News and Announcements

President Mary Jane England, MD, moves on from decade of achievement at Regis College

May 6, 2010

After ten years of leading transformative change at Regis College, President Mary Jane England, MD, today announced to the board of trustees her intention to leave Regis at the end of June, 2011. A nationally recognized leader in health policy and psychiatry, she will continue pursuing those longstanding interests in different forums.

A graduate of Regis College (1959), Dr. England is widely credited with pulling Regis through a potentially crippling financial deficit when she took office in 2001. Now the College is growing, 17 percent at the undergraduate level over the last decade and more than 200 percent at the graduate level. Tuition and fee revenues have more than doubled, as has financial aid. Over the past ten years, Regis’ operating budget has grown by nearly $10 million dollars, and the College has brought in more than $1 million in grants nearly every year.

Under Dr. England’s leadership, Regis for the first time admitted men as undergraduates and created two schools (the School of Liberal Arts, Education and Social Sciences and the School of Nursing, Science and Health Professions) within the college. It recently carved out a series of interdisciplinary graduate and undergraduate educational pathways to strengthen Regis’ graduate programs, including the college’s first doctoral program, a Doctorate of Nursing Practice, and to provide undergrads a core liberal arts background while preparing them for 21st century careers.

In announcing her decision to the Regis community, Dr. England said, "We’ve had some difficult and historic decisions to make, but here Regis stands, serving multicultural, diverse and intergenerational student populations, guiding them in pathways toward the professional success they seek, and creating curricular options that meet the needs of the contemporary marketplace."

"We have expanded our graduate programs, broadened our commitments to intergenerational learning and, from the National League of Nursing, won the only designation in New England as a Center of Excellence in Nursing Education. We also have created the Presidential Catholic Scholarship for achieving students from archdiocesan Catholic high schools, built new athletic fields, and updated academic technology," she added.

Ellen O’Connor, Chairman of the Regis College Board of Trustees, said, "Mary Jane England has been a visionary leader for Regis. Working closely with the Board, she has ensured that the College has a future and built up the College’s foundation in the community values of its founders, the Sisters of Saint Joseph of Boston, while providing students opportunities to become successful professionals in today’s world. Regis has benefited mightily during her decade at the helm."

Under Dr. England, Regis has grown from a tiny undergraduate Catholic liberal arts college for women into a vigorous small northern university, increasingly a presence in the competitive higher education environment of greater Boston. At the turn of the millennium, Regis struggled to maintain an undergraduate enrollment of 600. Today, it has close to 1600 undergraduate and graduate students.

Recently, the Regis faculty strengthened the core curriculum through a major reorganization, reinforcing course distribution requirements across the disciplines, broadening immersion in philosophy and ethics, intensifying writing requirements and encouraging experiential learning.

Regis’ award-winning nursing programs have affiliations with 11 greater Boston hospitals, helping hospitals enhance job retention by promoting career development. The region’s first Doctorate in Nursing Practice program helps ensure the provision of high quality and safe nursing care, while addressing the substantial shortage of nursing faculty. Regis has created nursing programs for students of all backgrounds and educational levels.

England’s leadership roles in the field of mental health services, administration, and education have been informed by her lifelong interest in women's issues and family policy. Her work in community, public health services, health care reform and mental health will continue long past her presidency of Regis College.

She has received honorary degrees from Regis College, MA College of Professional Psychology, Boston University, the University of Texas, and Emory University.

Regis College is a Catholic co-educational community that prepares undergraduate, graduate and continuing education students for engagement and service in a changing world. In the School of Liberal Arts, Education and Social Sciences and the School of Nursing, Sciences and Health Professions, approximately 1,600 students are enrolled in 20 undergraduate majors; 10 interdisciplinary pathways toward professional success; and master’s degree programs in education, communication, health administration, health product regulation, nursing, public administration, and radiology, and a doctoral program in nursing practice. U.S. News and World Report ranks Regis in the top tier of universities with master’s programs in the North. The College is listed by the National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE) among benchmarking colleges for the quality of educational experience. With a strategic graduate focus on health care, Regis College was recently named a Center of Excellence in Nursing Education by the National League of Nursing. The College also provides accredited pre-school and kindergarten programs and a Life Long Learning Program (LLARC) for retired seniors. Visit Regis on the Web at CONTACT: Marjorie Arons-Barron, (617) 969-2707,

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