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City of Spokane Valley, WA

Four finalists named in SCC president search

Managing Editor




The Spokane Community College President Screening Committee has forwarded four finalists to Community Colleges of Spokane Chancellor Christine Johnson, Nancy Fair-Szofran, CCS provost and screening committee chairwoman, announced.
The candidates are Kevin Brockbank, dean of the school of applied technologies and professional development at Salt Lake Community College, Utah; D. Ryan Carstens, vice president for academic affairs at New Mexico State University, Las Cruces, N.M.; Karin M. Hilgersom, president of State University of New York, Sullivan, Fallsburg, NY; and Russ Rothamer, vice president of academic affairs at Coconino Community College, Flagstaff, Ariz.
Johnson anticipates selecting a new president who will replace current SCC President Scott Morgan in July. Morgan has been serving as president since July 2012 and has been with the community college district since 2003 in key leadership roles. He will be retiring this fall.
Open public forums have been scheduled in Building 6/The Lair at SCC for each candidate:
Russ Rothamer: 2:30-4 p.m. Thursday, April 23
Ryan Carstens: 2:30-4 p.m. Friday, April 24
Karin Hilgersom: 2:30-4 p.m. Wednesday, April 29
Kevin Brockbank: 2:30-4 p.m. Thursday, April 30
SCC is located at 1810 North Greene Street.
In addition to the forums, during their full-day visits, the candidates will participate in a series of separate meetings with campus and district leadership.
Bockbank has served as the dean of the school of applied technologies and professional development at Salt Lake Community College in Utah since 2013. The school of applied technologies consists of three divisions serving about 10,000 students annually.
Prior to that, he was the interim associate dean and department chair for industrial technology at Missoula College, a two-year college with the University of Montana, from 2011 to 2012. He was the executive director of academic and workforce training (2008-2011), the department chair for industrial trades (2005-2011) and a faculty member in computer technology (1996-2007) at Helena College with the University of Montana.
He is a candidate for a doctorate in educational leadership through the University of Montana, where he also earned his master’s degree in education-curriculum studies and his bachelor’s degree in business and information technology education.
Carstens has been the vice president for academic affairs at New Mexico State University since 2014. Prior to that he served as the associate provost for education and community partnerships at Salt Lake Community College from 2012-2014. He was the chairman of the SACS accreditation quality enhancement plan for the Lone State College System in Tomball, Texas (2010-2011), where he also served as the dean of educational services (2008-2010) and educational initiatives and technology services (2002-2008), and the district director of distance learning and instruction technology (1999-2002). He also held administration and faculty positions at Eastern Idaho Technical College in Idaho Falls; Rio Salado College in Tempe, AZ; El Centro College in Dallas, TX; Yavapai College in Prescott, AZ; Central Arizona College in Coolidge, AZ; University of Houston, Victoria, TX; and Oklahoma State University Stillwater, Okla.
He earned his Ed. D. in community college leadership, educational administration from the University of Texas at Austin and his master of science in curriculum and instruction from Oklahoma State University. He also received his bachelor of science in German from Oklahoma State University.
Hilgersom presently serves as president of SUNY Sullivan, a comprehensive community college located in the Catskill Mountains and part of the SUNY (State University of New York) system. This college has about 1,700 students. She has been in this position since May 2013. Prior to that, Hilgersom was the vice president of instruction for Central Oregon Community College from 2010 to 2013. Hilgersom served as executive vice president of instruction at Walla Walla Community College (2007-2010). She was dean of arts and sciences at Spokane Community College (2003-2007), where she was also interim dean of liberal arts and vocational related education and a communications studies instructor (1987-2002).
She earned her Ph.D. in education and policy management and her M.S. in rhetoric and communication from the University of Oregon. She earned her B.A. in organizational communication at California State University.
Rothamer has served as the vice president of academic affairs at Coconino Community College, a rural college in northern Arizona serving about 10,000 students, since 2012. Previously, he served at Northcentral Technical College, Spencer, WI, as dean of business from 2006 to 2012. He also worked at Walt Disney World Resorts from 1999 to 2006 in various management roles relating to development of college educational programs and partnerships.
He earned his Ph.D. in higher education administration and his MBA from the University of Florida. He also earned a master’s degree in social studies education, an education specialist degree in instruction and curriculum and a bachelor’s degree in history and secondary Education from the University of Florida. Rothamer earned his AA at Santa Fe Community College.

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