John Bassett, Ph.D., is a scholar, author, professor of American literature and the second president at Heritage University. He took office in July 2010 after serving as president of Clark University in Worcester, Massachusetts for ten years. Clark is a private, liberal arts university founded in 1887 that serves a combined undergraduate and graduate student body of about 3,000.
During his tenure at Clark, Dr. Bassett made significant improvements to academic quality, campus infrastructure, fundraising and strategic planning, including upgrades in information technology and alumni programs, recruiting 83 new faculty members, surpassing a $100 million capital campaign goal by $6 million, building a new science facility and renovating several other key buildings on campus. He oversaw Clark’s partnership with the innovative University Park Campus School (UPCS), a small urban public school (grades 7 through 12), nationally recognized as one of the 100 best public high schools in the country. Over 99 percent of UPCS graduates have passed Massachusetts’ rigorous graduation exam and over 95 percent go on to attend college, nearly all of them as first-generation college students.
Dr. Bassett is a nationally recognized leader in higher education who serves on multiple boards and committees. He is Chairman of the Board of NAICU (National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities) and is on the boards of CHEA (Council for Higher Education Accreditation), overseeing accreditation practices in higher education, and Phi Beta Kappa Fellows. He served three years on the Commission on Advancement of Racial and Ethnic Equity for ACE (American Council on Education).
Prior to his career at Clark, Dr. Bassett was the dean of the College of Arts and Sciences and professor of English at Case Western Reserve in Cleveland from 1993 to 2000. He holds a doctoral degree in English from the University of Rochester and completed his master’s and bachelor’s degrees at Ohio Wesleyan University. Dr. Bassett has published 11 books and more than 30 professional articles.
He lives in Yakima with his wife, Kay.