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BCC's Director of Nursing Resigns
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
04:00PM / Friday, September 07, 2018
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PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Director of Nursing Tochi Urbani has resigned from Berkshire Community College.
 
Dean of Enrollment Management Christina Wynn confirmed on Friday that Urbani submitted his resignation letter on Sept. 4 and will be leaving the college on Oct. 3. The resignation comes in the midst of college officials working to elevate the program's accreditation from a recently issued "approval with warning" status.
 
"At this point, we are placing a high priority on finding an interim director of nursing," Wynn said. 
 
Wynn said the change will have no impact on the students who have just returned for the semester nor does she expect that the college would miss the Sept. 30 deadline to address issues outlined by the Massachusetts Board of Registration in Nursing to resolve its status. 
 
"We will be submitting everything we need to before Sept. 30," Wynn said, adding that the Massachusetts Board of Registration in Nursing has already scheduled a visit to the college in late October to review the status.
 
The resignation of Urbani does throw a twist to the progress as he was one of four directly overseeing the effort. Urbani, Vice President of Academic Affairs Jennifer Berne, interim Dean of Nursing, Health and Social Science Chris Aylesworth, and college President Ellen Kennedy have been working their way through a list of items to be addressed for accreditation.
 
Wynn expects that work to continue.
 
"We have every confidence that we will be in compliance," Wynn said. "We've been very dedicated to it and our faculty has been very helpful."
 
The program is accredited through the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing and approved by the Massachusetts Board of Registration in Nursing. It is one of the college's gems for decades and has been one of the most popular and most successful programs there. 
 
But, a recent dip in the passage rates for graduates taking the National Council Licensure Examination exam for the first time triggered a visit from the accrediting agencies. In 2017, just 74 percent of the program's graduates passed the exam on their first try. 
 
The college was given a lengthy list of items to correct and while at first appearance the list seems daunting, the actual items cited are mostly characterized as "housekeeping" items by college officials. Such changes required revamping the program's policies and handbook. The citation included issues with record keeping and contractual language.
 
In July, Kennedy emphasized that none of the items cited had any impact on the student experience and was all administrative. College officials created a blueprint to come back into compliance and has been addressing each issue during the last six weeks or so.
 
The issue arose under Ubani's leadership of the program and he will stay on past the Sept. 30 deadline. Wynn said she is not privy as to why Ubani is resigning but when asked, she said it is unlikely he was asked to resign. 
 
Wynn said the focus now will be to find an interim director and complete the work on the accreditation. She does not have a timeline for when the college plans to hire Ubani's replacement.
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