Phillips elected chair of Board of Trustees

November 13, 2020
A distant shot of the front of Hammond Hall
Board of Trustees member C Deborah Phillips
C. Deborah Phillips

Attorney C. Deborah Phillips has been elected chair of the Fitchburg State University Board of Trustees.

Phillips was selected for the leadership role by the Board of Trustees at its meeting this month. Also selected as officers were Lynn Tesconi Barrieau as vice chair and David C. Tiernan as clerk.

“Deb Phillips has been an engaged and valued member of the Board of Trustees since 2015, and hers will be an important voice as the university continues its evolution, including the implementation of our 2020-25 strategic plan and our upcoming accreditation by the New England Commission of Higher Education,” University President Richard S. Lapidus said.

Phillips succeeds Donald R. Irving as chair of the board. Irving, a double Fitchburg State alumnus, will complete his second term on the board in 2021.

“I want to thank Don Irving for his friendship, support, and counsel during his chairmanship,” Lapidus continued. “Don’s stewardship included major investments in campus infrastructure, growth in our online programs, and an ongoing commitment to serving all students. He embodies this university’s highest ideals.”

“It has been an honor to serve on the Board of Trustees over the past 10 years,” Irving said. “I have worked closely with all of the new officers for years and feel very confident the university will have strong leadership under them.”

Phillips is a founding partner of Nickless, Phillips and O’Connor, attorneys at law, in Fitchburg. A former member of the Board of Directors of the Fitchburg State University Foundation Inc., Phillips is a longtime supporter of the university. She is also a director at Fidelity Bank.

Board Vice Chair Barrieau is the assistant director of the Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) Project in Worcester. She received a graduate degree in counseling from Fitchburg State in 1991 and has been an adjunct faculty member at Mount Wachusett Community College since 2000. She was appointed to the University's Board of Trustees in September 2017.

Board Clerk Tiernan is Senior Vice President, National Practice Leader at TRC Solutions in Lowell. A 1983 alumnus of Fitchburg State, he was appointed to the Board of Trustees in October 2017.

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