Newsmakers

New CEO

Michael Fischer has been named the next president of York County Community College (Maine). He will begin in March. Fischer is currently an associate vice president at Great Bay Community College (GBCC) in New Hampshire. He has held leadership roles for the last 12 years at GBCC, most recently as associate vice president of economic and community development, and as interim vice president of student success and enrollment management. Before that, he was associate vice president of student affairs and college operations, and director of student life. Prior to GBCC, Fischer worked at Hesser College in New Hampshire for four years, serving as dean of students, and director of athletics. He serves on several local and state boards, including vice chair of the Chamber Collaborative of Greater Portsmouth, a small business collective. Fischer also is president of the board of the U.S. Collegiate Athletic Association.

CEO kudos

Ronald Rhames, president of Midlands Technical College in South Carolina, has been selected to Columbia Business Monthly’s Hall of Fame for continually making a lasting impact on the Midlands community. The magazine noted Rhames is known for his collaborative approach, working in partnership with every local school district, other colleges and universities throughout the state, and many area businesses. “Through this collaboration, he has helped secure private funding for student scholarships, as well as bridge, transfer and articulation agreements that make it less expensive for students to attend college,” the magazine said.

CEO retirement

Kaylen Betzig, president Waukesha County Technical College (WCTC) in Wisconsin, has announced she will retire effective December 31. A staunch proponent of technical education, Betzig has spent 31 years in executive and leadership roles within the technical college system – 12 at WCTC and 19 at Blackhawk Technical College. She joined WCTC as vice president of administrative services in 2008, was named executive vice president in 2010 and became president in 2015. Before joining WCTC, Betzig was vice president of administrative and student support services at Blackhawk.

“I believe, to my core, in the work of the technical college system and have seen first-hand the impact we have on students’ lives. It has been an honor to be entrusted with their future success,” Betzig said in a statement.

During her tenure as president, Betzig worked to maintain a balanced budget each year, an achievement for which she is most proud. The college also operated many new initiatives and opportunities under her leadership, among them the alignment of strategic planning and metrics; building construction and expansion projects, which have provided upgraded learning environments for students; and the development of alternative course delivery options, most notably the continuing work on the eight-week, year-round calendar, which will launch this fall.

Working collaboratively with other higher education leaders also has been a high point of her career. In 2018, WCTC and 17 other colleges and universities in southeastern Wisconsin organized the Higher Education Regional Alliance, which is dedicated to closing the achievement gap and educating students to become an innovative workforce that meets the needs of the region’s industries.

Throughout her career, Betzig has received several awards and honors, among them the Wisconsin Business Professional of the Year from the National Association of Professional Business Women; the Wisconsin Women in Higher Education Leadership Outstanding Achievement Award; and the Exemplary Leadership Award from the Chair Academy.

Appointments

Kevin Antoine is the first chief officer of diversity, equity and inclusion at Bucks County Community College in Pennsylvania. He previously held similar positions with the State University of New York and the City University of New York systems.

George Hart will serve as dean of library and academic innovation at the Community College of Rhode Island. He previously served for seven years as director of libraries at the University of Massachusetts, Lowell.

Lenore Rodicio, executive vice president and provost at Miami Dade College in Florida, has been selected as the next vice chair of the Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U). Upon completion of her term as vice chair, she will serve as chair of the board of directors. Rodicio has served on the AAC&U board since 2016.

About the Author

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