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RCC president steps down under fire

Howard Manly

Despite widespread support among faculty and staff, Roxbury Community College President Terrence Gomes submitted his resignation, effective June 30, during Monday night’s board of trustees meeting.

“After days of deliberation and careful consideration,” Gomes wrote in a letter addressed to the “College Community,” “I have decided that it is in the best interest of Roxbury Community College, my professional career and my family to retire.”

In his letter, Gomes did not comment on a reported federal investigation into RCC officials failing to report crimes occurring on and near its campus. Nor did he refer to reports of a wide-ranging audit by the U.S. Department of Education. Nor did he address recent stories attacking his leadership.

Instead, Gomes referred to his nine-year tenure as  “one of the most productive” in school history.

“Through your efforts the College has achieved well-deserved recognition as an elite Community College,” Gomes wrote. “Our financial situation is outstanding and has improved every year since my presidency.”

More importantly, Gomes wrote, RCC received a $20.7 million bond to a build a Life Sciences Center on campus.

No replacement has been named as yet. An interim president will be named by the state’s Board of Higher Education, in collaboration with the RCC board, officials said.

Details of his severance package were not immediately available Monday. He made $196,749 a year as the college’s president.

Gomes has worked in higher education for more than four decades. He was a dean at Roxbury Community College in the 1970s before assuming a similar post at Massasoit Community College. He returned to the Roxbury campus in 2002 as vice president for academic affairs before assuming his current post in 2003.

“My retirement comes at a time when the College is well positioned to move forward in its quest for greatness,” Gomes said. “There is still so much that needs to be accomplished. My sincere hope is that those accomplishments will be realized in the next few years. It is what our students and this community deserve.”

Material from published reports contributed to this article.