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College Overview

Northwestern Michigan College was founded in 1951 and has a history of vision, vigor and grassroots commitment, which continues to this day. NMC is a fully accredited community college offering 103 transfer, career degree and certificate programs. The Higher Learning Commission (HLC) has consistently reaffirmed NMC’s accreditation with high marks. The college has earned a reputation for academic excellence and friendly personal attention. NMC plays an important role in the talent, social and economic development for the region. Founded on philanthropy, the college established the NMC Foundation in 1981, which has consistently been ranked among the top 20 in the nation and is approaching $50 million in assets.

Throughout its four campuses, NMC offers associate degrees, professional certificates, and bachelor's degrees through the NMC Great Lakes Maritime Academy and NMC Great Lakes Water Studies Institute. Six partner universities grant baccalaureate, graduate and doctoral degrees through our University Center. Renowned programs for Drone/UAS training, the unique water studies Institute and a recognized program of study in Culinary Arts are just a few of the excellent programs that tie the college to the community and afford NMC national recognition. NMC also enjoys alliances with international partners as well.

The state-of-the-art campuses feature updated classroom facilities, cutting-edge technology and tranquil settings where more than 4,800 students build their futures each year. The college has invested more than $100 million in facilities improvements over the past 18 years.

Strategic Directions

NMC adopted a strategic agenda in 2009 that contains the following five points. This combined with the adoption of the HLC AQIP accreditation format have resulted in numerous nationally recognized leadership positions.

1. Ensure that NMC learners are prepared for success in a global society and economy.
2. Establish national and international competencies and provide leadership in select educational areas connected to the regional economy and assets.
3. Deliver learning through a networked workforce.
4. Establish lifelong relationships with learners.
5. Transcribe most learning to establish credentials of value.

Mission, Vision, & Values

Northwestern Michigan College was the first comprehensive community college chartered in the State of Michigan. Since its founding in 1951, NMC has provided quality, affordable access to higher education for learners of all ages and backgrounds. NMC is integrally woven into the economic, social and cultural fabric of the region, providing leadership and support for key initiatives that shape our communities and prepare our learners for rich and meaningful lives.

Northwestern Michigan College provides lifelong learning opportunities to our communities.

NMC will be the resource of choice for higher education, lifelong learning and cultural experiences. NMC will be an essential contributor to quality of life and a vibrant economy. We will demonstrate collaborative and inventive approaches to education and training for liberal studies, careers, interests and emerging learner markets.

Our individual and collective efforts create the legacy of NMC. In order to achieve our mission, we are individually committed and responsible to live these values:

  • Learning is at the center of all we strive to achieve. It is the foundation upon which an enlightened citizenry and a dynamic community are built and is a lifelong process in which we are all engaged.
  • We will continuously improve the learning experience and its global relevance to those we serve through innovation, agility and thoughtful risk-taking.
  • Our actions are governed by the highest degree of ethics, integrity and personal responsibility, exhibited through transparency, openness and trust.
  • We each will practice responsible stewardship for the human, physical, financial and environmental resources entrusted to our care.
  • Each of us will strive to exceed expectations for quality and service in all that we do.
  • We value all people and will invest in their personal and professional growth and development.
  • We will exhibit foresight by monitoring the changing world around us and taking actions today that prepare us to meet future needs of our communities.
  • We will seek others who share our vision and values, and collaborate with them on behalf of our communities.

About the Area

Northwestern Michigan College is located in the vibrant city of Traverse City, Michigan, renowned for its natural beauty and unique character where people and businesses can thrive and grow. NMC plays a major role in its community that values and encourages diverse business, cultural and educational opportunities, partnering with other regional stakeholders to provide a framework for growth and investment in Northwest Michigan. Traverse City is a world class community with an asset base far more significant than its size would indicate.

The community has a strong sense of ownership in the college. It is home to an award-winning regional hospital, the fourth busiest airport in Michigan, outstanding public and private schools, and a nationally recognized college. Traverse City serves as a regional hub for northwestern Michigan and a desirable destination for visitors from around the world. As one of the economically strongest communities in the state, Traverse City is well positioned to welcome and adapt to real-time change while retaining its charm.

Arts and culture command a large footprint in the Grand Traverse area. Interlochen Center for the Arts, the Traverse Symphony Orchestra, and the NMC Dennos Museum Center are long-standing institutions, while the National Writers Series, the Traverse City Film Festival, and the NMC International Affairs Forum enrich the local culture and community.

Traverse City’s agricultural legacy is well known; long a leader in the tree fruit industry, partnerships with Michigan State University’s extension facility north of Traverse City, and new thinking around fruit tree farming is leading to cutting-edge practices and technology. Farm products from northwest Michigan are shipped all over the world under well-known industry brands.

The northwest Michigan manufacturing sector has a long and successful history. CNC machining, which launched the Second Industrial Revolution, was developed in Traverse City by John Parsons and Frank Stulen. Today, manufacturing is both broad-spectrum and specialized with 11% of the area population engaged in manufacturing, well above the national average.

New business growth is a priority of the current and future economy in Traverse City, as evidenced by increased capital investment and access to a newly formed Economic Development Corporation, new business incubator, and burgeoning technology sectors. The creation of high value jobs is key to Traverse City’s future and local leaders have taken the initiative to foster economic development as a result of this driver.

The future for, and potential in, northwest Michigan is wide open. NMC will continue to take a leading role in the future of the Traverse City area.

Quick facts:

  • Traverse City is located 222km (139 miles) from Grand Rapids, MI (GRR), about 400km (250 miles) from Detroit (DTW), and about 507km (315 miles) from Chicago.
  • With abundant fruit farmland and orchards, Traverse City is known as the “Cherry Capital” of America.
  • Ours is a resort area where people enjoy water sports, golf, horseback riding, cycling, running, swimming, hiking and snow skiing.
  • Traverse City has four distinct seasons with warm, humid summers (average 26°C/79°F) and cold, snowy winters (average -8°C/18°F). Snowfall between November and April averages around 3 meters (120 inches) per year and the ground is typically covered in snow from December through mid-April.
  • Traverse City’s year-round population is a little more than 15,000 people, but the five-county area around Grand Traverse Bay has over 140,000 residents, and, in the summer season, visitors and seasonal residents will almost double that number.

Other resources:

Opportunity Overview

Minimum Qualifications:

  • Appropriate advanced professional degree
  • Progressively responsible leadership positions
  • 5+ years in senior level leadership

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Master’s degree or equivalent
  • 10+ years of senior leadership experience
  • Experience in both higher education and business/private sector

The Board of Trustees at Northwestern Michigan College is seeking a highly diversified group of applicants with varying backgrounds, as well as a broad range of leadership experiences for the position of president. The successful candidate will be able to demonstrate the following:

1) A knowledge of and commitment to the pursuit and passion of lifelong learning.
2) A commitment to ensuring success for all learners.
3) Demonstrated ability to lead a complex organization within a dynamic political and regulatory environment through periods of change.
4) An entrepreneurial spirit that can inspire and lead the college toward the future.
5) A strong commitment to global engagement and awareness.
6) A commitment to experiential learning.
7) Superb communication skills and demonstrated effectiveness engaging with a wide variety of both internal and external stakeholders.
8) Successful team-building skills.
9) Active involvement as a community leader with a strong history of developing effective partnerships and engagement with business, community organizations and other educational institutions.
10) Evidence of strong strategic planning and execution with experience in enrollment development/management/growth, community outreach and economic and community development.
11) A track record of identifying and raising financial and physical resources.
12) The financial acumen to guide the college as it continues on its transformational journey.
13) The political savvy to represent and advocate for the institution in the regional, state, national and international arenas.

The College has a stable financial status with strong employee commitment and positive community recognition. NMC has consistently received high marks from its accreditation agency, the Higher Learning Commission. NMC is searching for a CEO who can lead a complex, regulated organization to meet the changes of the future, while respecting the college’s history and tradition. The next President will fully embrace the college values and strategic agenda and be a confident and collaborative decision-maker. The individual should embody integrity and fully understand the community college mission; (s)he should be able to align vision, values and strategy and do so with transparency.

Interested persons should address a cover letter and resume/curriculum vitae to Dr. Marsi Liddell @ marsil@paulygroup.com no later than noon on July 7, 2019.

Application Process

Printable Position Profile

Please direct inquiries and nominations to the College’s search consultant: Marsi Liddell, Senior Consultant, Pauly Group, Inc., Cell: 970/590-2044, Office: 217/241-5400, Fax: 217-241-5401, E-mail: marsil@paulygroup.com.

Please submit electronically to marsil@paulygroup.com the following documents as MS Word or Adobe Acrobat attachments: (1) a cover letter that addresses the Opportunity Overview; (2) a current résumé; and (3) names and contact information of five professional references.

The committee will begin review of applications immediately. Applications will be accepted until the position is filled, with materials submitted by noon, Sunday, July 7, 2019 receiving priority consideration. All applications are confidential and references will not be contacted without the expressed authorization of the applicant.

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