Vice President for Finance & CFO, Saint Anselm College (Manchester, NH)
Originally from Ouanaminthe, Haiti, Harry Dumay’s passion for international higher education led him to pursue a doctoral degree from the Lynch School.
"I'm very much interested in higher education as a tool for people to get out of poverty," Dumay says. "This fits well with the social justice mission of the Lynch School, where I was prepared not only for my career but to also give back to my home country."
Dumay had been working in higher education and finance for seven years when he reached a crossroads—pursue a path in business or commit to higher education. When he chose the latter, it was because of the faculty at the Lynch School.
“I heard that Phil Altbach was the guru in international higher education,” he says. “The opportunity to work with Dr. Altbach was a great influence for me choosing Boston College.”
Dumay, who was working full-time and had a family at home, completed his degree in four years. “Being able to take evening courses worked out well for me. I took two courses every semester and in the summer—the night classes made that possible.”
The availability of the professors also allowed Dumay to work around his busy schedule. “I was a full-time employee working on my dissertation and Professor Altbach’s flexibility and responsiveness was unbelievable. I would send him my drafts and within days he would send me detailed comments and notes,” he says.
It was also Dr. Altbach who provided Dumay with an opportunity to give back to his home country. “I started working in Haitian higher education through a connection Professor Altbach had,” he says. “He recommended me as an external reviewer on a grant at an area college, which allowed me to begin my involvement.” Dumay built on this connection and continues working for the people of Haiti by serving as a faculty member for the Institute of Science, Technology, and Advanced Studies of Haiti.
As the vice president for finance and CFO at Saint Anselm College, Dumay says his degree from the Lynch School has given him a holistic view of his role on campus. “I’m conversant in the activities on campus, which enhances my credibility and provides an additional level of goodwill for my position.”
Dumay credits his well-rounded view of education to courses he took at the Lynch School, including Philosophy of Education, taught by Professor Ana M. Martínez Alemán. “You really got to talk about what education—especially higher education—is all about,” he says. “The course went into all aspects of it from a race perspective to liberal arts versus vocational education and everything in between.”
Having a Ph.D. in higher education provided Dumay with the understanding that being a CFO at a college is more than budgets and numbers—it’s balancing the objectives of the institution and marshaling resources to reach its goals.
“Universities come in different sizes and have different missions—my program gave me an understanding of all of the facets of colleges and universities.”