EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Merrimack Valley

March 10, 2010

New Merrimack College president comes from Northeastern University

NORTH ANDOVER — Christopher Hopey, a vice president and dean at Northeastern University in Boston, will become the next president of 2,000-student Merrimack College.

Laurence Demers, chairman of Merrimack's board of trustees, confirmed yesterday that the trustees ended a two-year national search by voting unanimously to hire Hopey, who will begin at Merrimack on July 1.

He will be on the campus of the Catholic college next week to meet with students and faculty.

Hopey, of Nashua, N.H., will succeed Ronald Champagne, who has been president for the two years while the college looked for a permanent president.

Champagne signed on for a two-year term as president in 2008 after then President Richard Santagati retired after 14 years.

Demers said the national search attracted 75 candidates. Of the 75, the 16-member search committee selected nine candidates to be interviewed in Boston. Four were then invited to the North Andover campus for a second interview, and of that four, two finalists were selected.

The search committee consisted of representatives of the faculty, administration, trustees, students and alumni.

Hopey arrived at Northeastern in 2003.

He is the dean of the College of Professional Studies and the vice president of the Division of Professional and Continuing Education.

Demers pointed to Hopey's experience in faculty affairs, academic planning, enrollment planning and fundraising in higher education as the reasons why he was chosen.

In his resume, Hopey said he successfully merged the failing School of Education, a program that offered graduate education to recent college graduates and working professionals, into the College of Professional Studies.

"He took a program at Northeastern that was failing and turned it around," Demers said. "He is going to bring energy and creativity to the position from his experience at Northeastern."

According to his resume, Hopey manages 60 full-time faculty, 175 administrators and 700 part-time and adjunct faculty.

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