Approach to New Leadership
The GRCC Board of Trustees, with input from the Screening Committee as set forth below, is responsible for the selection of a new president. The Board’s process will include the establishment of a clear succession planning process that assures sustained quality leadership and a smooth transition to new leadership.
Considerations shaping the Board’s process and selection include:
- Capitalizing on the success of GRCC’s former president, Dr. Bill Pink – The Board recognizes that much of Dr. Pink’s work has positively positioned GRCC for the future. The Board, the College, and the community have greatly benefitted from the work of Dr. Pink and his staff in the five years he has served as president, which has resulted in significantly enhancing GRCC’s stature and mission.
- Creating a clear vision for the future – The Board's work around hiring the next president is a clear statement by the Board about the intended future direction of the College, which includes building and maintaining equitable systems that will address and expand the success of our students, a culture that prides itself on excellence, trust, accountability, inclusion, and long-term vision in helping our students, faculty, and staff succeed, and the financial stability of the institution.
- Creating a constructive balance between the past, present, and future – The Board recognizes the longstanding historical ties GRCC has with the community it serves and intends to continue strengthening existing partnerships and to build new partnerships. The Board also anticipates a healthy and constructive balance between the practices of excellence that exist in our College today and the new bold ideas, concepts, and policies necessary to the College’s long-term success.
- Conducting a transparent presidential search – The Board is committed to a fair, open, inclusive process internally with faculty, staff, and students and externally with our larger community. While the Board holds strong opinions regarding the future of our organization, we are equally committed to listening to all questions, concerns, and ideas. The Board is committed to demonstrating excellence, trust, accountability, inclusion, and long-term vision through this selection process.
- Following a policy governance model – The Board will continue to use this model to focus its work on continually shaping a strategic vision for the College – in correlation with the College’s Vision, Mission, Values, and Strategic Goals – while leaving to the president the administrative detail that is consistent with the Board’s Vision, Mission, Values, and Strategic Goals as reflected in and the Board-approved Strategic Plan. The current Strategic Plan framework, approved by the Board of Trustees on June 13, 2022.
The following are the critical organizational and leadership traits the Board seeks in its new president:
- The Board’s vision for the future of the College is that it is:
- A College that continues its commitment to student access and success.
- A College with a clear focus on innovation in teaching and learning and on providing the faculty and staff the necessary support systems to enable students to thrive.
- A collaborative College built on a culture of trust – in relationships and partnerships on and off campus.
- A College that prioritizes, in word and in action, diversity, equity, and inclusion for
- students, faculty and staff.
- A College whose goals, planning, and decision-making are driven by all tenets of its Vision, Mission, Values, and Strategic Plan.
The Board seeks a leader who demonstrates and has evidence to support:
- A record of successful executive leadership, with credentials and/or experience sufficient to warrant the respect and confidence of a wide range of the College’s stakeholders.
- A commitment to identifying, understanding, and creating systems to meet the varying needs of the students who attend community college to support the successful completion of their educational goals.
- A commitment to understanding the unique contribution to the community and students’ lives that community colleges provide.
- Demonstrated educational leadership that will assist the College in continuing to produce desirable student outcomes and a thriving College faculty and staff.
- An ability to build strong inclusive leadership teams that are strategic, visionary, and collaborative and focused on the growth and well-being of the College’s students, faculty and staff and the communities to which they belong.
- An ability to communicate effectively and be visible with internal and external constituents on matters affecting the College and its students including but not limited to local, state, and federal policy.
- Designing systems through an inclusive ground-up collaborative process.
- Co-creating inclusive and equitable support for all decisions.
- In-depth finance experience, creative resource development, fundraising skills, and an
- innovative and entrepreneurial mindset.
- A commitment to sustain and strengthen a system of diverse, equitable, and inclusive collaboration like that employed by the College Strategic Leadership Team to develop its Strategic Plan.
- An ability to maintain and develop community relationships with K-12 school districts, other higher education institutions, community-based organizations, businesses, and policymakers that enable the College to continue meeting the educational and workforce needs of West Michigan.
Core Impact Areas (of goal setting and evaluation process)
The Board recognizes these areas as crucial to GRCC’s continued success, and will work with the new president to develop long-term goals and methods to evaluate success around:
- An ability to increase, through necessary support (including but not limited to social and emotional), student success which the College defines as students’ ability to reach their educational goals.
- An ability to maintain and sustain a culture of trust, accountability, vision, inclusiveness, and equity.
- The ability to assure the short- and long-term financial strength of the College with demonstrable skills and experience, particularly in the areas of acquiring federal, state, and local support; workforce development; community and educational partnerships; and fundraising.
Minimum Qualifications for President
A doctorate degree from a regionally accredited institution with significant experience in higher education, serving five to seven years in an executive-level position in college administration, or equivalent experience with comparable complexity.
Preferred Qualifications for President
Significant senior-level administrative experience of at least five to seven years, preferably in a community college. Collective bargaining experience. Teaching experience is a plus.
Established in 1914, Grand Rapids Community College (GRCC) is an urban campus with an ex-urban satellite campus in Holland, Michigan that offers instruction in a 21st century learning environment to nearly 30,000 students annually. Credit course offerings at GRCC are distributed among 4 Schools: The School of Liberal Arts, The School of Science, The School of Health Sciences, and The School of Business and Industry. In addition to credit programming, GRCC offers extensive programming to local businesses in workforce and customized training. GRCC also partners with more than 400 local businesses annually with its Job Training and Continuing Education and Professional Development programs. Program instruction is provided by 214 full-time and 386 part-time faculty; and the College also employs 397 staff members, all of whom are focused on student success.
Total Students Served: 18,960
30% full-time / 70% part-time
- Kent County (KISD): 72%
- Other Michigan County: 27%
- Out-of-State: 1%
57% female / 43% male
Average age: 23
26% of students are 25 or older
63% Caucasian / 13% Hispanic / 9% African-American / 4%
Asian/Pacific Islander / 3% Two or more races / 1% Native American / 7%
21st Century Learning Environment
The College’s state-of-the-art learning spaces are located on its downtown Grand Rapids campus, and other locations throughout Kent and Ottawa counties including a satellite campus in Holland, Michigan, as well as through distance learning. GRCC offers courses in a variety of formats and modalities. To accommodate changing demands and demographics of students, GRCC offers courses in person, in a hybrid format, fully online, in a synchronous virtual format. Courses are offered during the day and evening in 14 week and 7 week sessions. Students are supported outside of the classroom through individualized advising, tutoring support, and access to a food bank and other resources.
GRCC’s downtown facilities include the Main and DeVos Campuses, and Leslie E. Tassell Michigan Technical Education Center (M-TEC). Adjacent to West Michigan’s thriving Medical Mile, Main Campus is in the heart of Grand Rapids, which puts it at the center of local festivals and art shows, and within walking distance to museums, fitness facilities, restaurants, and shops that enhance the area’s revitalized urban energy. DeVos Campus, nestled in the heart of the Heritage Hill neighborhood, boasts the renovated LEED-certified Stewart Edward White Hall, Steven C. Ender Hall, Sneden Hall, and Custer Alumni House. The Leslie E. Tassell M-TEC is located a short drive from Main Campus.
Since 1989, we’ve served communities from across the Lakeshore region from multiple locations. Now we’re proud to provide our programs and student services in one convenient, state-of-the-art campus. In 2021, GRCC opened a new, modern campus in Holland, MI. The new building enhances GRCC’s presence in Ottawa County and includes multi-use classrooms as well as state of the art lab spaces for STEM courses and programs in advanced manufacturing, welding, and other high demand fields. The new campus provides students in Ottawa Co. with the opportunity to take courses and receive services in one building.
GRCC also offers classes at the following locations as part of our Early/Middle College Program: Cedar Springs High School, Ottawa Hills High School, Wyoming High School, Kent Intermediate School District, East Kentwood High School, and Kenowa Hills High School.
GRCC has maintained a reputation as a premier transfer institution and is nationally recognized for its transfer and workforce development programs. One in three Kent Intermediate School District students attend GRCC, and more than 4,000 students transfer each year. Year/s
With a student-to-faculty ratio of 17 to 1 and over 94.4% of faculty who hold master’s or doctoral degrees – as well as industry experience – GRCC is committed to student success in more than 140-degree programs. In addition to faculty helping students achieve classroom success there are such student support services as academic support and tutoring services, career counseling, occupational and disability support, and bilingual support.
Additionally, GRCC creates high-impact experience-based teaching and learning activities for students and faculty through service learning, study away, and our Honors Program. These experiences deepen students' knowledge and skills through formal, guided, authentic, and real-
world experiences that bridge theory and practice.
GRCC students complement their academic experience with access to numerous co-curricular programs. GRCC provides a full and active campus life with a robust student government, honors program, student organizations, and nationally recognized athletic programs.
In May 2015, the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) reaffirmed GRCC’s accreditation. This decision extends GRCC’s accreditation to 2023-24. Panel reviewers took special note of GRCC’s “strong team approach” to serving students. They also praised the College’s efforts to provide support to different student populations, including students who plan to transfer and students who are attending part-time. GRCC has been accredited by the commission since 1917 and was one of the inaugural members of its AQIP program. When HLC phased out the AQIP, GRCC transitioned to the Open Pathway.
In addition to institutional accreditation through HLC, many GRCC programs hold separate accreditations.
Achieving the Dream
GRCC joined more than 200 institutions in 34 states and the District of Columbia participating in the Achieving the Dream (ATD). GRCC’s continued involvement with ATD has led to reforms in developmental education, improvement in data use to address student success, and work to create equity-centered classrooms.
The current Strategic Plan focuses on five areas: Teaching & Learning; Completion & Transfer; Equity; Community Impact; and Infrastructure and Sustainability. GRCC’s strategic planning efforts are guided by a 90+ member Strategic Leadership Team comprised of faculty, staff, and students that represent all areas across the College. The current Strategic Plan framework was approved in June of this year.
Teaching, Learning, and Distance Education
The Center for Teaching. Learning, and Distance Education is the primary source of faculty professional development at GRCC. The purpose of the center is to support faculty in providing learning opportunities to support students in every GRCC learning environment. The Center is a vibrant community that provides programming and instructional technologies that empower faculty and contribute to student success. To do that, the Center offers a wide range of programming, including:
- Providing resources on teaching and learning
- Offering facilitated workshops and learning opportunities
- Offering one-on-one consultations
- Hosting special events such as Learning Day and the Summer Teaching & Learning Institute
- Coordinating and administering the New Faculty Institute
- Coordinating faculty recognition and Innovation Grants
- Provide leadership, administration, coordination, and support for faculty in their use of GRCC’s learning management system and a variety of teaching and learning technologies
In 2019 GRCC contracted with Ann Arbor-based The Collaborative to begin the process of updating the College’s campus master plan, integrating the College’s Strategic Plan with a campus-wide space analysis and space needs assessment. The overall goal of this master planning effort was to assist the College in translating strategic goals and objectives into a physical plan that identifies where GRCC should focus resources to meet future demands for the next ten to twenty years.
Developing the new campus master plan involved input from internal and external stakeholders, a comprehensive campus space utilization study and an analysis of parking supply and demand needs along with urban mobility trends. The plan was completed in 2020, in the midst of a global pandemic, and is full of optimism and intentionality and is a road-map concept for future capital improvement needs and opportunities. The Executive Summary of the 2020 Master Plan is available on the GRCC website.
The GRCC Grants Department operates under the auspices of College Advancement to assist the campus community in all grant-related endeavors to advance the mission, vision, and strategic goals of the College. This full-service department is staffed by a director and grants specialist who provide a full range of pre- and post-award services—to include concept development and grant research, program development to shape the design of major grant initiatives, a full range of grant writing and editing services, and project management and compliance monitoring.
Over the last few years, the department has focused its efforts on growing the College’s grant portfolio. There are currently more than thirty active sponsored projects underway, which include a mix of sponsored projects funded by federal, state, and local government, as well as private philanthropic and corporate foundations. The department’s largest fiscal year total to date was $19.2 million in FY 2020-21.
It is the mission of the GRCC Foundation to secure and manage financial gifts to promote student, employee, and community learning, enabling the College to fulfill its mission and vision. The Foundation was established in 1964 at the 50th Anniversary of Grand Rapids Junior College with $12,000 in gifts from alumni and friends of the College. Today, the GRCC Foundation has assets of over $46 million and awarded a total of $1.3 million in scholarships during the 2020-2021 academic year.
GRCC is governed by the Board of Trustees, which consists of seven members elected at-large during biennial elections. The Board sets the long-term priorities, mission, vision, and values of the College, hires a president to carry out those priorities, mission, vision, and values, and annually evaluates him or her on their attainment. The College president serves as an ex-officio member of the Board. The trustees serve without compensation for overlapping terms of six years, and they operate under the policy governance model.
Mission. Vision. Values.
GRCC is an open-access college that prepares individuals to attain their goals and contribute to the community.
GRCC provides relevant educational opportunities that are responsive to the needs of the community and inspires students to meet economic, social, and environmental challenges to become active participants in shaping the world of the future.
- Excellence – We commit to the highest standards in our learning and working environments.
- Diversity – We create an inclusive welcoming and respectful environment that recognizes the value, diversity, and dignity of each person.
- Responsiveness – We anticipate and address the needs of students, colleagues, and community.
- Innovation – We seek creative solutions through collaboration, experimentation, and adaptation.
- Accountability – We set benchmarks and outcomes to frame our decision-making, measure our performance, and evaluate our results.
- Sustainability – We use resources in responsible ways to achieve equity across our social, economic, and environmental practices and policies.
- Respect – We treat others with courtesy, consideration, and civility.
- Integrity – We commit to GRCC values and take personal responsibility for our words and actions.
Vibrant Community Life
Grand Rapids is the second largest city in Michigan, and the largest in West Michigan. Its downtown nightlife and dining, walkable neighborhoods, public transit, desirable jobs, affordable housing, and growing economy offer a high quality of life.
Just 30 minutes from Lake Michigan’s beaches, Grand Rapids’ profile around the nation and around the world is growing.
Grand Rapids was No. 1 in a ranking of best places to raise a family by Rocket Homes; No. 7 in the list of most affordable places to live in the United States; No. 13 in a list of best places to live for quality of life by U.S. News and & World Report; and No. 17 in the ranking of best foodie cities in America by WalletHub.
Long-known as “Furniture City” – with five of the leading office furniture companies remaining in the area – Grand Rapids is expanding and transforming into a business hub where the city’s strength in forging dynamic public-private partnerships has been a catalyst behind a multi-billion-dollar downtown development boom.
Nearly $2 billion in investments have transformed Grand Rapids into a medical research and healthcare center of excellence. Grand Rapids’ Medical Mile includes Spectrum Health, the city’s largest employer; and the Van Andel Institute, a cancer and molecular research and educational facility; in addition to the Lemmen-Holton Cancer Pavilion, Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital, St. Mary’s Health Care, Michigan State University College of Human Medicine, and Grand Valley State University School of Nursing.
Grand Rapids has a reasonable cost-of-living, and its cultural and economic diversity provide a vast array of leisure time activities, including arts, entertainment, and sports.
Home of ArtPrize, Grand Rapids also has its own ballet and opera companies, symphony, and minor league baseball, basketball, and hockey teams. The Van Andel Area and DeVos Performance Hall rank among the busiest venues in the nation, drawing top acts and productions.
Among the areas’ many highlights are farmer’s markets and shops that specialize in Michigan-made, and locally grown and made, produce and goods.
There are endless getaway opportunities for the weekend, especially for outdoor enthusiasts, including boating, camping, and hiking just a short drive from Grand Rapids.
The city has a population of about 200,000 people and is part of a metro area of more than 1 million. In many areas it maintains a feel of a tightly knit urban neighborhood.
METHOD OF APPLICATION (NOMINATIONS AND APPLICATIONS)
Grand Rapids Community College offers the next President the opportunity to be part of a unique, student-focused academic community and to build upon what already is exceptional to make it even better. Applicants must have a terminal degree from a regionally accredited institution of higher education, along with a substantial leadership background. Salary considerations will be competitive.
In order for your application to receive full consideration please submit your application materials on or before August 12, 2022. The application should include a letter of interest specifically addressing the applicant’s background in relationship to qualifications described (not more than four pages); a current résumé (or curriculum vitae); and the names of at least five professional references with each person’s position, office or home address, e-mail address, and telephone numbers. References will not be contacted without prior authorization from the applicant. All applications will remain confidential.
The search is being assisted by Dr. Preston Pulliams, Gold Hill Associates. Nominations and
applications should be sent electronically (MS Word or PDF Format) to Preston@GoldHillAssociates.com.
Grand Rapids Community College is an Equal Opportunity Employer, committed to a diverse and inclusive work and learning environment. GRCC creates an inclusive learning and working environment that recognizes the value and dignity of each person. It is the policy and practice of GRCC to provide equal educational and employment opportunities regardless of age, race, color, religion, marital status, sex (including pregnancy), sexual orientation, height, weight, national origin, disability, veteran status or
genetics in all programs, activities, services, employment and advancement including admissions to, access to, treatment in, or compensation in employment as required by state and federal law. Further information may be obtained from the EEO Office or the Office of General Counsel, 143 Bostwick Avenue NE, Grand Rapids, MI 49503-3295.
Data for this profile was collected from College reports, department websites, and other website resources. Below find a compilation of works cited.
Student Fast Facts