Board of Governors Names Valerie F. Lewis Commissioner of Higher Education
Willimantic, Nov. 15 - The Board of Governors for Higher Education has named Valerie F. Lewis to serve as commissioner of higher education for the State of Connecticut.
Lewis, of Vernon, has served as Commissioner since June 1999. She has been with the 45-member Department of Higher Education since 1987, starting as an intern in the agency’s budget division before serving in a variety of capacities from special assistant to the commissioner to assistant commissioner and then deputy commissioner in 1992. The Board named her Commissioner upon the retirement of Andrew G. De Rocco.
The Board made its announcement at its regular monthly meeting at Eastern Connecticut State University. The vote was unanimous among the nine members present. Lewis was picked following a national search which began in July. The terms of the contract and effective date are to be determined.
Before joining the Department, Lewis was a special assistant in the president’s office and in the vice president for academic affairs office at the University of Connecticut while pursuing her graduate studies. From 1969 to 1984 she was director of admissions and a member of the faculty at Hartford College for Women. She began her career as an English teacher and coordinator of the General Equivalency Degree Preparation (GED) Program in East Hartford.
Lewis holds a master’s degree in student affairs administration from the University of Connecticut where she also completed coursework for her doctorate. She earned her bachelor’s in English from Mount Holyoke College.
She and her husband Thomas, an author and retired geography professor from Manchester Community College, have two grown children and two grandchildren.
The Board of Governors for Higher Education is the state’s coordinating agency for colleges and universities. With the Department of Higher Education serving as its staff, the Board of Governors reviews public college budget requests, licenses and accredits all programs and institutions of higher learning, administers the state’s student financial aid programs among other functions.
Members of the Board of Governors are: Albert B. Vertefeuille of Lebanon, Chair; Harry H. Penner, Jr., of Guilford, Vice-Chair; James H. Bates, Lakeville; William A. Bevacqua, Trumbull; Dorothea E. Brennan, Fairfield; Leonard S. Cohen, West Hartford; Lile R. Gibbons, Greenwich; Joan R. Kemler, West Hartford; Dorothy B. Leib, New London; Alice V. Meyer, Easton; and Patricia McCann Vissepó, New Haven.
Contact: Connie Fraser