Newsmakers

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CEO on the move

Byron D. Clift Breland has been appointed chancellor of California’s North Orange County Community College District, effective Jan. 18. Currently, he is chancellor of the San Jose–Evergreen Community College District.

Breland has more than 25 years of administrative and teaching experience in higher education. Previously, he was president of San José City College since 2013. He has held numerous instructional and administrative positions in K-12 and higher education. Breland has worked to develop innovative partnerships that provide meaningful educational and job training experiences for the diverse student populations of San Jose City College, Evergreen Valley College, the Community College Extension Center in Milpitas and the Center for Economic Mobility.

Breland currently serves on numerous boards, councils and commissions, including board chair for the Community College League of California (CCLC) and president of the Chief Executive Officers of the California Community Colleges Board of CCLC.

New CEOs

Dennis Lancaster will on Jan. 1 become the permanent chancellor of Missouri State University-West Plains, which he has headed as an interim leader since July 2020. He previously served as acting chancellor/instructor for six months in 2007 and was appointed assistant professor/director of the Darr Honors Program in January 2009. Prior to that, Lancaster was dean of academic affairs for eight years. He joined the campus as a per course English and journalism instructor in 1990 and was hired full time in 1992 as assistant director of university communications/lecturer. He has also served as special projects coordinator/lecturer and assistant to the chancellor/instructor.

Rear Admiral (retired) Michael White is the next president of Northeastern Junior College in Colorado, effective Jan. 31. White’s academic career began in naval education and training as a commander and progressed to a senior leadership role at the College of Maritime Operational Warfare at the U.S. Naval War College in Newport, Rhode Island. Currently, he is dean at the college. Prior to this role at the Naval War College, White served on active duty in the Navy for 34 years.

Kudos

Pam Eddinger, president of Bunker Hill Community College (BHCC) in Massachusetts, was recently named by the Boston Business Journal among its “Movement Makers: Boston Business Journal’s Power 50.” The publication selected leaders who were bringing change in communities across the Greater Boston economy and building a better, more prosperous equal area for all.

“My role as president of BHCC is to think more strategically about how we make our institutions hubs for equitable change that best serves our students and our communities,” Eddinger said.

Obituary

Joe Rushing, the founding CEO of Broward College in Florida and the founding and long-time president at Tarrant County College in Texas, has passed away at age 100. He joined the Texas college in 1965 (then called Tarrant County Junior College) as its first president (later the title changed to chancellor) and served for 24 years until his retirement in 1989.

Previously, he was the first president of then Junior College of Broward County, serving from 1960 to 1965. A local newspaper announcing his presidency at Broward said Rushing’s “quiet manner belies his capacity for action.” The college’s first class held its courses at a Naval air station.

Rushing’s first exposure to junior colleges was as a part-time chemistry teacher at Ranger Junior College. He later earned his doctorate in junior college administration at the University of Texas-Austin before becoming head of adult education at Wharton County Junior College.

In 1980, Rushing started and co-owned a small ranching operation raising registered cattle. He owned the Rushing Brahmans company for 32 years.

President Joe Rushing (center) with plans for the campus of Tarrant County Junior College. (Photo: UTA Libraries Digital Gallery)

Appointments

Tonjua Williams, president of St. Petersburg College in Florida, will serve as a co-chair of the transition team for St. Petersburg Mayor Ken Welch. The team will advise on efforts to ensure Welch’s incoming administration is filled with top talent and well-prepared to lead the city when he takes office in January.

Antonio Banks is now director of Black and males of color success at Compton College in California. Previously, Banks served as the statewide charter director for the African American Male Education and Development Network in Los Angeles where he provided oversight in the development of 22 community college-based charter programs throughout California.

Farrah Hayes will become dean of academic programs and services at Gadsden State Community College in Alabama on Jan. 3. She joined the college in 2015 and has served as division chair of the languages and humanities department since 2019.

Brandy Johnson will become the next leader of the Michigan Community College Association on Dec. 20. The organization advocates on behalf of the state’s 28 public community colleges. In 2010, Johnson founded and was executive director of the Michigan College Access Network. She also has served in Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s administration since 2019.

Ashlee Mishler is the new director of the Grand Rapids Promise Zone, the scholarship program that covers all costs of a Grand Rapids Community College education for city students. She previously served for more than four years at Ferris State University as a marketing manager and marketing communications specialist.

Douglas Scanlon has joined Holyoke Community College’s institutional advancement team as its first development and external communications coordinator. He comes to the Massachusetts college after serving for seven years as communications specialist in the development office at Springfield College.

Retirement

Jan Yoshiwara, executive director for the State Board for Community and Technical Colleges (SBCTC) in Washington, has announced her plans to retire July 31 after 44 years in the college system, including 38 years at SBCTC. Yoshiwara was appointed in 2017 as executive director of the State Board, which sets policy for the college system and allocates operating and capital funds to the state’s 34 community and technical colleges.

Under her leadership, the system put racial equity at the front and center of its mission. Nearly half of Washington’s community and technical college students are students of color. During her time at the helm, Washington became one of the first states in the nation to offer applied bachelor’s degrees at community and technical colleges. She also led the college system to join the guided pathways movement.

About the Author

Matthew Dembicki
Matthew Dembicki edits Community College Daily and serves as associate vice president of communications for the American Association of Community Colleges.