Russell George named finalist of consideration of CNCC presidency

RBC I Dr. Nancy McCallin, president of the Colorado Community College System (CCCS) announced that Cliff Richardson, CCCS vice-president for Finance and Adminstration, will serve as interim president of Colorado Northwestern Community College (CNCC) while future plans for a permanent president are under discussion. Current president, Dr. John Boyd, resigned late last year to assume the presidency of Mayland Community College in North Carolina. Dr. Boyd’s last day at CNCC is Jan. 7.
“We wish John the best for his presidency at Mayland Community College,” said McCallin. “He has served the college and the community well during his presidency and we thank him for his work and contributions to CNCC and the system.”
Dr. Nancy McCallin announced the finalist under consideration for the presidency is former speaker of the Colorado House of Representatives, Russell George. George served as speaker from 1999 to 2000 and represented Garfield, Pitkin, Rio Blanco and Moffat counties in the Colorado House of Representatives from 1993 to 2000. He currently serves as executive director of the Colorado Department of Transportation and was executive director of the Colorado Department of Natural Resources from 2004 to 2007.
He was instrumental in helping to preserve and grow CNCC by sponsoring legislation in 1998 to bring the college into CCCS and create stability that allowed it to thrive and better serve the community. George is a graduate of Rifle High School. He received his bachelor of arts degree in economics from Colorado State University and his law degree from Harvard Law School. He recently served on Governor Ritter’s Higher Education Strategic Planning Committee that looked at the structure and funding for higher education in the state.
McCallin and George will be visiting CNCC’s Rangely and Craig campuses in January for open forums to seek college and community input. Details of times and locations for these forums will be released in the near future.
“As we look to the future of higher education in our state, the importance of community colleges for their role in access to a high quality, affordable education cannot be emphasized enough. In this role, they contribute to a well educated workforce, which creates strong economic development,” said George. “I am interested in this position because I understand the importance of the educational and training opportunities that are needed in rural areas, and know the value CNCC brings to the large area it serves. I look forward to meeting with faculty, staff, students, and community leaders to discuss their hopes and visions for the future of the college.”
“I am pleased that we have an excellent candidate from northwestern Colorado,” said McCallin. “As with any decision on presidencies for the colleges, community input is important to the decision making process and I, too, look forward to the discussion for the college’s future and success.”