Dr. Evan Dobelle, President of Westfield State University has earned a reputation among his peers to maximize educational opportunity for a broad range of students and faculty. He is nationally recognized as an expert in promoting economic development through colleges and universities and as an active partner in enhancing their communities.
Dr. Dobelle, in the role of President of six different institutions, has been in the forefront of efforts to promote meaningful change on campuses and in their neighborhoods through wide-ranging public/private partnerships, working particularly with the creative economy. Beyond producing significant results in each of the campus communities he has served, he has also encouraged and highlighted the efforts of other institutions through research and promotion of the “Saviors of Our Cities” lists and Metroversities.
A true champion of students, faculty and researchers, he is known to work closely with them to promote wide ranging opportunity particularly in the areas of international experience, and community activity, as well as being personally responsive to campus life issues. He is recognized as a strong advocate of enhancing educational programs and successfully finding resources to support faculty initiatives.
|Westfield State University||
Evan Dobelle was unanimously selected as the 19th President of Westfield State, the historic "Peoples College" founded in 1838 by Horace Mann, from an applicant pool of 141 candidates. His tenure has shown the college rise an entire tier in ranking in the US News and World Report, established a seamless link with the downtown that will have in place student housing, art venues and bookstores; seen the establishment of 4 new academic departments, an MSW and an on-line Business degree, Increased Alumni Giving by 60.4% in 18 months; Federal Grants by 88.68%; Increase in Dollars for Capital Projects by Donors 82.89%, the increase of full time new tenure-track faculty by 11% lowering the faculty-student ratio to 17-1, and the completion of a multi-million dollar campus renovation inclusive of making the entire institution wireless.
Prior to this, Dr. Dobelle’s distinguished career in higher education and public service includes:
|The New England Board of Higher Education||Reorganized and focused the organization on core issues of access and affordability, significantly heightening NEBHE’s visibility and increasing external funding. Dr. Dobelle also energized participation of the six states in the region for the College Ready initiative and engaged all New England Governors, SHEEOS, and K-12 Education Commissioners in a single cooperative effort to address high school graduation rates and college access.|
|University of Hawaii||Dr. Dobelle has earned a reputation for creating substantial change. At the University of Hawaii, under his leadership, the ten campuses were reorganized into a unified system, the Academy of Creative Media was established, a new Medical School was planned and built, and support for Native Hawaiian programs was increased. He was awarded the Gandhi, King, Ikeda Award by Morehouse College for “being a drum major for the social potential movement”.|
|Trinity College||While at Trinity College he was named the 1996 Business Person of the Year because of “ his vision and substantial effort” in revitalizing the “poor blighted neighborhoods that surround the elite academic institution”. The Journal credited Dr. Dobelle as being “a key figure in orchestrating a $175 million business deal” incorporating both private and public funds to create a “Learning Corridor” in a 15 square block adjacent to the campus.
In further recognition of his work, The New England Council named him New Englander of the Year in 1999. That same year, he was inducted into the Boys and Girls Clubs of America National Hall of Fame at ceremonies in San Diego.
Colin Powell’s America’s Promise Alliance named Trinity its first “College of the Year” in 1998.
|City College of San Francisco
Middlesex Community College
|As President of City College of San Francisco, he led a Referendum campaign that passed with 72% of the vote to increase the sales tax to fund K-14 education in San Francisco. While serving as President of Middlesex Community College he established a permanent campus in Lowell, while rebuilding a campus in Bedford.|
|United States Chief of Protocol||President Jimmy Carter appointed him as United States Chief of Protocol, at the level of Assistant Secretary of State, and with the rank of Ambassador. President Carter has said of Evan, “If I had a sensitive and difficult issue, I would describe it to him, and would not hear from him until it was resolved. That made him very valuable.”|
|Mayor of Pittsfield, MA
Executive Assistant / Boston
US Senator Edward Brooke
|Dr. Dobelle began his professional career in 1971 as Executive Assistant and Head of the Boston Office to then US Senator Edward Brooke of Massachusetts. In 1973 he was elected Mayor of Pittsfield, and in that role served as Chair of the School Committee. In 1976 he was named Massachusetts Commissioner of Environmental Management. Always actively involved in community activities, his period as President of the Board of Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival involved a major restructuring of the grounds and facilities.
Dr. Dobelle holds Bachelor's, Master's and Doctoral degrees in Educational Administration from the University of Massachusetts, and a Master's in Public Administration from Harvard University. He has taught classes throughout his career and held academic positions at Trinity College and the University of Hawaii. A tenured Professor of Political Science at Westfield State University, Dr. Dobelle has special expertise in the American Presidency, the History of Southeast Asia, and Mega-cities of the world.