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RICHMOND – Eleanor Saslaw begins her yearlong term as the chair of the Virginia State Board for Community College this month, and she is focusing on increasing community college enrollment.

Serving on the board for the last three years – including one year as the Board’s vice chair – represents only a fraction of the experience Saslaw brings to the post. After all, the two-time college graduate has spent her entire career working in education. Her experience ranges from being a teacher, counselor and director of student services in Fairfax County Public Schools, to serving as the president of the Virginia Counselors Association, to serving as a member of and the president of the Virginia Board of Education.

Saslaw says educating an individual may just be the most important thing you can do for them and the community they live in.

“If you don’t educate people, you end up supporting them,” she said. “We want to see Virginians succeeding in the 21st century; that includes new Virginians. More education means a higher standard of living. It means our businesses thrive, and it means our tax base is strong. Our community colleges do a terrific job of helping people get there.”

Saslaw is placing a priority for the coming year on helping Virginia’s Community College serve more people. The colleges are seeking ways to reverse several years of enrollment declines. Saslaw wants the Board to ensure the colleges have the tools and knowledge to turn that around.

“Chancellor DuBois and I have been talking about that and he shares my concerns,” Saslaw said. “We’ve had good luck in the past using the task force model to address big, statewide challenges. It may be time to do that here.”

Saslaw was born in San Francisco and moved to the East Coast when she was eleven. She and her husband, state Senator Dick Saslaw (D-Fairfax County) moved to Virginia after getting married. They have a daughter who works as a lawyer in San Francisco.

“I feel like I gave something back with that one,” Saslaw said.

Saslaw has won numerous awards including the Friend of School Psychologists Award (2011) and Counselor of the Year (1998 and 1994). She has a master’s degree in secondary counseling and a bachelor’s degree in social studies education.

Featured image: Newly-installed Board Chair Eleanor Saslaw is flanked by Chancellor Glenn DuBois.

About Virginia’s Community Colleges: Since 1966, Virginia’s Community Colleges have given everyone the opportunity to learn and develop the right skills so lives and communities are strengthened. By making higher education and workforce training available in every part of Virginia, we elevate all of Virginia. Together, Virginia’s Community Colleges serve more than 252,000 students each year. For more information, please visit www.vccs.edu.

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~ New grants spur big gains in Virginia Community Colleges’ Workforce Credential Training Programs ~ 

RICHMOND – Governor Terry McAuliffe today announced that, through the New Economy Workforce Credentials Grant program, Virginia’s Community Colleges provided workforce training that enabled 2,173 Virginians to secure industry-recognized credentials, licenses, and certifications needed for high-demand careers, in the first year of the grant program. Governor McAuliffe awarded the 2,172nd and 2,173rd credentials at an event commemorating this achievement this afternoon. 

This milestone nearly triples the number of people who were credentialed last year, bringing the total to 4,268 Virginians.  More than half of the credential earners, 2,173, took advantage of the New Economy Workforce Credentials Grant program. Training for the remaining 2,095 credentials was funded by employers, federal grants, or other private sources. 

“Today’s announcement is a landmark achievement for our workforce development efforts,” said Governor Terry McAuliffe speaking at the announcement event. “Clearly, the timing was right for this innovative initiative to help our businesses find qualified workers and empower more Virginians to seek good-paying jobs. In partnership with the General Assembly and our public and private sector partners, we are filling key gaps in the workforce pipeline and putting more Virginians to work in the new Virginia economy.” 

“Whether we’re attracting new businesses to Virginia or helping our existing employers grow and compete, we need to continually strengthen our workforce,” said Secretary of Commerce and Trade Todd Haymore. “Today’s announcement marks a nearly 180 percent increase in earned credentials in the first year of this program. This significant growth is a great sign for what we can do for Virginia’s workforce moving forward.”   

With broad bipartisan support, the 2016 General Assembly created the New Economy Workforce Credential Grant Fund and program to encourage more Virginians to prepare for careers that require specialized training, but not necessarily college degrees. This fund provides grants covering two-thirds of the tuition for students who are enrolled in a workforce training program designed to fill in-demand jobs in their home region. The year before the new workforce training grant program went into effect, community colleges provided training for 1,528 Virginians to earn those professional credentials. 

“This success is a tribute to the power of collaboration,” said Glenn DuBois, Chancellor of Virginia’s Community Colleges. “As we ramped up our workforce training capacity to respond to the new state grants program, we also created new training opportunities that motivated students to tap into a variety of other funding sources.”    

“This is a significant milestone in Virginia’s efforts to better align the workforce system to help close the skills gap and prepare Virginians for good careers in high priority industries,” added Mark Herzog, Chair of the Virginia Board of Workforce Development.  

Virginia’s businesses are eager to hire workers with a wide variety of skills in fields ranging from information technology and advanced manufacturing to education, health care, logistics and transportation. By pursuing industry-recognized credentials, students can qualify for promising careers in weeks or months instead of semesters and years, and without incurring large amounts of student debt.   

“Through better and more accessible training, Virginia is boosting its ability to create a 21st century workforce,” said Barry DuVal, President and CEO of the Virginia Chamber of Commerce. “This is great news for our business community and for people who are starting out or getting a fresh start on their careers.”   

Now entering its second year of operation, Virginia’s New Economy Workforce Credential Grant program greatly reduces the out-of-pocket cost for Virginians to enroll in specified training programs to earn industry-recognized certifications. The Virginia Board of Workforce Development has developed a list of high-demand occupations, which is further vetted as educators work closely with Virginia businesses in regions across the Commonwealth to develop and deliver related workforce training to prepare people for those jobs. Currently, grants are available to support 146 training courses offered throughout Virginia’s 23 community colleges.  

To learn more about workforce credential grants, please visit http://www.vccs.edu/workforce/.

About Virginia’s Community Colleges: Since 1966, Virginia’s Community Colleges have given everyone the opportunity to learn and develop the right skills so lives and communities are strengthened. By making higher education and workforce training available in every part of Virginia, we elevate all of Virginia. Together, Virginia’s Community Colleges serve more than 252,000 students each year. For more information, please visit www.vccs.edu.

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RICHMOND —The State Board for Community Colleges, by a unanimous vote, established the 2017-2018 academic year in-state tuition and mandatory fees rate at $150.25 per credit hour today at its regular May meeting. Beginning this fall, in-state students will pay an additional $4.00 per credit hour – an increase of 2.7 percent – which means the cost of a typical three-hour class will increase by $12 and the cost of a full-time load of classes for the year will increase by $120.

The new rate keeps community college tuition and mandatory fees at approximately one-third of the comparable costs at Virginia’s public four-year universities.

Virginia’s Community Colleges will use the tuition increase to pay a share of the General Assembly-approved employee pay raise; rising fringe benefit costs; and costs associated with using various Virginia administrative systems. It will also pay for operating costs for new buildings.

“Our State Board remains sensitive to the need to ensure higher education is affordable for Virginia families,” said James Cuthbertson, chair of the Virginia State Board for Community Colleges. “Accordingly, today’s tuition decision strikes a careful balance between that need and our commitment to provide an outstanding and worthy educational experience.”

TUITION DIFFERENTIALS

The State Board also agreed to approve select increases in the tuition differential rates that are in addition to the base tuition. The board approved increasing the differential for Northern Virginia Community College by $1.00 per credit hour. Even with the differential, NVCC’s tuition remains the lowest among comparable colleges in the Washington, D.C. metro area.

Further, the board approved an increase of 50 cents per credit hour to the tuition differential rate for John Tyler Community College in Chesterfield and the Tri-city area.

The tuition differential rates remain unchanged from last year for the following community colleges: Germanna in Fredericksburg; Piedmont Virginia in Charlottesville; Reynolds in Richmond; Tidewater in Hampton Roads; Thomas Nelson on the Virginia Peninsula; and Virginia Western in Roanoke.

OUT-OF-STATE TUITION

The State Board increased the tuition rate for out-of-state students by $4.00 per credit hour to a total of $346.85 per credit hour. As required by law, the Board also approved an increase of $1.00 per credit hour to support the debt service for Virginia’s Higher Education Equipment Trust Fund. Out-of-state students make up approximately five percent of the total enrollment of Virginia’s Community Colleges.

OUT-OF-STATE ACTIVE DUTY MILITARY DISCOUNT

The Board elected to take advantage of a change in state law that allows public institutions to charge reduced tuition and mandatory fees to active duty military members stationed outside Virginia who are enrolled in degree programs associated with their Military Occupational Specialty (MOS).

The Out-of-State Active Duty Military Discount essentially allows the VCCS to charge active service members a reduced tuition rate along with the capital fee required of all out-of-state students. The discount will save military members more than half of what they would otherwise pay in out-of-state tuition.

About Virginia’s Community Colleges: Since 1966, Virginia’s Community Colleges have given everyone the opportunity to learn and develop the right skills so lives and communities are strengthened. By making higher education and workforce training available in every part of Virginia, we elevate all of Virginia. Together, Virginia’s Community Colleges serve approximately 252,000 students each year. For more information, please visit www.vccs.edu.

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RICHMOND – Dr. Kris Westover will become the next president of Mountain Empire Community College on July 1, 2017. That announcement was made today by Dr. Glenn DuBois, the chancellor of Virginia’s Community Colleges. Westover becomes the seventh person, and second woman, to serve as the college’s permanent president. Her hiring ends a process that began with a national search, which attracted more than 80 candidates, and finished earlier this month with open-to-the-community visits of three finalists to the college.

“I’ve known Kris for nearly a decade. She’s a rising star among our nation’s higher education executives,” said DuBois. “I’m delighted to announce her as the next president of Mountain Empire Community College, and I’m looking forward to what she has to offer the college and the community.”

Westover has more than 25 years of experience in higher education. She currently serves as the vice president for academic and student services at Patrick Henry Community College in Martinsville, a position she has held since 2011. Previously, she served as higher education program coordinator at the University of Texas in Austin, from 2009-2011. From 2008-2009, she served as director of technical programs for the Kansas Board of Regents. In 2016, the Aspen Institute selected Westover for inclusion in the inaugural class of its national Aspen Presidential Fellows program.

She holds a doctorate from Nova Southeastern University in Florida, and both a master’s degree in instructional technology and a bachelor’s degree from Fort Hays State University in Kansas.

“We appreciate the opportunity for our board, MECC faculty and staff, students, and the community to be involved in the selection and interview of candidates,” said David Graham, chair of the Mountain Empire Community College local advisory board. “While all of our candidates possessed strong qualifications, Dr. Westover was the resounding choice to lead the college forward. Her commitment to student success is evident in her past leadership experiences within the VCCS and at other colleges nationwide. Dr. Westover’s strong knowledge of academic program development, workforce credentials, business and community engagement, as well as her innovative vision demonstrated that she was the right fit for MECC. We welcome her to the college and are committed to her successful transition.”

Westover will succeed Dr. Scott Hamilton, who will retire at the end of June, having served in that role since 2010.

Mountain Empire Community College, founded in 1972 and located in Big Stone Gap, VA, is a comprehensive two-year college serving approximately 3,800 credit students and more than 1,000 noncredit students annually from the counties of Lee, Scott, Wise, and Dickenson, and the city of Norton.

About Virginia’s Community Colleges: Since 1966, Virginia’s Community Colleges have given everyone the opportunity to learn and develop the right skills so lives and communities are strengthened. By making higher education and workforce training available in every part of Virginia, we elevate all of Virginia. Together, Virginia’s Community Colleges serve more than 252,000 students each year. For more information, please visit www.vccs.edu.

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RICHMOND – The State Board for Community Colleges has certified four finalists for the position of president at Mountain Empire Community College. The finalists were among more than 80 applicants from across the nation.

The four finalists are Dr. David L. Brand of Fayetteville, NC; Dr. Brian W. Van Horn of Murray, KY; Dr. Kristen A. Westover of Martinsville, VA; and Dr. Steven K. Yoho of Roswell, GA.

“The Mountain Empire Community College presidency is appealing to an impressive collection of community college leaders from around the country,” said Glenn DuBois, chancellor of Virginia’s Community Colleges. “The focus our colleges place on student success, our innovative approaches to providing short-term workforce training, and our stability make us attractive to high-performing education leaders seeking their next career step.”

Dr. David L. Brand has worked in higher education for the last 18 years, following a 23-year career in the United States Army from which he retired at the rank of Major. Brand currently serves as the senior vice president and chief academic officer of Fayetteville Technical Community College in North Carolina, a role he has held since 2012. Prior to that, he worked as the director of the Department of Education, a senior civilian role at the U.S. Army Special Operations Command at Fort Bragg, NC. He also worked as the senior military training and education analyst at the Center for Army Lessons Learned, based at Fort Leavenworth, KS. Brand previously served as the chief academic officer and dean of the college at Bauder College in Atlanta. For six years, he worked at DeVry University and the Keller Graduate School of Management in Atlanta, where he began as a director of academic operations, rose to become dean of the education center and then the regional director of operations. Brand earned a doctorate from the University of South Carolina; a master’s degree from the University of Houston, and a bachelor’s degree from Troy State University.

Dr. Brian W. Van Horn has nearly 20 years of experience in higher education. He currently serves as the associate provost and dean of regional academic outreach at Murray State University, in Murray, KY, a position he has held since 2008. His MSU career began in 1998 when he served as an assistant professor and director of the MSU Paducah Regional Campus, and then as the university’s assistant dean of regional academic outreach in 2001. Van Horn has served as both vice president, in 2013, and president, in 2014, of the Association for Continuing Higher Education. He holds a doctorate from the University of Memphis, and both a master’s degree and bachelor’s degree from Murray State University.

Dr. Kristen A. Westover has more than 25 years of experience in higher education. She currently serves as the vice president for academic and student services at Patrick Henry Community College in Martinsville, a position she has held since 2011. Previously, she served as higher education program coordinator at the University of Texas in Austin, from 2009-2011. From 2008-2009, she served as director of technical programs for the Kansas Board of Regents. In 2016, the Aspen Institute selected Westover for inclusion in the inaugural class of its national Aspen Presidential Fellows program. She holds a doctorate from Nova Southeastern University in Florida, and both a master’s degree in instructional technology and a bachelor’s degree from Fort Hays State University in Kansas.

Dr. Steven K. Yoho has more than 20 years of experience in higher education, intermixed with positions he has held in other industries. He currently serves as president of both the Atlanta campus and Northern Virginia campus of Argosy University, a position he has held since 2013. Yoho began his academic career in 1992 as an adjunct professor at Marietta College and Washington State Community College. He became the business chair and athletic director of Ohio Valley University in Vienna, WV in 1994. Yoho went on to become associate dean of the Lipscomb University College of Business in 1999, and later worked in the University System office of South University in Savannah, GA, for seven years as dean of the College of Business in 2007, and later as vice chancellor for academic affairs in 2008. He holds a doctorate from Ohio University; a master’s degree from West Virginia University; a bachelor’s degree from Oklahoma Christian University; and an associate degree from Ohio Valley College.

The four finalists seek to succeed Dr. Scott Hamilton, the college’s sixth president, who is retiring at the end of June after serving in that role since 2010.

The finalists will each visit the campus of MECC in May, to meet with faculty, staff, students and community members.

Mountain Empire Community College, founded in 1972 and located in Big Stone Gap, VA, is a comprehensive two-year college serving approximately 3,800 credit students and more than 1,000 noncredit students annually from the counties of Lee, Scott, Wise, and Dickenson, and the city of Norton.

About Virginia’s Community Colleges: Since 1966, Virginia’s Community Colleges have given everyone the opportunity to learn and develop the right skills so lives and communities are strengthened. By making higher education and workforce training available in every part of Virginia, we elevate all of Virginia. Together, Virginia’s Community Colleges serve more than 252,000 students each year. For more information, please visit www.vccs.edu.

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RICHMOND – Dr. Pat Huber will become the next president of New River Community College, effective on or before July 1, 2017. That announcement was made today by Dr. Glenn DuBois, the chancellor of Virginia’s Community Colleges. Huber becomes the sixth person, and first woman, to serve as the college’s permanent president. Her hiring ends a process that began with a national search, which attracted more than 90 candidates, and finished earlier this month with open-to-the-community visits of four finalists to the college.

[caption id="attachment_26893" align="alignright" width="214"] Huber[/caption]

“I’ve known Pat for a long time and have always been impressed with her remarkable passion and dedication for the people community colleges serve,” said DuBois. “Pat has dedicated her entire career to community college education, and I know that she is going to do a terrific job as New River’s president.”

Huber has worked in education for 41 years, and has worked at New River Community College since 1988 where she began as an adjunct English instructor. She began working at NRCC full time in 1992 as an assistant professor. From there, she rose through the ranks becoming an assistant division chair in 1999, a dean in 2005, and vice president for instruction and student services in 2007 – the position she holds today. Huber also served as interim vice president for academic and student services at Wytheville Community College during the spring and summer of 2003.

Huber earned a doctorate in community college leadership from Old Dominion University; a master’s degree from West Virginia University in Morgantown; a bachelor’s degree from Emory & Henry College in Emory, VA; and an associate degree from Wytheville Community College.

“The quality of the candidates this process produced made this decision a tough one,” said Steve Harvey, chair of the New River Community College local board. “That said, Dr. Huber has demonstrated outstanding leadership at NRCC in the past. She is focused on curriculum, certifications and credentialing, student success, and intentional engagement in the education of students. She is committed to outreach to local businesses, school systems, and higher education facilities within the five localities serviced by NRCC. Under Dr. Huber’s guidance, NRCC will continue to be an affordable educational option to help provide the local economy an educated workforce. The board will work closely with her during her transition, and I encourage the local stakeholders to be engaged in the process.”

Huber will succeed Dr. Jack Lewis, who retired last year after serving NRCC for 42 years, including 17 as college president. Longtime Virginia community college leader, Dr. Charlie White, is currently serving at the college’s interim president.

New River Community College, which opened in 1969, is a comprehensive community college located in Virginia’s New River Valley, serving an estimated 4,500 students in the counties of Montgomery, Floyd, Pulaski and Giles and the city of Radford.

About Virginia’s Community Colleges: Since 1966, Virginia’s Community Colleges have given everyone the opportunity to learn and develop the right skills so lives and communities are strengthened. By making higher education and workforce training available in every part of Virginia, we elevate all of Virginia. Together, Virginia’s Community Colleges serve more than 252,000 students each year. For more information, please visit www.vccs.edu.

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RICHMOND – A committee of the State Board for Community Colleges will meet on Thursday, April 27, 2017, at 4:00 p.m. at Community Wealth Ventures Inc., 1825 K. Street, N.W., Washington, D.C., 20006 to certify a panel of finalists under consideration to become the next President of Mountain Empire Community College (MECC).

Dr. Scott Hamilton, the college’s sixth president, is retiring at the end of June after serving as MECC’s president since 2010.

The national search to find MECC’s next permanent president attracted more than 80 applicants. The finalists certified by the Board will each spend a day on campus in May to meet with faculty, staff, students and community members.

Founded in 1972 and located in Big Stone Gap, VA, Mountain Empire Community College is a comprehensive two-year college serving approximately 3,800 credit students and more than 1,000 noncredit students annually from the counties of Lee, Scott, Wise, and Dickenson counties, and the city of Norton.

About Virginia’s Community Colleges: Since 1966, Virginia’s Community Colleges have given everyone the opportunity to learn and develop the right skills so lives and communities are strengthened. By making higher education and workforce training available in every part of Virginia, we elevate all of Virginia. Together, Virginia’s Community Colleges serve more than 252,000 students each year. For more information, please visit www.vccs.edu.

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RICHMOND – Dr. Janet Gullickson will become the sixth president of Germanna Community College. That announcement was made today by Dr. Glenn DuBois, the chancellor of Virginia’s Community Colleges. Gullickson’s hiring caps off a process that began with a national search, which attracted more than 100 candidates, and finished last month with open-to-the-community visits of three finalists to the college.

“Janet brings outstanding qualifications to this presidency,” said DuBois. “She’s a dynamic community college educator with an impressive resume of significant leadership positions. I’m excited to bring her aboard and confident she’ll do a great job at Germanna.”

Gullickson has presided over two community colleges, including her current position as the president of Spokane Falls Community College, a position she has held since 2012. Prior to that, she served two years as the chief academic officer for the second largest district of the Community Colleges of Spokane. Gullickson served as the president of Front Range Community College in Westminster, CO between 2004 and 2005. She was also the interim president and provost in Minnesota of what is now called the Northeast Higher Education District, which includes Ely, Eveleth and Virginia.

She holds a doctorate in education from the University of Minnesota, a master’s degree from South Dakota State University and a bachelor’s degree from the University of South Dakota.

“This wasn’t an easy choice and that’s a compliment to the process and the finalists it produced,” said William E. Thomas, of Culpeper, the chair of the Germanna Community College local board. “The community really engaged with this process and they felt a strong connection to Dr. Gullickson. She really shares their priorities, and seems to understand the challenges we face in a fast-growing region. During our interview Janet indicated that she very much wanted to be the next president of Germanna, but only if she was a good fit. The responses from college employees, as well as many stakeholders was that they saw her as a great fit. We look forward to working with her when she arrives this summer.”

Gullickson will succeed Dr. David Sam, who has served as Germanna’s president for nearly a decade. Sam announced last summer that he would retire at the end of the current academic year.

Germanna Community College, which opened in 1970, is a two-year, public institution of higher education, serving a total headcount of about 13,000, including both students in academic courses and workforce development training, in the counties of Caroline, Culpeper, King George, Madison, Orange, Spotsylvania, Stafford and the city of Fredericksburg.

About Virginia’s Community Colleges: Since 1966, Virginia’s Community Colleges have given everyone the opportunity to learn and develop the right skills so lives and communities are strengthened. By making higher education and workforce training available in every part of Virginia, we elevate all of Virginia. Together, Virginia’s Community Colleges serve more than 252,000 students each year. For more information, please visit www.vccs.edu.

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[post_title] => Dr. Janet Gullickson Hired to Become the Sixth President of Germanna Community College [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => dr-janet-gullickson-hired-to-become-the-sixth-president-of-germanna-community-college [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2017-04-10 12:28:57 [post_modified_gmt] => 2017-04-10 16:28:57 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://www.vccs.edu/?post_type=newsroom&p=26805 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => newsroom [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [8] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 26801 [post_author] => 3 [post_date] => 2017-04-10 09:31:41 [post_date_gmt] => 2017-04-10 13:31:41 [post_content] =>

WHAT: The New Horizons 2017 conference, the premier teaching and learning conference hosted by Virginia’s Community Colleges, will include remarks by two special allies of higher education: former Virginia First Lady and Secretary of Education, Anne Holton, and U.S. Senator, Mark R. Warner.

WHEN: Wednesday, April 12, 2017
12:45 pm (Hotel Roanoke Ballroom)
The Honorable Anne Holton
Former Virginia Secretary of Education, former Executive Director of the Great Expectations program for foster youth

Thursday, April 13, 2017
10:30 am (Hotel Roanoke Ballroom)
The Honorable Mark Warner
Virginia’s Senior U.S. Senator

WHERE: Hotel Roanoke
110 Shenandoah Avenue
Roanoke, VA 24016

WHO: In addition to Ms. Holton and Sen. Warner, more than 750 guests will participate in New Horizons, including State Board for Community College members, college presidents, community college leaders, local board members, faculty and staff.

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RICHMOND – The State Board for Community Colleges has certified four finalists for the position of president at New River Community College. The finalists were among more than 90 applicants from across the nation.

The four finalists include Dr. David L. Brand of Fayetteville, NC; Dr. Pat Huber of Pulaski, VA; Dr. Susan Short of Salem, VA; and Dr. Kristen A. Westover of Martinsville, VA.

“The New River Community College presidency is attracting some impressive and diverse talent from both inside and outside Virginia,” said Glenn DuBois, chancellor of Virginia’s Community Colleges. “The focus our colleges are placing on student success, our innovative approaches to providing short-term workforce training and our stability make us attractive to high-performing education leaders who are seeking their next career step.”

Dr. David L. Brand has worked in higher education for the last 18 years, following a 23-year career in the United States Army from which he retired at the rank of Major. Brand currently serves as the senior vice president and chief academic officer of Fayetteville Technical Community College in North Carolina, a role he has held since 2012. Prior to that, he worked as the director of the Department of Education, a senior civilian role at the U.S. Army Special Operations Command at Fort Bragg, NC. He also worked as the senior military training and education analyst at the Center for Army Lessons Learned, based at Fort Leavenworth, KS. Brand also worked as the chief academic officer and dean of the college at Bauder College in Atlanta. For six years he worked at DeVry University and Keller Graduate School of Management in Atlanta, where he began as a director of academic operations, rose to become the dean of the education center and then the regional director of operations. Brand earned a doctorate of education from the University of South Carolina; a master’s degree from the University of Houston and a bachelor’s degree from Troy State University.

Dr. Pat Huber has worked in education for 41 years, and has worked at New River Community College since 1988 where she began as an adjunct English instructor. Huber began working at NRCC full-time in 1992 as an assistant professor. From there, she rose through the ranks becoming an assistant division chair in 1999, a dean in 2005 and vice president for instruction and student services in 2007 – the position she holds today. Huber also served as the interim vice president for academic and student services at Wytheville Community College during the spring and summer of 2003. Huber earned a doctorate in community college leadership from Old Dominion University; a master’s degree from West Virginia University in Morgantown; a bachelor’s degree from Emory & Henry College in Emory, VA; and an associate degree from Wytheville Community College.

Dr. Susan Short has more than 36 years of experience working in higher education, with a blend of community college and university experience. She currently serves as the associate vice president for engagement at Virginia Tech – a position she has held since 2011. Short began her career as an admissions counselor at Shenandoah College and Conservatory in Winchester, VA. She later worked as a graduate counselor at Shippensburg University in Pennsylvania. Short worked for 20 years at Lord Fairfax Community College, in Winchester, VA, beginning in 1984 as a counselor/coordinator of student services. She also served as the director of student support services and the director of instruction and student services, ultimately rising to vice president of instruction and services. Short began working for Virginia Tech in 2004, first as the college’s Roanoke Center director and Commonwealth Campus Centers Program leader. She also worked as the college’s outreach program development director before rising to her current role. Short earned a doctorate of junior and community college education from Virginia Tech; a master’s degree from Shippensburg University; and two bachelor’s degrees from Shenandoah College and Conservatory.

Dr. Kristen A. Westover has more than 25 years of experience in higher education. She currently serves as the vice president for academic and student services at Patrick Henry Community College in Martinsville, a position she has held since 2011. Previously, she served as higher education program coordinator at the University of Texas in Austin, from 2009-2011. From 2008-2009, she also served as director of technical programs for the Kansas Board of Regents. In 2016, the Aspen Institute selected Westover for inclusion in the inaugural class of its national Aspen Presidential Fellows program. She holds a doctorate in education from Nova Southeastern University in Florida, and both a master’s degree in instructional technology and a bachelor’s degree from Fort Hays State University in Kansas.

The four finalists are vying to succeed Dr. Jack Lewis, who retired last year after serving NRCC for 42 years, including 17 as college president. Longtime Virginia community college leader, Dr. Charlie White, is currently serving at the college’s interim president.

The finalists will each spend a day or more on the campus of NRCC in April, to meet with faculty, staff, students and community members.

New River Community College, which opened in 1969, is a comprehensive community college located in Virginia’s New River Valley, serving an estimated 4,500 students in the counties of Montgomery, Floyd, Pulaski and Giles and the city of Radford.

About Virginia’s Community Colleges: Since 1966, Virginia’s Community Colleges have given everyone the opportunity to learn and develop the right skills so lives and communities are strengthened. By making higher education and workforce training available in every part of Virginia, we elevate all of Virginia. Together, Virginia’s Community Colleges serve more than 252,000 students each year. For more information, please visit www.vccs.edu.

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