President of the University of Massachusetts, 1995-1996
Dr. Penney is currently the “Sherry H. Penney Professor of Leadership” in the College of Management at the University of Massachusetts Boston. She also is the founding director of the Center for Collaborative Leadership there.
Dr. Penney previously served as the chancellor of UMass Boston, 1988-2000. Previously, she was the vice chancellor for academic programs, policy and planning for the SUNY system and prior to that appointment she was associate provost at Yale University.
She has published several articles in professional journals and is the author of “Patrician in Politics: Daniel Dewey Barnard of New York” which deals with New York politics in the 19th Century. She also is co-author with James D. Livingston of a biography of the l9th century feminist and abolitionist Martha Coffin Wright entitled, “A Very Dangerous Woman: Martha Wright and Women's Rights” UMass Press (2004). She has taught at Yale University, Union College, SUNY Albany, and the University of Massachusetts Boston.
She currently serves on several boards, including NSTAR and TERI (The Education Resource Institute) which she chairs. She also is on the Board of Directors for HERS (Higher Education Resource Services) and the South Shore Hospital. In addition, she is on the Board of Advisors for the Road to Seneca Falls project in women's history.
Previously she served on the boards of the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce, the New England Council, the Boston Municipal Research Bureau, the Boston Plan for Excellence in the Public Schools, the Private Industry Council, the Boston Coalition, the John F. Kennedy Library Foundation, the New England Aquarium, the Environmental Business Council, the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching (vice chair), the American Council on Education and the National Center for Higher Education Management Systems (NCHEMS) where she also served as Chair of the Board. In addition, she was previously a member of the Board of Visitors of Women's Education and Industrial Union (WEIU), the Governor's International Trade Task Force (1995-96) and the Governor's Council for Economic Development (1995-2000).
She has received honorary degrees from Albion College in Michigan and from Quincy College. She has received several awards including the Pinnacle Award for lifetime achievement from the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce, the New England Women's Leadership Award, the Distinguished Citizen Award for Racial Harmony from Black/White Boston, the College Club Award, and the Abigail Adams Award from the Massachusetts Women's Political Caucus.