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Leader in Academia, Government, Private Sector to Head Non-traditional College Serving Under-represented Boston-area Students


The Board of Trustees of the Urban College of Boston has appointed Michael Taylor, former official in the Massachusetts Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development and past President of the Benjamin Franklin Institute of Technology, as President of Urban College of Boston (UCB.)

UCB is a unique, non-traditional college broadly recognized for its success in providing educational and professional opportunities for diverse and under-represented individuals in our community.

“Michael Taylor understands how to help prepare under- represented populations for career success, while responding to the needs of employers,” says Gary Gottlieb, MD, MBA, President and CEO of Partners HealthCare and chair of the Boston Private Industry Council. “In Boston’s health care industry and other fields, the opportunities are available. We are so fortunate to have someone with Michael’s combination of passion and partnership expertise to help bring them forward.”

Taylor has a decades-long history of leadership in workforce development and education. Appointed Director of the Office of Business Services within the state’s Office of Labor and Workforce Development, he oversaw the services for the 190,000 employers in the Commonwealth.  In that position, he served as co-leader in the development of a $20 million Community College/Workforce System Grant from the U.S. Department of Labor.

Prior to the position at OBS, Michael was appointed by Governor Deval Patrick to lead the Department of Workforce Development (DWD).  At DWD, Taylor led a staff of 1,200 to execute an aggressive reaction   to mitigate the global fiscal crisis impact on the workforce system. In response, Taylor and his staff developed strategic initiatives, in partnership with state’s workforce system, to maximize the delivery of critical career services and unemployment benefits to support the Commonwealth’s impacted residents.

Strong leader at Benjamin Franklin Institute of Technology

Before his tenure with the Commonwealth, Taylor led the turnaround of the Benjamin Franklin Institute of Technology (BFIT).  Under Taylor’s Presidency, BFIT’s student enrollment increased by 68 percent and the graduation rate rose by 30 percent.  Taylor developed strategic partnerships at BFIT that broadened and deepened financial support from government, business and foundations. Taylor established the Early Access to College program that served students from16 Boston Public (BPS) high schools in what became the largest dual enrollment program in the Commonwealth. 

“Urban College is very fortunate to have Michael Taylor’s leadership, Michael is just the right person to move us forward with program development and fundraising initiatives that will enable the College to continue its unique and vital role providing non- traditional students with access to higher education,” said Peter L. Ebb, Esq., Chair, Urban College Board of Trustees and a partner, at the law firm of Ropes & Gray. “Michael has a track record of transforming institutions to meet social and labor market needs. He brings to the job experience, understanding, energy and a true passion for our mission that will be critical to our future success and to the success of the students we serve.”

Chau- ming Lee, Executive Director of the Asian American Civic Association, said “Michael Taylor is a leader skilled in building bridges among diverse communities. Given the key role of the Urban College in serving English Languages learners, I look forward to working with him to extend the dream of a college education to an even wider range of people we serve.”

Taylor has also held executive positions in the public, private and non - profit sectors for over 30 years. He was a Senior Vice-President with ACS, an international technology corporation. Under Taylor’s leadership of the Boston Private Industry Council (PIC), the PIC established the second Boston Compact and Pro-Tech, two internationally recognized efforts to create and sustain partnerships with industry and higher education for the benefit of Boston Public School Students.  Pro-Tech became the model for a $250 million dollar national school to work transition initiative established by the Clinton administration. 

Early in his career, Taylor was recognized for his leadership in the development of programs for adults seeking their high school equivalency.  He successfully persuaded the leaders of the Massachusetts State Senate to create the first state funding for adult basic education in the Commonwealth’s history.  He began his professional career with ABCD Boston, as a community organizer in the D Street Public Housing Development.

Taylor earned his Bachelor of Science in Psychology from Boston State College and a Master of Education from Harvard University.  He taught an undergraduate course in sociology at Boston College for five years, titled The Social Impacts of a Global Economy.  His service to the community has included several board memberships such as the Boston Redevelopment Authority, The Boston Children’s Museum and the New England College of Optometry.  He lives in Jamaica Plain with his wife Janet and daughter Sara Ping.

Taylor said he feels privileged to have this opportunity to provide leadership for Urban College. “I am honored to serve as Urban College’s next President,” he said. “I look forward to engaging Boston’s business, community, academic and government leaders in the vital mission of the College.”

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