July 01, 2011

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Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) President and CEO Dennis D. Berkey has accepted an invitation to join the Council on Competitiveness, a nonprofit, nonpartisan policy organization of chief executives, university presidents, and national labor leaders.

Founded in 1986, the Council on Competitiveness is setting an agenda to drive U.S. productivity and leadership in world markets and to raise the standard of living for all Americans. The Council’s flagship initiative, the U.S. Manufacturing Competitiveness Initiative, seeks to create comprehensive solutions that will result in more American jobs, economic growth, and national security. The Council comprises key leaders from business, labor and academia to create and advance policy recommendations that further U.S. competitiveness and enhances prosperity in a globalized economy.

During its national summit at the end of the year, the Council will finalize recommendations from its steering committee for an agenda to enhance U.S. competitiveness, hasten a national recovery and set the nation on a path toward long-term revitalization. President Berkey will attend the Dec. 7-8 U.S. Manufacturing Competitiveness Summit and the Council’s 25th anniversary celebration dinner in Washington, D.C.

"I am honored to have been asked to join the Council on Competitiveness, and I look forward to working with this organization and doing my part to help stimulate the national economy," said President Berkey. "WPI offers the type of education that can and will help revitalize American competitiveness, and I look forward to the opportunity to work with similarly motivated leaders to help spur our nation’s economic recovery and development. WPI has a rich history of alumni who have created companies and jobs based upon their inventions or innovations. That tradition is alive and well, and we are actively developing technologically sophisticated business leaders who will be well prepared to create new ventures, jobs, and value for society." 

Last summer, President Berkey elevated WPI's Department of Management to the status of a business school. Building on WPI's historic strengths in engineering, science, and technology, the School of Business helps students develop their entrepreneurship, innovation, and creative problem-solving skills. WPI's distinctive academic program blends theoretical learning with application to practice. In both undergraduate and graduate business programs, students work in small teams to solve a problem facing an existing business. WPI’s MBA program was recently recognized by BusinessWeek as the best part-time MBA program in the nation, and by Enterpreneur.com as a top 10 program with an emphasis on entrepreneurship. President Berkey is also responsible for revitalizing WPI’s Corporate and Professional Education division, which has taken a leading role in workforce development in the Northeast by working with industry and government to provide critical workforce education and training.

Berkey was appointed WPI's 15th president in 2004, following more than 30 years of service in a variety of higher education positions. He is an award-winning teacher and the author of several mathematics textbooks. His published research is in applied mathematics. Last year, Berkey was appointed to Gov. Deval L. Patrick's Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) Advisory Council, which brings together members of Massachusetts' public and private sector involved with STEM career and education planning to boost student interest in, and preparation for, employment in the STEM fields. In 2008, Berkey was appointed by the Association of Independent Colleges and Universities in Massachusetts to serve as chair of its executive committee of college and university presidents. He was also appointed to serve on the steering commission of the Leaders For Education coalition in 2008, an appointment that allows him to work with business, civic, and higher education leaders to provide support for changes in public education and to put education reform back in a primary position on Beacon Hill. He also serves on numerous boards, including those of UMass Memorial Health Care Inc., the Massachusetts Biomedical Initiative, the Massachusetts Mathematics and Science Initiative, and Worcester's Research Bureau. Berkey is a member of the Massachusetts High Technology Council and previously served as a trustee of Muskingum College, the Dibner Institute for Science and Technology, and the Huntington Theatre.