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Dr. William Toms Leaves A Lasting Mark On Brookdale

April 24, 2012 by admin

By Joe Walpole

     “A new face in the crowd” is how Dr. William Toms described himself
about being welcomed as Brookdale’s interim president a year ago.
     It is safe to say that Toms didn’t join the Brookdale community under the easiest circumstances. Toms is the successor of former BCC President Peter F. Burnham who retired in 2011 after an investigation
revealed extravagant perks within his contract and spending irregularities in his office.
     Toms is no stranger to the world of higher education, having earned his doctorate in human resource development from The George Washington University along with his master’s in educational administration and supervision from Seton Hall University.
     Toms is also recognized for his work in the community as a former member of the New Jersey State Police, and a member of the Criminal Justice Advisory Board here at Brookdale.
     “I want to be remembered as a person who helped ensure Brookdale’s excellence continues and that its legacy is known by all,” said Toms regarding his time as Brookdale’s interim president.
     Toms set out to leave his mark on the community and wanted to make sure Brookdale was known for all of its pros, and not its cons. There are so many things that make Brookdale the unique and special college that it is today. Every single member of the community offers something different and continues to make Brookdale such a successful school.
     Toms is well aware of what makes Brookdale so special, as well as opportunities that lie ahead that are so encouraging and motivating.
     Although Toms was eager to start his journey as president, there were some concerns surrounding taking the job. Toms only concern was that Brookdale wasn’t able to tell its story as a whole, and that the media was only focusing on individuals.
     “Brookdale had so much to offer but was maligned in the press and popular thought,” Toms said.
     Despite the turmoil surrounding the school, Toms accepted the job and started working on rebuilding Brookdale’s good name.
     Toms faced many challenges during his presidency, but the amount of time he had to accomplish everything he wanted was what caused him the most trouble.
     During his time as president, Toms did everything he could to restore pride back to the BCC community and ensure the growth of Brookdale continues. Toms and his administration recently passed a 2.53 percent tuition decrease that becomes effective on the final day of his presidency.
     Toms advice for new President Dr. Maureen Murphy is to “Jump in with
both feet and ask a lot of in-detail questions.”
     Toms also noted that it is important to be surrounded by a trusted staff that also has the school’s best interest in mind. Murphy will
officially be introduced as the college president on July 1, and a new chapter will begin in Brookdale Community College history. 

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