The Owens Community College Board of Trustees has offered a three-year contract to Dr. Christa Adams to become the College's new president.
Adams, currently president of St. Clair County Community College in Port Huron, Michigan, accepted the position and will start sometime between July 16 and August 6.
"The primary attraction of Owens for me is that it is so successful," Dr. Adams said. "And the people already have made me feel very welcome."
She will replace President Daniel H. Brown, who is retiring May 31 after serving Owens for 35 years, including 17 years as president.
"We are very fortunate to have Dr. Adams," said Trustee John Moore, who chaired the presidential search committee. "I was very pleased to work with this committee and bring together faculty, staff and community. We're establishing something excellent for the next 10-15 years."
Wendell F. Fryer, Chair of the Board of Trustees, stated that the Trustees are very pleased with the search process and the selection of Dr. Adams.
"We thank the search committee for their hard work and diligence," Fryer said. "We're in an extremely good position to take the College forward."
Dr. Adams built a successful team at St. Clair during her five-year term as president. Under her leadership, St. Clair overturned a decade-long enrollment decline, created the University Center that offers baccalaureate and graduate degrees, expanded distance learning opportunities and launched numerous workforce development initiatives.
"I see a lot of similarities in the direction both these colleges are moving," she said. "Becoming the president of Owens Community College is a challenge I am looking forward to and I consider it to be the capstone of my career."
Dr. Adams was the Vice President for Academic Affairs at Aims Community College in Greeley, Colorado from 1992-1996. She earned a bachelor's and master's degree from the University of Northern Colorado and a doctoral degree in community college administration/vocational education from Colorado State University.
St. Clair County Community College serves about 10,000 students in the Blue Water area, offering 51 associate degree and certificate programs and 55 seamless transfer program options. A variety of bachelor's and master's degree programs are available through the St. Clair University Center.
The full-service main campus is located in downtown Port Huron, with Thumb Area Centers in Algonac, Bad Axe, Imlay City, Peck and Yale.
Her drive to advance technology in all areas has resulted in a fiber-optic network for the campus, a growing program of on-line instruction and the establishment of the state-of-the-art Citizens First Michigan Technical Education Center.
Dr. Adams said she is a leader committed to affirmative action and promoting a climate of diversity. At St. Clair, she organized the Minority Affairs Advisory Council and the Distinguished Lecture Series, which hosts minority speakers. In Colorado, she developed a bilingual education program to serve the Hispanic population.
As a guest of the Thailand government and Kasetsart University in Bangkok, she has traveled extensively in Thailand, where an American model community college is under development.
Her community service includes serving on the board of directors for the Greater Port Huron Area Chamber of Commerce, United Way of St. Clair County, Community Foundation of St. Clair County, Port Huron Hospital and Economic Development Alliance of St. Clair County.
President Adams led a successful special millage campaign in 1999 that secured funding to update St. Clair's technology, expand programs and provide job training for workers in the college's service area.
Last year, she established the Office of College Advancement to heighten fundraising, alumni relations, marketing and web development for St. Clair. Under her direction, the college has secured millions of dollars in private donations, gifts, scholarships and special grants, as well as more than $3 million in industrial automation and plastics manufacturing equipment.
"When I leave St. Clair, much of my heart will remain on the beautiful campus by the Black River, but I will leave here knowing that, together, we have made a difference in students' lives," Dr. Adams said. "That is all I have ever wanted to do, and when I become president of Owens Community College, making a difference for students will remain my goal."
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