Academic Affairs Committee Liaison

Dr. Charles Cook recently retired after a career in accreditation and university administration spanning over 40 years. His last position, held from 2005 to 2012, was that of Senior Vice President for University Affairs at Johnson & Wales University in Providence, RI. There he functioned as an internal consultant charged with facilitating the improvement of the university. In fulfillment of this role, he assisted in strategic planning, contributed to ongoing efforts toward the fashioning of a workable organizational structure and governance system, provided advice and counsel to university leaders, and otherwise sought to identify ways to advance the university.

Previously, Dr. Cook served as the Director of the Commission on Institutions of Higher Education of the New England Association of Schools and Colleges from 1981 to 2005. As Director, Dr. Cook was responsible for providing leadership to and administering the New England accreditation process. Prior to coming to New England, he served as Assistant Director for the Commission on Institutions of Higher Education of the North Central Association, which accredits colleges and universities in 19 states.

Dr. Cook has been a member of the board of the Council on Postsecondary Accreditation and has served on the Committee on Recognition of the Commission on the Recognition of Postsecondary Accreditation, as well as numerous national committees dealing with accreditation and matters related to quality assurance. Dr. Cook is a trustee of several colleges and universities: Salem University and Post University, as well as Nightingale College, whose board he chairs. He has also been a trustee of Lesley University, the American College of Greece, Silicone Valley University, and Heald College. He has served as a member of the Higher Education and Training Awards Council (HETAC) in Ireland and the Consejo de Expertos of the Agencia de Calidad, Acreditación y Prospectiva de las Universidades de Madrid, Spain. In 2015-16, he chaired an international panel on behalf of Quality and Qualifications Ireland (QQI) examining and making recommendations relative to graduate research degree programs in Ireland. He has been a frequent speaker on issues related to institutional quality assurance and accreditation, regionally, nationally, and internationally. Dr. Cook has addressed audiences on these matters in Greece, Germany, the United Kingdom, Ireland, China, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Jordan, Yemen, Qatar, Japan, Spain, Estonia, Bulgaria, and the Netherlands.

Dr. Cook was trained as a legal historian, having received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Central Michigan University, and his Ph.D. from the University of Maryland at College Park where he also served as the Assistant Provost in the Division of Social and Behavioral Sciences. He is the author of The American Codification Movement: A Study of Antebellum Legal Reform, which is included in the Contributions in Legal Studies Series of Greenwood Press. In addition, Dr. Cook has been a consultant to the United States Department of Justice on the history of two Native American reservations, authored histories of those reservations, and served as an expert witness in Indian claims litigation. Dr. Cook was a full-time faculty member at Cuyahoga Community College in Cleveland, OH, and has been an adjunct instructor at the University of Maryland, DePaul University, and Harvard University. He is the recipient of honorary degrees from American University of Greece, Athens, Greece; Wentworth Institute of Technology, Boston, MA; and Anna Maria College, Paxton, MA, and Johnson & Wales University, Providence, RI.