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MCC names interim president

November 11, 2018

BULLHEAD CITY — Mohave Community College has named former executive vice president Diana Stithem as interim president.

Stithem, who retired in 2016, was selected Friday by the Board of Governors and will take over after President Michael Kearns retires in February.

Stithem will serve as the college’s chief executive officer until the board selects a new president, at which time Stithem will assist with the transition.

“I’m looking forward to being part of MCC again, working with colleagues and helping with the transition to a new college president,” said Stithem who worked at the college from 2003 to 2016.

The details came after a closed-door executive session at Friday’s meeting.

The college has reported that the application period in the search for the next MCC president begins Tuesday. The nationwide search will remain open until Feb. 1.

Stithem has chosen not to be a candidate for the permanent president position.

“Because of her education, background, and experience, Dr. Stithem is more than capable of serving as interim president,” board member Julie Bare said Saturday.

Board members plan to make a final decision on the position by May 2019. A complete timeline for the search process can be found at www.mohave.edu/mcc-president-search.

Stithem started at MCC as dean of the distance education program.

Bare said that Stithem’s dedication to distance education “evolved into an extended campus concept that embraced DE, veterans services, community and corporate education, and the Small Business Development Center.”

She was brought back in a part-time position in the spring of 2018 as director of the distance education project, and went back into retirement in May.

Stithem previously was an attorney in Wyoming, where she worked in private practice and as a staff attorney for the Wyoming Supreme Court. Stithem also was director of Wyoming’s adult education program and a supervisor and director of the legal services program at the University of Wyoming College of Law, as well as a visiting professor at the law school.

While at MCC, Stithem was instrumental in developing and managing the college’s online education program, according to an MCC press release.

During the regular session of the meeting, MCC veterans services coordinator Jimi Hammond announced that the college will be opening veterans centers on the Bullhead City and Lake Havasu City campuses.

She told board members that a center that opened on the Kingman campus this fall has been well-received, so officials are extending the concept.

“We’ve had great feedback from veterans who use the Kingman campus center, and we’re excited to expand this service to veterans in Bullhead City and Lake Havasu City,” Hammond said.

In Bullhead City and Lake Havasu City, the centers will be inside campus libraries, and outfitted with laptops and educational resources.

Hammond said that the college hopes to have the new veterans centers open for the spring semester. They will be earmarked for use by students who are veterans or family members of veterans.

The centers will include resource boards with local information for veterans.

MCC applied for a grant from the non-profit Support Education & Employment for Vets, known as S.E.E.4VETS, to get the Bullhead City veterans center started, and will soon be submitting an application for the Havasu center, Hammond said.

According to the college, the centers’ construction is not dependent upon the grant.

About 200 veterans now attend MCC.

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