Newsmakers

New CEOs

Jason Warren will serve as president of Henderson Community College in Kentucky, effective Feb. 1. He is currently chief student affairs officer at Hopkinsville Community College (Kentucky). He also served as chief institutional advancement officer at the college and was founding coordinator of the college’s Upward Bound program. Prior to that, Warren held positions at the University of Louisville library. Warren also has served as an instructor at Murray State University, University of Louisville and Hopkinsville Community College.

Obituaries

Kenneth C. Easom, who served as president of Athens Technical College in Georgia from 1985 to 2002, passed away on Dec. 20. He was 74. Easom began his 33 years of service at Athens Tech in 1970, and served in a number of positions: assistant coordinator of student personnel services, associate director for instruction and director of the institution. Under his leadership, Athens Tech became the first technical institution in Georgia to award credit to college students, ultimately leading to the renaming of the institution to Athens Technical College and changing Easom’s position to president. The accreditation gave the college the opportunity to develop several innovative programs that provided companies in the area with more qualified employees. Athens Tech was the first technical institution in the state to offer associate degree programs in nursing, research laboratory technology (biotechnology), radiography, respiratory therapy and paralegal studies.

John Votca, who served as president of now South Central College in Minnesota from 1976 to 1992, passed away on Dec. 14. He was 91. When Votca joined the college in 1955 as an assistant director, the school was known as Mankato Area Vocational Technical Institute, and eventually was named Mankato Technical College in 1989. Under Votca’s leadership, the college in 1992 merged with Albert Lea Technical College to become Albert Lea/Mankato Technical College and then South Central Technical College. Votca was noted for two significant expansions at the college. The first was adding the North Mankato campus, and the second was completing a 100,000-square-foot addition to bring all of the institution’s students into one facility. The latter project included a community auditorium, which in 1992 became the John A. Votca Conference Center.

Appointments

Bill Pink, president of Grand Rapids Community College (GRCC), has been appointed by Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder to serve on a statewide committee to help residents gain in-demand skills for rewarding jobs and preparing for rapidly changing workforce demands. Pink was serve a three-year term on the 21st Century Talent Creation Subcommittee, joining educators from universities, community colleges and intermediate school and K-12 districts. The subcommittee will work with the Governor’s Talent Investment Board, which will focus on changing demands for skills and how collaboration with educators can more quickly prepare residents for rapidly changing workplaces.

Kevin Dean is now dean of the health and public safety at Western Technical College in Wisconsin. He previously served first as an adjunct instructor for emergency medical services and then as Western’s associate dean of health and public safety since 2017.

About the Author

Matthew Dembicki
is editor of Community College Daily and serves as publications director for the American Association of Community Colleges.