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White Plains' Smith Named President At Berkeley College

Michael J. Smith will be the new president of Berkeley College, effective July 1.
Michael J. Smith will be the new president of Berkeley College, effective July 1. Photo Credit: Contributed

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. -- The board of trustees of Berkeley College has named Michael J. Smith, a White Plains resident and member of the Westchester County Board of Legislators, as president, effective July 1.

Smith will succeed Dario A. Cortes, Ph.D., who announced his retirement earlier this year and has served as president since July 2008.

Smith currently serves as senior vice president, finance, and chief financial officer of BES Inc., the corporate office of Berkeley College.

Smith is serving his second term as a Westchester County legislator. He is the chairman of the Economic Development and Capital Projects Committee. As a county legislator, Smith represents about 60,000 constituents.

“We are both pleased and excited to promote from within,” said Kevin Luing, chairman of the board of trustees. “Michael Smith’s institutional knowledge and proven leadership ability, along with his concern for student success, will drive Berkeley College to new heights.”

Smith also commented on his appointment.

“My plan is to build upon the tradition of Berkeley College, where students come first,” said Smith. “Emphasizing personalized attention to each and every student will increase successful student outcomes in the form of higher graduation rates, and that can drive graduates toward more meaningful professional careers.”

During his tenure at Berkeley, Smith transformed the technology infrastructure for human resources at the college and emphasized a centralized approach toward organizational management and services. He conceptualized systems and processes to implement sophisticated planning and budgeting, forecasting, balance sheet and working capital management, capital budgeting and external reporting.

Under Smith’s leadership Berkeley College has garnered numerous best workplace and best employer awards. Smith has also served as treasurer of the Berkeley College board of trustees and as the college's chief operating officer.

He was also a member of evaluation teams for the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, a regional accrediting organization covering the Mid-Atlantic region.

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