Newsmakers

CEO retirements

Scott Elliott, president of Meridian Community College (MCC) in Mississippi, will retire this summer after leading the school for 20 years. During his tenure at MCC, the college: more than doubled its annual budget from $24 million to $53 million; expanded its physical plant to 94 acres, supporting over 30 new structures; recorded several years of record-breaking credit enrollment, peaking at 4,500 credit students in 2010; bolstered its customized workforce training, continuing education and adult basic education programs to serve upwards of 10,000 students annually; partnered with county and city K-12 schools to develop a dual-enrollment curriculum; and oversaw annual private investment in the college’s foundation grow from $627,400 to a single-year record of $5.9 million in 2016.

Another highlight of the Elliott era was 13 consecutive years with MCC ranking first for highest grade point average in the state among all 15 community colleges when students transferred to Mississippi universities. MCC also had the state’s highest graduation rate for community colleges for four consecutive years.

Jo Marshall, president of Kentucky’s Somerset Community College since 2000, has announced plans to retire effective June 30. Under her leadership, SCC added seven new buildings, started the SCC Foundation — which now has a student scholarship fund of nearly $1 million — and has received numerous awards. In 2011, SCC saw its largest enrollmen, topping out at more than 10,000 students. By working with area business and industry, Marshall led the efforts to enact several initiatives that focused to get students into high-wage, high-demand careers by adding short-term certificates and diploma options. In addition, Marshall and her leadership team successfully navigated numerous transfer agreements with four-year colleges and universities throughout the state.

Marshall serves on the board of directors for the Center for Rural Development and the Southern Kentucky Economic Development Corporation. In 2011, the Somerset-Pulaski County Chamber of Commerce named her Business Woman of the Year, and in 2015 she received the Master Musicians Festival Lifetime Achievement Award. In 2017, the Somerset Business and Professional Women’s Club named her the Business Woman of the Year.

Previously, Marshall was vice president and dean of the college at Chattahoochee Valley Community College in Alabama.

Kudos

Scott Ralls, president of Northern Virginia Community College, is on the Washington Business Journal’s annual Power 100 list, which comprises the Washington, D.C., area’s most-influential leaders and newsmakers who have made significant contributions in the private sector, public and private companies, nonprofits and education.

Byron McClenney, who serves on the Colorado State Board for Community Colleges and Occupational Education and the Colorado Opportunity Scholarship Initiative, has received the 2018 Community College of Denver (CCD) Champion Award for his 56-year career in education, including 14 years as president of CCD. McClenney has served as a consultant to institutions, state higher education systems, state governments, and professional associations in 47 states and internationally.

Appointments

At Cleveland State Community College in Tennessee, Alisha Fox is now interim vice president for finance and operations and Cindy Dawson is interim executive director of advancement and the Cleveland State Foundation. Previously, Fox served in a number of roles at the college, including assistant vice president for finance and operations. Dawson was coordinator of development and alumni at the college.

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