Quincy Sun // Published August 23, 2018 // By: Scott Jackson

Quincy College’s new provost said the school has faculous potential and it new dean of nursing said the program is already on the road to recovery.

Gerald Koocher, who will start as the school’s provost next month, and Roxanne Mihal, the school’s dean of nursing introduced themselves to Quincy College’s Board of Governors on August 16. Mayor Thomas Koch, the school’s principal executive announced the hiring of the two in July.

At the Board of Governors meeting, Koch said the hiring of Koocher to the newly created provost position would pay dividends.

“I believe the hiring of Dr. Koocher is going to pay dividends in many, many ways,” the mayor said. “ I think just the hiring of him – with such credentials and background – brings a gravitas to this college that is much needed during this challenge. I would suggested that the challenges we have faced have been weaknesses on the academic side.”

Koocher, who officially starts his job Sept. 10, spent the day meeting with college staff and administrators. He said the school has great potential.

“ I’m looking forward to starting work in earnest the second week of September. I’m actually back early and have been meeting some of the deans today and getting to know some of the staff, ” he said.

“ There is some heavy lifting to be done, but I think we have a wonderful team and I think this institution has some fabulous potential and I look forward to working with all of you.”

Koocher has served as the dean of College of Science and Health at DePaul University in Chicago since 2013. He was previously dean of the School of Health Sciences at Boston’s Simmons College and later an assistant provost there. Koocher holds a Ph.D. in psychology and is a past president of the American Psychology Association.

The governors voted to approve the creation of the provost position, which has a $245,000 salary, in June when they passed the school’s budget for the fiscal year that started July 1. Quincy College previously had a vice president of academic affairs with a salary of $142,000. Koch said the person who most recently held that position, Mary Burke has been re-assigned to a new role where she will oversee the college’s campus in Plymouth, replacing the two administrators who previously oversaw that campus.

The provost is responsible for all curriculum related matters, which Koch said would free up the college president, once hired, to run the business side of the school.

Mihal was the head of the post-graduate practical nursing department at Blue Hills Regional Technical School in Canton before accepting the $190,000 position as the college’s dean of nursing. Mihal was the dean of Quincy College’s nursing program from 2011 to 2015 and holds a doctorate in nursing practice from Regis College in Weston.

Mihal said her staff in the department has completed the first step in receiving permission from the state Board of Registration of Nursing to restart the nursing program. BORN withdrew approval for the program earlier this year after placing the college’s nursing programs on approval with warning status in June 2017 with the school’s graduates passing the national liscensure exams at the lowest rate of all schools in the state.

“ We have some work to do and some challenges, but I think we’re going to be OK. We’ll just keep working at it, ” Mihal said. “ We did our first step – so we actually delivered on the pre-requisites for the nursing program to the board of registration. ”

“ We’re on the clock. We have to have it a year in advance of a program so it’s in there. Now what happens is they’ll have to come out and do a site visit .. once they ok that, we’re still going to start with what we have to do with curriculum development and all that. So we just have to wait for the board to come back with the site visit, but we’re in good shape as far as starting.”

“ We on on the road to recovery already, ” Mihal added.