The Board of Trustees invites nominations and applications for the position of President of Gogebic Community College (GCC). The previous President retired after an 11- year tenure in that position.
Founded in 1932, and accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, GCC serves approximately 1,100 students and is committed to providing an environment in which its students can be confident of receiving the highest quality instructional programs. GCC is made up of a bold community of learners dedicated to building a better future in every endeavor. GCC is a rural institution which plays a vital role in the community and throughout the region.
Located in Michigan’s Western Upper Peninsula, Ironwood is a community with a rich heritage. The region resides upon the Northern Wisconsin-Michigan border. The area's proximity to Lake Superior, inland lakes, rivers, waterfalls, forests, ski hills and trails combine to offer one of finest outdoor regional destinations in the Midwest. The region attracts numerous visitors, both for the beauty during the seasons with many opportunities for fishing and hunting, and to the snow belt for winter sports, particularly skiing, snowboarding, and snowmobiling. GCC operates two downhill ski facilities, one located on the main campus and one in the Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park.
GCC has played an important role in the region’s education environment and is a leader in student success for the upper Great Lakes area. GCC exhibits great success in student outcomes, with high retention and completion rates, as well as excellent success of transfer students. GCC has earned Aspen Top 10 recognition multiple times. GCC prides itself on having developed a culture that provides a unique personal student experience to each of its students. GCC continually aspires to be a student-centered institution.
In addition to the main campus in Ironwood, the college operates the Copper Country Center in Houghton, Michigan. Total off-campus enrollment accounts for approximately 40% of the college headcount. GCC successfully offers a variety of online courses and programs and was named the Top Online Community College Provider in the State of Michigan by Thebestcolleges.org. GCC is proud to have been named one of the highest performing community colleges in the nation.
Challenges and Opportunities
Located in a rural community in the Upper Peninsula, GCC faces many of the same challenges as other rural community colleges. Those challenges include:
- Finding ways to assist local communities to promote economic development, sustaining the enrollment base, and providing training that leads to regional employment opportunities.
- Attracting and retaining both employees and students. With each challenge facing GCC, the GCC community has identified numerous opportunities.
- Reaching out to underserved and non-traditional audiences.
- Creating new innovative niche offerings that will attract students from outside of the immediate area such as outdoor/geographical regional programs as well as technical programs to fuel economic development.
- Leveraging available on-campus housing.
- Partnering with local economic development organizations and businesses to foster economic growth, identification of obstacles to educational access and removing those obstacles.
- Strengthening the bonds among all of the faculty, staff, students, and community members.
The President of GCC will be an individual who understands these challenges and opportunities. Due to the rural nature of the college and the ways in which the community is tightly connected, the President must develop a deep understanding of the region and establish connections.
GCC is poised for growth and seeks a leader who can implement a strategic vision and serve as the catalyst to take the college into the future. The faculty and staff are ready to support a leader who will inspire and empower them, create a positive and uplifting environment, and who will engage with the entire region, and with GCC students, faculty and staff. The President will enjoy a cadre of hard working, energetic, dedicated employees who are ready to work with such a leader as well as an engaged, supported Board of Trustees.
To meet these challenges and opportunities, the President must:
- Fully engage faculty, staff, students and community to involve them in creating a bright future for the institution.
- Bring energy, innovation, creativity and a commitment to the mission of the community college.
- Implement a strategic vision and offer strategies to develop sustainable growth through community development, economic development, and student enrollment development.
- Understand the unique needs of underserved populations and implement initiatives that will translate into future student participation.
- Exhibit a passion for student success and student life and engage the entire college community in student success and student life initiatives.
- To possess a genuine understanding of the teaching/learning process and the innovations needed to transform student learning.
- Actively seek input from all constituents to strengthen cross-campus and off-campus communication and collaboration, as well as inspire and engage employees, students, and stakeholders to work together to address the unique challenges of the college.
Desired Presidential Characteristics, Qualities, and Experience
- A leader with vision who can chart a path, follow through and is determined to make a long-term commitment to the college.
- A leader who is highly visible throughout the college and the community. A leader who is present throughout the college and who leads by example.
- A leader who has a proven record of community service and community involvement.
- An accessible, engaging and bold leader who is able to make difficult decisions.
- A leader who truly listens and truly hears what the college community members are saying.
- An individual with previous experience in labor relations and collective bargaining.
- A person with experience in fiduciary management, budget preparation, and accepted fiscal practices.
- Experience with regional accrediting agencies and who will lead the efforts toward institutional compliance.
- A community focused leader who is experienced at fostering partnerships with business and industry, and who foresees changing workforce and community needs and develops relevant programs to respond.
- An individual who can secure alternative funding sources for the institution and who will serve as the chief fundraiser for the GCC Foundation.
- The face of GCC who can passionately advocate in the community as well as with local government and state and federal representatives and offices.
- A committed and transparent educator who will work effectively as a team member with the Board of Trustees.
- An earned doctorate from a regionally accredited institution is preferred; an earned Masters from a regionally accredited institution is required.
- Administrative leadership of 3-5 years is required.
- Experience at a community college is preferred.