Vaden-Goad to remain at FSU, not selected to be WSU’s next president

Linda Vaden-Goad, provost and vice president of academic affairs, will remain in her position at FSU. (Photo by Darian O'Donnell)

Linda Vaden-Goad, FSU’s provost and vice president of academic affairs, was not selected by Westfield State University’s Board of Trustees for the position of president during a special meeting held on Wednesday.

Dr. Ramon Torrecilha, a sociology professor and former provost and vice president of academic affairs at California State University, Dominguez Hills, was unanimously selected by WSU’s Board of Trustees.

Torrecilha, if his appointment is approved by the Massachusetts Board of Higher Education, would become WSU’s 20th president.

Vaden-Goad, who has served in her position at FSU for five years, was announced as one of three finalists on Sept. 29, 2015.

On Monday, Oct. 5, Vaden-Goad attended a public forum event at WSU where she was able to “meet with the campus community and key stakeholders,” according to the University’s Facebook.

In an email to The Gatepost, Vaden-Goad said, “I feel very honored and grateful to have been able to come to know the community at Westfield State. It was quite a positive process!  Preparing for the days of interviews also provided a special opportunity for me to review my life in higher education more than I might have done otherwise.  I have loved it all and feel very lucky to have the life I do.  I am so proud of all we have accomplished together at FSU and I look forward to some exciting years to come!”

A statement issued by Dan Magazu, director of communications, on behalf of the University to The Gatepost said, “Dr. Vaden-Goad has been an outstanding leader and passionate advocate for Framingham State’s students and faculty during her more than five years at the University. While we have no doubt she would have done an excellent job as president of Westfield State University, we are excited that she will be remaining at FSU for the foreseeable future.”

President F. Javier Cevallos said in an email to The Gatepost, “Although I am sure it is disappointing for Dr. Vaden-Goad, I am glad she is staying at Framingham. She is an outstanding academic leader and I look forward to continuing to work with her and her team to make this a great place for all our students.”

The selection of Torrecilha brought to an end an almost year-long presidential search at WSU.

WSU’s Public Affairs Writing Assistant Laura Phelon said in an email that the presidential search was “officially launched in January 2015 and on Feb. 5, 2015, the Board of Trustees ratified Diversified Search, a search firm based out in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania to help manage the search process.”

Elizabeth H. Preston was named WSU’s interim president on Nov. 25, 2013, by the University’s Board of Trustees.

Preston, WSU’s vice president of student affairs at the time, replaced former president Evan S. Dobelle, who was embroiled in controversy involving questionable spending of WSU’s funds.