July 1 marked day-one for Highland Community College’s new president, Deborah Fox.
The Board of Trustees named Fox as the 44th president of the institution after a nationwide search was completed in the spring of 2019. President David Reist retired at the end of June 2019 after 38 year with Highland Community College, 17 years as president.
Deborah Fox, a native of Kansas, most recently served as Director of Business Operations & Management for USD #446, Independence, Kansas School District. Previously, she served Highland Community College as the Vice President of Finance & Operations for 14 years and as an Assistant Dean of Regional Instruction for 3 years. She holds a Master of Science in Educational Administration with an emphasis in Higher Education from Fort Hays State University and an MBA in General Administration from Pittsburg State University.
Board of Trustee Chair Thomas Smith said of the board’s choice, “we felt Deborah interacted well with campus and its constituents. She is a great fit in the community and knows HCC having spent 14 years as Highland’s Vice President of Finance and Operations.”
Fox told HCC employees, “I am thrilled to return to HCC. I’ve been in education administration for over 25 years with 17 of those years at Highland. It’s an exciting time to be a Scottie and I am grateful to be a part of it.”
“I’ve been meeting new people on campus and connecting with familiar faces. My first goal is to listen to the needs of our campuses and see how we can address those in combination with strategic goals for growth.”
Goals for growth include expanding the successful online and technical programs as well as continued growth on the Highland campus and regional centers.
“Highland’s technical programs are successful, and these are areas where job growth nationally is high. Highland is positioned to help students and employers in the region be prepared.”
“Retiring President Reist and his cabinet have a great strategic plan in place, and we’ve seen tremendous growth in our technical programs, namely at our Atchison Technical Center. Deb was here when we started forming that partnership and will be able to lead us and continue that trend,” added Tom Smith, HCC BOT Chair.
“She is hitting the ground running and comes with plenty of experience.”