Other Work

University President:


Chancellor Penney with honorary degree recipients in 1990

Dr. Penney previously served as the Chancellor of UMass Boston, 1988-2000.  She also served as interim president of the University of Massachusetts system in 1995 and interim president of SUNY Plattsburgh 1986-1987.  She brought her experience of over 13 years as a CEO to her position in an endowed professorship of leadership. As Chancellor, she presided over the first ever capital campaign for the campus and saw the endowment increase seven fold.  She also worked with her team to help  the campus achieve Carnegie classification doctoral status.  In addition, the campus celebrated its first two Fulbright scholars  and also the doubling of the honors program.

Prior executive experience includes serving from 1982-88 as the first female vice chancellor in the SUNY system office (64 campuses and 400,000 students) as Vice Chancellor for Academic Programs, Policy and Planning. She was Associate Provost at Yale University 1976-82. She has taught at Union College, Yale University, SUNY Albany, and the University of Massachusetts Boston.

Center for Collaborative Leadership and Emerging Leaders Program:


Penney with members of Emerging Leaders cohort 2012

Emerging Leaders Program  was founded by Penney in 2001 to identify and develop young professionals for leadership positions. Over 500 young professionals have attended and completed the ten-month program. Some two thirds are from the corporate sector with others for the governmental and nonprofit areas. In 2007, the ELP won an international leadership award in Brussels from the European Foundation for Management Development.



Penney with other speakers from “Women On Boards 2020 ” breakfast Nov 29, 2012 Penney is a member of the Board of Leaders of Women on Boards 2020

Penney  has wide experience in governance in both the corporate and nonprofit sectors. She served on the NSTAR board for twenty years, from 1990-2010, and currently chairs the board of TERI (The Education Resource Institute).  She also is on the Board of Directors of South Shore Hospital and recently served on the  boards of the International Leadership Association and HERS (Higher Education Resource Services.) She has chaired two boards and been a member of over fifteen others.