Ms. Kerry Calnan, DBA

Vice President of Innovation and External Affairs

Nichols College

Dr. Calnan has over 30 years of experience in business and higher education. Kerry has served in cabinet-level positions for nearly nine years at Nichols College, a business specialty school in Massachusetts. She currently holds the position of Vice President of Innovation and External Affairs. As VP of Innovation, she oversees a Center for Intelligent Process Automation, a Business Consulting Group, Career and Professional Development Center, and the Institute for Women’s Leadership. She is the primary contact liaising with local, state, and federal constituencies on behalf of the college. Before this appointment, she was VP of Innovation and Institutional Effectiveness and Executive Director and Dean of the Graduate School. Before Nichols College, she was a tenured faculty member. She held various faculty leadership and administrative roles at Our Lady of the Elms College, a small liberal arts Catholic College in Massachusetts. She has been at the forefront, leveraging technology to deliver education to working adults. She prioritized ensuring affordable access through her work with open education resources and competency-based learning degree programs in online, hybrid, and face-to-face delivery models. She has created several partnerships with area businesses for customized degree programs and workforce skill development. Under her leadership, the Center for Intelligent Process Automation launched with a $1.4M software donation, the largest in-kind gift in the college’s history. She has provided strong leadership in strategic and academic planning, enrollment management, alumni development, and friend-raising.

Dr. Calnan is engaged in her professional community, volunteering on several boards. She chaired the International Assembly for Collegiate Business Education commission and was the recipient of the John Green Award for service and contribution. She has led business specialized accreditation site visits at more than 15 schools, including visits in France, Switzerland, and the United Arab Emirates. In addition, she serves on the Faculty Advisory Board for Maastricht School of Management in the Netherlands. She is active in CBEN (Competency-Based Education Network), she served as a Board Member for the regional chamber of commerce and a board member for Western Massachusetts Junior Achievement. She regularly is asked to present at national and international conferences on innovation in higher education, leveraging technology, and creating partnerships with the business community to close workforce skills gaps.

Before realizing that higher education was her passion, she served as a Division Controller for a multi-billion-dollar global company.

Dr. Calnan holds a BSBA in accounting from Westfield State University with a minor in women’s studies, an MBA from Western New England University in Massachusetts, and a DBA in Finance from Sacred Heart University in Connecticut. She is also a Certified Management Accountant.