Dennis D. Berkey
Fifteenth President of Worcester Polytechnic Institute
Dennis Berkey was appointed President and CEO of Worcester Polytechnic Institute in 2004 following thirty years of service in higher education as a tenured faculty member and senior administrator at Boston University. He is an award winning teacher and the author of several mathematics textbooks. His published research is in applied mathematics, and his administrative posts have included department chair, dean of arts and sciences, and university provost. His academic degrees are all in mathematics (B.A., Muskingum College, 1969; M.A., Miami University, 1971; Ph.D., U. Cincinnati, 1974).
Berkey serves on numerous boards including the U. Mass./Memorial Health Care, Inc., the Massachusetts Biomedical Initiative, the (Worcester) Research Bureau, the Massachusetts Mathematics and Science Initiative, and Leaders for Education. He is a member of the Massachusetts High Technology Council and has previously served as a trustee of Muskingum College, the Dibner Institute for Science and Technology, and the Huntington Theatre.
At WPI Berkey has emphasized financial stability (moving the Institute from operating deficits to substantial surpluses), investment in new faculty and academic programs (especially bioengineering and life sciences, robotics engineering, and interactive media in games and in education), improvements to the physical plant (especially in research facilities in bioengineering and life sciences), expanded programming in corporate education and labor force development, global education (with half of WPI undergraduates now doing project-based work abroad), civic engagement, and economic development. In 2009, despite the challenging economic conditions, WPI enrolled a record high number of entering students (including record numbers of women, minorities, international students, and class valedictorians), hired a record number (20) of new faculty, and completed its fiscal year with a record high operating surplus (6%).
Berkey enjoys active service to the City of Worcester and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. He was called upon recently to lead the (successful) search for the Superintendent of the Worcester Public Schools, to serve on the Governor’s new task force on science, technology, engineering, and mathematics education in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, and to testify before the Massachusetts legislature in support of proposed reform legislation concerning public education. Nationally, he is currently leading the site visiting team for the reaccreditation of Harvey Mudd College, a premier engineering college in the Claremont, CA, cluster.
Previously a resident of Weston, MA, Berkey currently resides in WPI’s president’s house in Worcester, MA, and maintains a second home in Cotuit, MA. He is married to Dr. Catherine Berkey, D. Sc., a biostatistician at Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Women’s Hospital. They have three grown children.