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Our Team

Barbara Brittingham

Senior Consultant


Barbara Brittingham is President Emerita of the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE), which accredits over 200 colleges and universities in the six New England States and eleven American-style institutions abroad. Previously she served as a member and chair of the Commission.  Earlier she was Dean of the College of Human Science and Services at the University of Rhode Island where she was also Professor of Education and Interim Dean of University Libraries.

Currently, she serves on the Board of the National Student Clearinghouse, and as an advisor to the Transformational Partnerships Fund and to Engage-AI. She served as a co-leader on the Lumina-funded project to develop a framework for cooperation between accreditors and public systems of higher education.  She has appeared before legislative committees in Connecticut and New Hampshire and has testified on distance education and competency-based education before the U.S. Senate HELP Committee and on accreditation before the U.S. House of Representatives Subcommittee on Higher Education and Workforce Training.

Internationally, she served as a Fulbright Senior Specialist in Vietnam and Morocco; she worked in Turkey on a World Bank project and in the United Arab Emirates as founding dean of the College of Education at Zayed University.  She is on the board of Quality and Qualifications Ireland and served on the Quality Board in Iceland. She has worked with ministries and universities in over twenty-five countries, sponsored by the Fulbright Commission, the U.S. State Department, the World Bank, and local governments and universities.

Education & Training

Barbara has three degrees from Iowa State University: B.S. in English and History, M.S. in Education, and Ph.D. in Educational Research and Evaluation.

Outside Interests

Barbara’s outside interests include reading, volunteering, and spending time with friends and family.  Travel too, as circumstances permit.

Why I Work With NCHEMS

My work with NCHEMS validates what I had observed over many years: NCHEMS is a helpful partner to institutions, public systems, and organizations, focused on the success of higher education for students, states, and the higher education ecosystem. Its work is important, thoughtful, timely, and publicly available.