Clark College has been searching for a new President since Spring 2019 after Bob Knight resigned. Interim President Dr. Sandra A. Fowler-Hill has been elected to serve the 2019-2020 academic year until a permanent president is elected.
Currently, there are three candidates for the position of president at Clark: Dr. Karin Edwards, Dr. Lamata D. Mitchell, Dr. Sara Tweedy. In December 2019 four people were chosen as finalists but Joaquin Martinez has since resigned from the running. All three remaining finalists have held student and public forums where people could ask each candidate questions.
Dr. Karin Edwards
Edwards has spent 36 years working with community colleges. From being an admissions counselor at Rensselear Polytechnic Institute in New York to being President of Portland Community College’s (PCC) Cascade Campus in Portland. She is on the National Council in Black American Affairs which, according to their website values, “The development of full human potential, encourages lifelong learning for all people and acknowledges the worth of the individual.” In her biography, she writes “Being an active member of creating inclusive and socially just campus environments.” Some of her achievements as President of PCC include: secured approximately $3 million in scholarships and grants, increased the number of full-time faculty and staff of color and opened two new buildings. Edwards has been published multiple times in the Portland Observer for pieces such as “Power of Education to Renew, Begin and Grow,” and “Apprenticeships to strengthen the middle class.” She has earned her doctorate in Educational Leadership at Johnson and Wales University in Providence, Rhode Island.
Dr. Lamata D. Mitchell
Mitchell’s career started as a literature professor first at Rock Valley College. She earned her Bachelors in English and Philosophy at Trent University in the U.K. Mitchell went on to earn three more degrees. Two masters, one in Publishing and Journalism and the second in English. After her teaching career, she earned her Ph.D. in English at Northern Illinois University. Mitchell became Associate Dean of Communication and Education in 2010 at Rock Valley where, according to her resume, she “provided leadership in all aspects of the college mission including the development of new programs and courses.” After six years of being Dean of Communication and Education, as well Dean of Social Sciences, she left Rock Valley to become Vice President of Instruction & Academic Operations in 2016 at Pima Community College (PCC) in Tuscon, Arizona. Some of her accomplishments written in her resume include maximizing student success by revamping the college’s course schedule to avoid conflicts and ensure appropriate course offerings. As well as “Provide academic leadership for the creation of the Center of Excellence focused on Applied Technology & Workforce, which received the Governor of Arizona’s support and funded by $65 million Board approved revenue board.”
Dr. Sara Tweedy
Currently Dr. Sara Tweedy is Vice President of Student Access, Involvement and Success at SUNY Westchester Community College. During her time at SUNY, Tweedy was involved with the LGBTI taskforce as well as faculty council. She is a certified volunteer firefighter at Kerhonkaon Volunteer Fire Department, allowing her to receive The New York State Medal of Honor in 2018. She earned her Masters of Divinity at Yale School of Divinity. While she was there she was awarded the Henry Hallman Tweedy prize [no relation], a prize given to students graduating with a masters degree with “exceptional promise for pastoral leadership.” Tweedy then served as executive director and pastor of The Federated Church of Kerhonkaon. Tweedy also served U.S Army National Guard as a heavy wheel diesel mechanic until she was honorably discharged.
Clark as a Community College is vital to the development of our community. From offering English learning programs, a variety of degrees and trades/skills for anyone to utilize. We asked a couple of students the question “What kind of qualities would you like in our new President?”
“I would like our president to be considerate. They would have to be big on being kind and accepting. As well as being aware of what problems are happening on campus,” she said.
“I would want a president to have good morals and beliefs. I think that would make the campus better,” he said.
“I really want someone who is gonna embrace diversity and helps create resources for all kinds of students. I’m really hoping we have someone who is more involved and cares about the students as well as the faculty and staff,” she said.