Newsmakers

Presidents on the move

Michael Mikota will become president of Spartanburg Community College in South Carolina, effective July 13. He currently is president of Central Carolina Technical College (CCTC) in Sumter, South Carolina, a position he has held since July 2017.

Under Mikota’s leadership, CCTC has expanded offerings, constructed new campuses, advanced new strategic initiatives, improved graduation and retention rates, optimized academic and workforce development programs, launched the college’s first major fundraising campaign and more. Prior to CCTC, Mikota was executive director of the Santee-Lynches Regional Council of Governments, a regional association of county and city governments in South Carolina. Before that, he was as an analyst and senior analyst for the U.S. Government Accountability Office in Washington, D.C. Mikota currently serves as chair of the South Carolina Technical College System Council of Presidents and is a member of the South Carolina Workforce Development Board.

New CEOs

Matt Thompson will become president of Indian Hills Community College in Iowa on October 8. He is currently vice president of academic affairs and institutional effectiveness, a position he has held since 2013. Previously, Thompson was dean of students and executive director of institutional advancement at Southwestern Community College in Creston.

Acting president

Jeff Lynn is now acting president of Central Alabama Community College (CACC). He is currently vice chancellor for aerospace and aviation at the Alabama Community College System. Lynn, who has more than 20 years of workforce and economic development experience across several southeastern states, previously was executive director of workforce development programs (LED FastStart) for Louisiana Economic Development.

CEO retirements

Dennis Epps, chancellor of Louisiana Delta Community College (LDCC), announced his retirement to focus on his health and to spend more time with his family. Epps has served as chancellor since June 2016. Under his leadership, the college experienced significant enrollment growth and increased its number of graduates, as well as improved the college’s community engagement and reputation throughout the Delta region.

“It has been the honor of my professional career serving as the chancellor of LDCC,” Epps said. “Four years ago, we were faced with many challenges and started on a journey to better serve students, business and industry, and the greater community. Thanks to the dedication and extraordinary work of the faculty and staff, we began impacting the community and students in positive ways. Your hard work is evident in our increased enrollment and graduates. I am proud of the work we have done together.”

Acting Chancellor Chris Broadwater will assume the position on an interim basis. This past January, Broadwater was appointed acting chancellor when Epps stepped away from the college’s daily operations to manage a personal health issue.

Prior to joining the Louisiana Community and Technical College System as vice president for workforce solutions in 2015, Epps was deputy director and associate director for the Carl Vinson Institute of Government at the University of Georgia (UGA); director of operation for the Archway Partnership at UGA; economic development specialist at UGA’s Fanning Institute; and executive director of planning and community relations, as well as vice president of economic development, at Southeastern Technical College (Georgia).

After leading Bay Mills Community College (BMCC) in Michigan for nearly 20 years, President Michael “Mickey” Parish has announced his retirement. Under his leadership, programs at the college flourished and the campus grew to meet the needs of the student body. Parish, who has led BMCC since 2002, oversaw the construction of Mikanuk Hall, a new administration building, the establishment of Waishkey Bay Farm, and the development of BMCC’s first bachelor’s degree program.

Prior to BMCC, Parish served in various positions, including council member and tribal chair of the Bay Mills Indian Community. He also served on the boards of Michigan Indian Legal Services and Michigan State Advisory Council to the U.S. Civil Rights Commission. In addition, Parish was a presidential appointment to the National Advisory Council on Indian Education.

“One of the main reasons this place is the best place to work is because of the leadership of Mickey Parish, ” said Kathy Adair, director of development at BMCC. “Mickey manages with forethought. He does not make rash decisions and respects the contributions of all of his employees, making BMCC a place to be heard, valued and respected.”

Marlene Sprouse, president of Indian Hills Community College (IHCC) in Iowa, has announced that she will retire on October 8 after serving at the helm for more than six years. Sprouse became the college’s fourth president in 2013 and has served at IHCC for 20 years. Previously, Sprouse was the college’s vice president of academic affairs and also dean of its Centerville campus. Over her nearly four-decades-long career in education, Sprouse has served as an English and speech teacher and also had stints as curriculum director and high school principal.

Umpqua Community College President Debra Thatcher plans to retire on July 1, 2021. She has lead the Oregon college since July 2016. During her time at the college, UCC has reestablished a forestry program, stared a cybersecurity program, expanded nursing, added athletic programs and more. Construction has also begun on a 10/1 memorial that is scheduled to be completed later in the fall. It will honor those who died during the shooting at the college in 2015.

“UCC has benefited immeasurably from Dr. Thatcher’s strong and collaborative leadership,” said Steve Loosley, chair of the UCC Board of Education. “Her focus on student success, while keeping education affordable and accessible for all students, will benefit current and future generations. We’re grateful for her service and will miss her.”

Prior to UCC, Thatcher served as acting president and provost of SUNY Cobleskill in New York, provost and dean of faculty at Lees-McRae College in North Carolina, associate dean of the College of Professional Studies and director of the School of Education at Northern Michigan University, and director of undergraduate teacher education at Salisbury University in Maryland.

Obituary

Ralph Doty, who served as the fourth president of Lakeland Community College (LCC) in Ohio from 1988 until his retirement in 2001, passed away on June 12 at age 78. Under his leadership, the LCC campus grew significantly in the number of students served, programs offered, funds raised and facilities improved. During his tenure, the college established pioneering transfer agreements with four-year colleges and universities, including the Ohio State University in 1994. Doty grew the campus by championing construction of the student center in 1993 and health technologies building in 1995, and the renovation of the library in 1997 and athletic and fitness center in 2000. Doty and his wife, Diane, were the driving force to undergo an extensive $3 million restoration of the historic Mooreland Mansion on campus in 1998 to serve as an elegant conference center and reception site.

Among many other accomplishments, Doty created Lakeland’s Center for Business and Industry in 1989, oversaw celebration of the college’s 25th anniversary in 1992, opened Lakeland East in Madison in 1994 and Lakeland West in Willowick in 1997, and helped start the All-Ohio Academic Team program in 1997.

“I think Ralph kind of inspired me to be a champion for community college education in Ohio,” Daniel Troy, a former Lake County commissioner and Ohio legislator, told the News-Heraldn newspaper. “I think he definitely left a mark on community college in Ohio, through his advocacy for two-year institutions.”

Doty was named Leader of the Year by Leadership Lake County in 1994 and in 2001 was recognized with a Lifetime Achievement Award by Phi Theta Kappa International for his higher education leadership. Doty also served as state senator in Minnesota from 1971 to 1976, and earlier in his career was a high school teacher, taught at College of. St. Scholastica (Minnesota) and served as president of St. Louis Community College (1981 to 1988) and Vermilion Community College (1977 to 1981).

Appointments

Paul Feilmeier is the next vice president of technology services at Northeast Community College in Norfolk, Nebraska. He has served at Faith Regional Health Services as information technology director since 2016.

Reagan Hales is joining Amarillo College (Texas) as associate vice president for innovation and work-based learning, effective June 22. She will spearhead implementation of the college’s Earn & Learn program and creation of the Technology Innovation hub. She currently is an executive with the Amarillo Economic Development Corp., where she has worked since 2014.

Sarah Hopkins has been selected as interim vice president of human resources for Santa Rosa Junior College, effective August 1. She has served in the department for 28 years, most recently as director of human resources for the past five years.

Joaquin Martinez has been named provost and vice president of instruction at Community College of Baltimore County (Maryland), beginning July 1. He currently is district vice provost with oversight for institutional effectiveness across all eight Miami Dade College (MDC) campuses in Florida. His previous leadership positions at MDC include president of two campuses (Wolfson and Hialeah), associate dean of faculty and academic affairs, and associate provost of student achievement.

Megan Weaver has been promoted to dean of academic services at Ozarks Technical Community College (OTC) in Missouri, beginning July 1. For the last three years, Weaver has served as director of academic services at the OTC Richwood Valley Campus.

About the Author

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