reach this potential and achieve all of their goals.
In addition to her responsibilities at Dean College, Dr. Rooney is active in both professional and community circles, the 495/MetroWest Corridor Partnership, the Hockomock Area YMCA Board of Incorporators and the New England Council, the last of which she also serves as chair of the Higher Education Committee. She also is a member of the executive committee and treasurer of the Association of Independent Colleges and Universities in Massachusetts.
Previously vice president for student affairs at Babson College, Dr. Rooney formerly held senior academic and administrative appointments at Reed College, Colgate University and Indiana University. She holds a B.A. degree from Framingham State College and master’s and doctorate degrees from Indiana University.