The Board of Governors of the Western Community College Area has announced that the search for a new President of Western Nebraska Community College is underway. The Board is committed to conducting an equitable, inclusive, and transparent national search that will attract a strong pool of outstanding candidates. The Board is seeking an experienced visionary educator who has a demonstrated record of success and is passionate about the importance of the community college mission in rural communities.
The President is the Chief Executive Officer and reports directly to the 11-member elected Board of Governors. The President is responsible, in collaboration with other college leaders, for overseeing all aspects of the organization, including assessing, planning, organizing and evaluating the resources, programs and services of the College to meet the educational needs of the students and communities in its large geographical service area. The President is the academic leaders who is ultimately responsible for ensuring student success and the completion of their goals. The President also represents the College to community groups, business and industry leaders, public school districts, higher education institutions, and governmental agencies and elected officials.
ABOUT THE COLLEGE
Founded in 1926 as an extension of the University of Nebraska, Western Nebraska Community College, became Scotts Bluff County College before it was renamed Nebraska Western College in 1968. Five years later in 1973, Nebraska Western College joined the newly formed Western Technical Community College Area with Western Nebraska Technical College in Sidney, and the Alliance School of Practical Nursing. Eventually, the three institutions combined into a single college and officially became Western Nebraska Community College in 1988. It has grown into a multi-campus college that serves 12 ½ counties in the Nebraska Panhandle and approximately 2,000 students. While located in a rural setting, WNCC enjoys a diverse student body, with Hispanics accounting for 24.5 percent of full-time enrollment as well as international representation from 32 countries.
WNCC believes in its mission statement of assuring learning opportunities for all – enriching lives, invigorating communities, and creating futures - so much that it launched a successful $9.6 million dollar comprehensive campaign in 2015 to raise funds to support student success, workforce success, and community enrichment. In 2017, thanks in part to the generosity of the community, WNCC was able to embark on a $18.5 million dollar major renovation of its Scottsbluff Campus – the College’s main campus. The construction, which includes the addition of a performing arts center, learning commons, and student success center, is expected to be complete in July 2019.
Though many students begin their higher education journey at WNCC through a variety of academic programs, the College also boasts many career and technical education programs to allow students to enter the workforce immediately following completion of his/her program. Featured programs include Nursing, Surgical Technology, Applied Agriculture, Powerline Construction & Maintenance, Welding, and the Aviation Maintenance program, the only Federal Aviation Administration approved program in the state of Nebraska. These programs, along with others, have been instrumental in providing highly skilled workers to help replenish an aging workforce in the regional economy.
Beyond its educational opportunities, WNCC proves to be a strong economic driver in the Nebraska Panhandle, adding $141 million of income to the service area within a year according to a recent independent study.
WNCC is fully accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) and is a member of the Nebraska Community College Association (NCCA). With campuses in Alliance, Scottsbluff, and Sidney, WNCC offers more than 70 programs of study and provides a high-quality education to all within the area and those outside of the service area via online education.
ABOUT THE COMMUNITY
WNCC is housed in three campuses throughout the Nebraska Panhandle in Alliance, Scottsbluff, and Sidney – three of the largest cities within the mostly rural region with agriculture making up nearly 12 percent of all jobs in the Panhandle.
The Scottsbluff Campus is located in on the westernmost edge of Nebraska and offers views of historic Oregon Trail landmarks such as the Scotts Bluff National Monument and Chimney Rock. Sidney is nestled in the southern tier of the Panhandle, while Alliance is the northern-most campus. Nebraska’s Panhandle is an outdoor playground where hiking, biking, golfing, and fishing abound. Each city is a two to three hour drive from Denver International Airport (DIA) and Rapid City, South Dakota.
CHALLENGES AND OPPORTUNITIES
In addition to the multiple roles and responsibilities of all excellent presidents in a rural multi-site college, the new President of Western Nebraska Community College must be able to:
As a strong leader on campus and in the community, the President will draw upon the following characteristics related to these areas of leadership: