MANCHESTER — Veteran telephone company executive J. Michael Hickey will take over leadership of the University of New Hampshire-Manchester on an interim basis, the university announced Wednesday.
Hickey takes over a campus whose leader, former dean Ali Rafieymehr, abruptly resigned in November. The college is the focus of a consultant's report, which is looking into financial deficits, enrollment problems and frosty relations between the faculty and administration.
For more than two decades, the university said, Hickey served leadership positions for the state's dominant telephone company.
His last in-state telephone company job was with Verizon, where he served as president of Verizon New Hampshire for seven years. After that, he moved to Washington and was the company's vice president of government affairs for national security policy.
"Mike brings extraordinary experience and community connections to that mission. He has consistently demonstrated a strong commitment to the New Hampshire business and nonprofit sectors and to the university. I am delighted he has agreed to serve in this position," MacFarlane said in prepared remarks.
In remarks distributed by the university, Hickey said the Manchester campus has a rich history in the Merrimack Valley and New Hampshire."We will continue to expand and evolve our presence to ensure that both current and aspiring students have access to a quality education and even greater opportunity for success after graduation," he said.