Evelyn Jorgenson was selected as the next president of NorthWest Arkansas Community College by unanimous vote Monday, (Nov. 12) in executive session. Jorgenson, is President of Moberly Area Community College in Moberly, Mo. where she has served for 16 years.

As president at Moberly Area Community College, Jorgenson said her top four accomplishments were:
• Development and expansion of off-campus sites in five area communities;
• Introduction of rigorous dual­credit and duaI­-enrollment programs in 30+ area high schools;
• Expansion of technology to include ITV, on-line courses, synchronous and asynchronous formats and hybrid courses; and
• Two successful Higher Learning Commission 10-year PEAQ visits, both with no required reports or follow-up.

“Most educators agree that access is very important, but I also believe successful completion is very Important,” she wrote in her cover letter. “We must be student-centered, meeting our students at their current academic levels, but giving them the tools to succeed and the benefit of knowing that their success is real, that their programs of study was rigorous, and their hard work helped them meet the high expectations that will allow them to be successful, whether entering the university or embarking on a career.”

Jorgensen will be third president of the two-year community college when Dr. Becky Paneitz retires in June 2013.

“I extend a sincere thank you to all the well qualified and impressive candidates who have participated in the process,” said Alex Vasquez, Chairman of the NWACC Board of Trustees. “I am very pleased that we have reached this point in the nationwide search for the next President of NWACC.  Because of our thorough and inclusive process, I am confident that Dr. Jorgenson is a great fit for the college and the community, and she will lead the college forward in exciting ways.”

Paneitz announced her plans to retire in April, and the Board of Trustees and Presidential Search Committee worked with the Association of Community College Trustees to conduct a national search for her replacement.

The Search Committee, chaired by Trustee Randy Lawson, and consisting of various college stakeholders including faculty, staff, students, donor and community members, chose six semifinalists. After interviewing those six candidates, the committee recommended the names of four finalists to the Board of Trustees in October, and the trustees adopted that recommendation.

Jorgenson’s other higher education administrative experience includes serving as Vice President, Assistant to the President, Administration/Planning, and as Director of Personnel at Moberly Area Community College. She also served as Director of Missouri Resource Center for Adult Basic Education.

Jorgenson holds a doctorate in higher and adult education from the University of Missouri and a master’s degree in higher and adult education from the same institution. She earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Columbia College in Columbia, Mo., and an Associate of Arts from State Fair Community College in Sedalia, Mo.

Other finalists interviewed by the Board of Trustees were Dr. Jo Blondin, Chancellor of the Arkansas Tech University-Ozark campus; Dr. Anthony “Tony” Kinkel, President of Wichita Area Technical College in Wichita, Kan.; and Dr. Carol Spencer, Executive Director of the Academic Program Articulation Steering Committee in Arizona.

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