QUINCY — With Mayor Thomas Koch now in charge, Quincy College is dropping its appeal of the state’s decision to end its nursing programs.
The mayor made that move less than a week into his temporary tenure in charge of the college, his office said on Monday. The mayor’s administration is slated to present additional information about the future of the college and its nursing programs this evening at a public meeting with the college’s board of governors.
Koch took over control of the college, which operates as a city department, in a meeting last Tuesday that saw the announcement of college President Peter Tsaffaras’ resignation as well as the mid-meeting resignation of the chair of its board of governors, Thomas Feenan. The meeting had been held a week after the college’s nursing program lost the approval of the state’s Massachusetts Board of Registration in Nursing, meaning future graduates would not be eligible for a national licensure test.
Koch was appointed to serve as the school’s principal executive for as long as six months while Quincy College seeks to rebuild its troubled nursing programs, manage internal conflicts and find a new president.
At the start of last Tuesday’s meeting, Tsaffaras announced he had reached an agreement to resign his position. Then, board chair Thomas Feenan resigned about an hour later in the middle of the meeting. Feenan said he was leaving after board members, including some who had been trying to push Tsaffaras out for a few weeks, decided to place Tsaffaras on leave until his June 1 departure.
The Massachusetts Board of Registration in Nursing voted unanimously two weeks ago to withdraw its approval of the college’s nursing programs, citing continued low test scores and little evidence of improvement. Without state approval, a nursing program’s graduates cannot take the national licensure test, which effectively ends the program.
Last June, the college’s practical-nursing and registered-nursing programs were given the status of “approval with warning” from the Board of Registration in Nursing after fewer and fewer graduates were passing the test. In 2017, the passage rate of Quincy College nursing graduates was the lowest in the state.
State officials say Quincy College can apply again at any time for approval of its nursing programs. The process takes at least a year. Quincy College is the third program terminated by the board in the past 10 years. The other two, at Medical Professional Institute in Malden and Atlantic Union College in Lancaster, are still unapproved.
Quincy College is owned by the city, an unusual arrangement for community colleges. The city budget does not fund the college, but the school technically is a city department and its workers are city employees.
Reach Sean Cotter at [email protected]