The Board of Trustees of the Association of Proprietary Colleges (APC) announced it has elected a new chairman and vice chairman. Dr. David M. Cohen, J.D., president of Five Towns College (FTC) will serve as chairman, and Dr. Francis J. Felser, president and chief executive officer of Bryant & Stratton College will serve as vice-chairman.

Dr. Cohen succeeds David Conklin, president of Jamestown Business College who had served as board chair since 2016. Dr. Felser replaces Charles E. Callahan III, provost of Plaza College in the role of vice-chairman.

“I am excited to take on this new role at a pivotal time for our association,” said Cohen. “We have made tremendous progress over the last few years thanks to the leadership and dedication of our immediate past chairman David Conklin, vice-chair Chuck Callahan and the entire board. I look forward to building on our momentum, increasing awareness of our excellent student outcomes, and maintaining the strong working relationships we have built with many supporters in the NY State Legislature.”

Dr. David M. Cohen is the President of Five Towns College (FTC), located in Dix Hills, Long Island, NY. Cohen has had a long-term affiliation with FTC and was appointed to his current post in 2016. Prior to that, he served as President of the Institute of Audio Research (NYC) and as Provost/Chief Academic Officer at Briarcliffe College (Bethpage, NY). Prior to his appointment at Briarcliffe, he served in various capacities at Five Towns for a period spanning 22 years, including as Provost/CAO, Dean of Administration, Director of Financial Aid, and as a member of the Business Division Faculty.

Cohen has served as a Commissioner for the Accrediting Commission of Career School and Colleges (ACCSC), and as a Team Chair and Evaluator for the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE). He has also served on accreditation teams representing the New York State Board of Regents.

Cohen is graduate of New York Law School and has been admitted to the bars of New York, New Jersey and Florida. He received his bachelor’s degree from SUNY at Oneonta.

Dr. Francis J. Felser is the current President and Chief Executive Officer of Bryant & Stratton College (B&S). Felser joined the College in 1991 as a Vice President and State Operations Director. Since that time, he has held various positions at the College, including as Chief Academic Officer, Chief Financial Officer, and Chief Administrative Officer. Felser’s extensive background, knowledge, skills, and passion for education has resulted in many improvements and contributions to the success of Bryant & Stratton College over his career.

Prior to joining the College, Felser worked as a certified public accountant. He earned his undergraduate degree in accounting & mathematics from Canisius College, later followed by a master’s degree in business administration from the University of Buffalo and a doctorate of management & organizational leadership from the University of Phoenix. In addition to his role on Bryant & Stratton College’s Board of Directors, Felser serves as a Commissioner for the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

“Our association is extremely fortunate to have David and Fran take the reins as chair and vice-chair respectively,” said Donna Gurnett, president and CEO of APC. “The board selected two higher education leaders who have shown a commitment to excellence and a dedication to their students, which are characteristics that we strongly believe in as an association. While this continues to be a challenging time for our membership, I believe that we have the right group in place to advocate on behalf of the more than 26,000 students we serve.”