CEO on the move

Jermaine Williams will serve as the next president of Montgomery College in Maryland, effective early 2022. He currently is president of Nassau Community College in New York, where he has led the college since 2019. Williams has more than 19 years of higher education experience, including 17 years working at diverse multi-campus institutions.

At Nassau, Williams has focused on improving access for students, as well as retention and graduation, with special attention to mitigating social inequities for historically underrepresented people. He has been lauded for his inclusive leadership style and for building teams that create strategic programming and policies to improve student outcomes.

Williams has published and spoken on access, equity and achievement in national and international settings. He was selected to participate in the Aspen Institute’s Rising Presidential Fellowship in 2018 and held a New Presidents Fellowship in 2021.

Previously, Williams was vice president for student affairs at North Shore Community College in Massachusetts. Before that, he held roles of increasing responsibility at Northeastern Illinois University. He has also worked as a director of student initiatives at the Community College of Philadelphia; coordinator of first-year student programs and academic advisor at Temple University; and assistant to the director of the university freshman center and assistant coordinator of self-pace program at St. John’s University.

New CEOs

Cheryl Lesser will be the next president of Great Bay Community College in New Hampshire, effective March 28, 2022. She has served as vice president for academic affairs at two community colleges, most recently at Luzerne County Community College (LCCC) in Pennsylvania.

Lesser has extensive external relations experience, serving as the primary contact for local, state and federal agencies on issues related to academic programs, and through her work with business and industry advisory committees intended to ensure alignment between program outcomes and employer needs in the region. She has also led the accreditation process for LCCC. Lesser’s experience also includes partnering with community organizations and high schools to build educational pathways for area students to accelerate their postsecondary attainment, and securing grants to create new programs in areas of emerging demand.

Walter McCollum will serve as chancellor of the Richmond campus of Ivy Tech Community College in Indiana as of January 31. The Air Force veteran most recently was vice president and senior associate vice provost for Miami Dade College Online, and has more than 15 years of administration experience at community colleges and four-year schools. He also served as dean of student affairs at Walden University,

In addition, McCollum is a peer evaluator with the Higher Learning Commission and Middle States Commission on Higher Education. He has served on the board of directors for the National Society for Leadership and Success, Fulbright Association – National Capital Area Chapter, Organizational Development Network, and Community for Creative Non-violence.

Mike Muñoz will transition from interim superintendent-president at Long Beach City College (LBCC) to a permanent role as CEO of the college, effective January 1. He has held the interim position at the California college since March 2021.

“Dr. Muñoz has been a truly transformative leader who will lead our college as we continue to recover from the Covid-19 pandemic, modernize our student services, close racial equity gaps, and collaborate with our employees to ensure all students have an opportunity to reach their academic goals,” said LBCC District Board President Uduak-Joe Ntuk.

Muñoz joined LBCC in 2018 as vice president of student services. Prior to that, he spent more than a decade at Rio Hondo College serving in several key leadership positions.

Since 2018, Muñoz has helped LBCC to: increase enrollment in the Long Beach Promise program by more than 30% from fall 2018 to fall 2019; increase the number of Pell Grant recipients by 27% in 2019-20; expand services in mental health and basic needs; and increase completions through the implementation of completion counseling efforts.

Patricia A. “Patty” Pfeiffer has been chosen to serve as the next president of Wayne Community College (WCC) in North Carolina, effective January 1. She had served in an interim role.

Previously, Pfeiffer was the college’s vice president for academic and student services since December 2018. She began her career at WCC in 1994 as a nursing instructor. She rose to nursing department chair, dean of the allied health and public services, chief of staff and vice president of institutional effectiveness, then vice president of academic and student services.

Pfeiffer has been recognized in her various roles at the college. She received WCC’s top award for faculty members, the George E. Wilson Excellence in Teaching Award in 2007 and was also a finalist for the North Carolina State Board of Community College’s Excellence in Teaching Award. In 2015, the college’s unit of the Association of Educational Office Professionals and the North Carolina District 12 AEOP presented Pfeiffer with its Administrator of the Year Award.

Casey Sacks is now the permanent president at BridgeValley Community and Technical College in West Virginia. She has served in an acting role over the past six months.

Previously, Sacks was deputy assistant secretary for community colleges at the U.S. Education Department (ED) in the Trump administration. Prior to joining ED in 2019, Sacks was vice chancellor for the West Virginia Community and Technical College System. She also spent eight years at the Colorado Community College System in academic affairs.

Acting president

Joseph Whalen will serve as acting president of Washington’s Everett Community College (EvCC), starting January 1. He is currently the college’s vice president of human resources.

Whalen joined EvCC July 1. He has 18 years of human resources experience, most recently leading human resources programs for several healthcare providers. He has worked in the healthcare, defense and government sectors.


Christopher Reber, president of Hudson County Community College (HCCC) in New Jersey, was honored recently by the Hudson County Chamber of Commerce with its inaugural Spirit Award. He was nominated for the award by former New Jersey Assemblywoman Joan Quigley, who is now president and CEO of North Hudson Community Action Corp., a health center that provides comprehensive health and social services. Quigley cited Reber’s generosity to the nonprofit during its vaccination campaign, his thoughtfulness in waiving $4.8 million in outstanding financial balances for nearly 5,000 HCCC students, and the culture of care he has woven into every aspect of the HCCC experience. The Spirit Award will continue to be presented annually to a person in Hudson County who inspires forward-thinking and quick action to meet special needs.

CEO retirement

Tom Keegan, the third longest-serving president of Skagit Valley College (SVC) in Washington, has announced his intent to retire effective August 31, 2022. He has served for 43 years in the Washington Community and Technical College system.

“I am forever grateful to have been able to come full circle from student to president at the college that set me on an inspiring and life-changing educational journey,” Keegan said in a release.

Since his arrival in March 2012, Keegan has worked to expand access to higher education, transform the college culture, collaborate and innovate to support regional economic development efforts through education, and reach out to and partner with diverse communities.

Among his career highlights at SVC:

  • The college received authority to serve as a baccalaureate-granting institution, and is currently offering applied bachelor degrees in environmental conservation and applied management.
  • Latino student enrollment increased from 12% in 2012 to 24% in 2021, and the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities recently recognized SVC as an Emerging Hispanic Serving Institution.
  • The SVC Foundation raised over $16 million since 2012, including increasing its endowment from $7.6 million to over $19 million, conducting its first-ever capital campaign, which raised $3 million to support childcare vouchers, emergency grants and classroom enhancements, and a $3 million campaign to construct the Sue Krienen Early Learning and Childcare Center on the Mount Vernon campus.
  • SVC’s comprehensive student achievement strategy resulted in dramatic increases in student success measures and the college being selected as one of 30 colleges nationwide to participate in the inaugural Guided Pathways Project, led by the American Association of Community Colleges.

Keegan began his career in higher education at Tacoma Community College, where he served in numerous positions. He was vice president of student services at South Puget Sound Community College, vice president of instruction and student services at Columbia Basin College, and president of Peninsula College for 11 years before being named president of SVC.

A proud SVC alum, Keegan earned an associate in arts degree in 1978. He was co-captain of the college’s 1977 men’s soccer team and co-captain of its baseball team.


Wilbur Allen Ball, the founding president of McLennan Community College (MCC) in Waco, Texas, where he served for 22 years at the helm, passed away on December 15. he was 93.

Ball was a vice president and dean at Wharton County Junior College in Houston when in 1965 he learned of a new community college to be created in McLennan County. He was excited at the prospect of building a new institution from the ground up in Waco; he applied for and was offered the top job.

When the college opened in 1966, it temporarily used the barracks on John Connally Air Force base to serve about 800 students. Ball and the board were soon planning the permanent campus location on the former Cameron Estate in north Waco.

Ball served as president of MCC until his retirement in 1988. An opinion piece in the Waco Tribune-Herald said Ball would be hard to follow. “Ball had the vision to carry the community college concept far beyond what the citizens of McLennan County expected,” it said.

The college later honored Ball with the dedication of its Ball Performing Arts Center.

“He was the builder who laid the foundation for the college and set the vision to provide an affordable, quality education for students, while supporting the community,” said current MCC President Johnette McKown.

Prior to Wharton, Ball worked in the registrar’s office at Del Mar College in Corpus Christi and later as an assistant to the college president. Earlier in his career, he taught high school English and Spanish.

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.
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