Berklee Today

Lead Sheet:

Who Are We?

Associate Vice President for Institutional Assessment

Berklee is embarking on a period of reflective self-study in preparation for a major evaluative recertification visit from the New England

Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC), our principal accreditation agency. These visits occur every 10 years and are essential to our continued accreditation in good standing as an institution of higher learning.

Although it is not required as a part of self-study, Berklee has determined that a thorough review of its statement of mission and purposes by the entire college community is essential to the process. We are, after all, a career institution in a contemporary professional environment. We change and make changes, and so it is only fitting that we review our role and function in society periodically.

What are the elements of a good mission statement? The NEASC standards for accreditation specify that the mission of an institution should define its distinctive character, address the needs of society, identify the students it seeks to serve, and reflect both the institution's traditions and its vision for the future. The institution's purposes should be concrete and realistic and define its educational and other dimensions, including scholarship, research, and public service. The mission and purposes of an institution must be widely accepted and widely understood by its trustees, faculty, and administration. They provide direction to the curriculum and other activities.

Berklee invites alumni to help review its mission. As part of a 10-year planning cycle, the college is spending a year and a half reviewing the statement. This review will culminate in a new trustee-approved statement of mission and purpose midway through 2002. The college's current core mission statement is "to provide excellence in academic and professional career preparation for the challenges facing today's musician." This statement, last refined in 1992, with its seven subheadings and statement of philosophy, is posted on the mission review web site at

While this process is not expected to result in a radically different mission statement, there is benefit in a reflective review of the full statement of mission and philosophy in light of subtle changes in the institution's development and maturation over the past 10 years. Visit the mission review web site to learn details about the process, offer your suggestions, and respond to those of others. You are also invited to participate in any of the several opinion-gathering colloquia or "town meetings" that will take place at the college and at some alumni meetings during 2001. We hope you will take advantage of this opportunity and participate in this review of our core culture and purpose.


New Board of Trustees Leaders Named

Board of Trustees Chair Allan T. McLean
Board of Trustees Vice Chair Vivian C. Beard

On April 30, President Lee Eliot Berk announced the election of Allan T. McLean as Berklee's fourth chair of the board of trustees and Vivian Beard as the board's new vice chair.

McLean succeeds William M. Davis, chair since 1992, who is retiring from the body after 22 years of service. Under Davis's stewardship of the board, Berklee enjoyed remarkable growth in size, capability, and stature within the global music industry. "Will Davis has made inestimable contributions to the success and life of the college," said Berk. "It is difficult to imagine the vibrant Berklee we see today without the tireless efforts of Will and his wife Jessica. We are deeply in their debt."

Newly elected Chair Allan McLean became acquainted with Berklee in the early 1970s and was asked to join the board of trustees in 1977. Since 1992 he has served as the board's vice chair, board liaison to the college's Strategic Planning Steering Committee, and in various other roles.

"For nearly a quarter of a century, Allan has shown his commitment to Berklee, most recently as cochair of the Encore Gala to raise funds for City Music scholarships, and as chair of the trustee Annual Fund solicitation," said Berk.

"I am truly honored to follow Will Davis as chair," stated McLean, "and I'm excited to serve the college and the board in this new capacity. My association with the college has afforded me opportunities to affect, in small ways, the lives of our students. Berklee is a remarkable institution, unique in all the world. I look forward to the challenges set forth in the college's strategic plan, and all that they will mean in increased capability for our students, faculty, and alumni."

A resident of South Natick, McLean is vice president of William J. Lynch and Associates, a company associated with Fleet Boston Financial. He is chair of Metrowest Health Inc., and a trustee of both Metrowest Emergency Physicians, Inc., and the Mary Ann Morse Healthcare Corp.

New Vice Chair Vivian C. Beard was elected unanimously to the vice chair position by her fellow trustees. She has been a member of the board since 1998.

Over the past three years, Beard has been an active and supportive member of the board. She was a moving force behind the establishment of the Sarah Vaughan Endowed Scholarship Fund, Berklee's first scholarship to be awarded specifically to an outstanding African-American musician on an annual basis.

"I am personally committed to doing everything possible to help the musically talented and underrepresented become Berklee graduates," said Beard. "This is a fascinating time in the life of the college, and I am very excited to be a part of Berklee's leadership team."

Beard, a resident of Lexington, is director of equal opportunity for the Massachusetts Housing Finance Agency. She is also a member of the Massachusetts Governor's Advisory Committee on Women's Issues and the Governor's Diversity Initiative and serves on the boards of a number of civic and cultural organizations.

Also a gifted jazz and r&b vocalist, Beard has released a CD titled Our Day Will Come, and performs at special events and area jazz clubs.

"In addition to a background that is rich in public service experience," said Berk, "Vivian has contributed her other identity as a jazz singer to raise funds to benefit the created Sarah Vaughan Scholarship Fund. She is a shining example of trustee commitment to the well-being of Berklee students."