On Monday, the Board of Regents approved the nominations of two outstanding individuals for the presidencies at Great Basin College and Nevada State College. Before I introduce our newest presidents, I'd like to take a moment to thank the presidential search committees of the Board of Regents and the campus advisory committee members for the incredible work they did over the past few months.
With the passing of Milt Glick in April 2011, the retirement of Carl Diekhans and the departure of Leslie Di Mare in October, the Board of Regents appointed interim presidents to run three of our eight institutions. Dr. Jason Geddes, chair of the Board of Regents, formed three presidential search committees to conduct national searches for permanent presidents.
Each search committee chose to employ an independent search firm to run the recruitment and select candidates from a national pool of applicants. These candidates were then reviewed by their respective regent and campus advisory committees and finalists were brought to the campuses for tours and more extensive interviews.
In each instance, one finalist was recommended by the joint regent and campus advisory committee and brought forward to the full Board of Regents for a final vote.
The University of Nevada, Reno Presidential Search Committee, chaired by Regent James Dean Leavitt, completed its work on April 20 with the selection of Dr. Marc Johnson as UNR's next president.
Dr. Mark A. Curtis
Great Basin College
The Great Basin College Presidential Search Committee, chaired by Regent Kevin Melcher, nominated Dr. Mark A. Curtis to serve as the next GBC president and the regents unanimously approved his appointment on April 30.
The search committee noted the high completion rates experienced by his previous institutions, his experience in strategic planning, understanding of regional campuses, and community involvement. The committee members also gave him high marks for his broad experience in partnering education with multiple private sector companies, and perhaps most important of all, his passion for changing lives through education. Many commented on, and I can attest to, his sense of humor and that he was "just likeable." I expect Mark to parlay this wonderful combination of a warm and winning personality backed by a solid record of experience and achievement into a highly successful presidency.
Mark will bring an outstanding understanding of the community college mission, as well as a deep level of private industry experience, to the Great Basin service area.
Currently the vice president of academic and student affairs at Alpena Community College in Alpena, Mich., he will join the college on July 1. He will take the reins from Interim President Lynn Mahlberg who has done an amazing job of keeping GBC on a straight and steady course during this transition period.
Dr. Curtis earned an associate degree in drafting and design technology at Kellogg Community College and later earned bachelor's, master's and doctoral degrees in drafting, metalworking, industrial education and leadership at Western Michigan University.
He was on the faculty at Ferris State University from 1981 to 1998 and was named Distinguished Teacher of the Year in 1989. He earned the rank of full professor in 1992 and was named as a Distinguished Faculty in 1993 by the Michigan Association of Governing Boards of State Universities.
Dr. Curtis has authored several design, manufacturing and inspection books and curricula. He has also conducted extensive in-plant training and consulting for several private companies and eventually joined the management team of Millennium Plastics Technologies, LLC in El Paso, Texas, serving as the vice president of engineering during the company's start-up phase.
He later returned to higher education as the dean of the College of Technology and Applied Sciences and assistant provost for community college programs at Northern Michigan University.
In 2004, he was appointed as the director of Purdue University's College of Technology. In 2007, he became the vice president for instruction at Alpena Community College and was promoted to vice president of academic and student affairs in 2011.
Please welcome Mark and his wife to Nevada and we look forward to his long, successful tenure as president of GBC.
Bart J. Patterson
Nevada State College
I admit to having mixed feelings when Bart Patterson informed me of his intention to apply for the presidency of Nevada State College. I had worked closely with him since I joined the NSHE staff in 2004 as chief counsel and I was well aware of his intelligence, wit, and was soon to discover, incredible passion for a small, but growing, state college in Henderson. While NSC would gain a great president, I would lose a great lawyer and trusted advisor.
Bart earned a B.S. (magna cum laude) in political science from Utah State University and a J.D. (with honors) from the Duke University School of Law.
He was in private practice at several law firms from 1987 through 2001 in Idaho, Arizona, and Nevada. He joined the Nevada System of Higher Education in 2001 as an assistant general counsel and was Nevada State College's first general counsel. He was named chief counsel in 2006 and vice chancellor for administrative and legal affairs in 2009.
He has been an adjunct professor at Nevada State College and guest lecturer on educational leadership at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas and the University of Nevada, Reno.
Bart is a proud product of the public school system and is an outspoken advocate for the ability of public education to change lives. All of his children have attended NSHE institutions and two are currently enrolled at NSC. During the search, Bart's passion for Nevada State College shone through. Students, staff, faculty and community leaders rallied to his candidacy. With this selection, I believe that Nevada State will have the strong and stable leader that it needs and deserves. Just celebrating its 10th anniversary, I see NSC poised to make huge strides in its second decade under the leadership of President Patterson.
The Nevada State College Presidential Search Committee, which was chaired by Regent Mark Alden, forwarded Bart's name as their sole candidate for the presidency based on his experience, interviews and his outstanding support from the campus community.
A new era begins
With all of the presidential searches successfully completed, our energies will be concentrated on the design of a new and dramatically improved funding formula as well as preparing for the 2013 legislative session and continuing to align higher education with the state's economic and workforce goals. As always, our overarching goal is to improve the access and quality we provide our students and residents of the 17 counties we serve.
Please join me in welcoming President Curtis and President Patterson to the NSHE family. They will make great additions to our leadership team and I am looking forward to seeing the great accomplishments they will make in advancing their institutions in the years ahead.