Presidential candidate for Grand Rapids Community College, L. Joy Gates-Black, was on campus today, Nov. 15, giving a presentation on why she should be president as well as a answering questions during an interview session with various faculty members and the Board of Trustees.
Gates-Black is currently the Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs and Student Success at Tarrant County College in Fort Wayne, Texas. She is one of three finalists competing to follow current president Steven Ender when he retires in June.
Head of the English Department professor, Susan Mowers, was part of the screening team for selecting the presidential candidates and was pleased to hear what Gates-Black discussed today.
“I learned that Dr. Gates-Black is really committed to strategic planning,” Mowers said. “Which I think is something our college is really behind on in terms of making sure students get on a pathway, that they’re not taking needless classes and that they have guidance around them to usher them forward through the system which I think was emphasised very strongly in her presentation.”
Gates-Black talked a lot about how she would improve GRCC if she were to be hired as president of the college, as well as what she would do to improve it.
She elaborated on making sure she is the number one advocate for students, including fundraising events, decisions that directly affect students and different committees and panels that make decisions for the college.
Gates-Black revealed a little bit of her personal life, describing her commitment to physical activity and encouraging a healthy and fit environment at GRCC.
“I thought it was fun to see her loosen up and to get a sense of her humor and personality,” Mowers said. “I think relationship building is probably the key to any new president success here and it looked like she could do that.”
Bert E. Bleke, chairperson for the Board of Trustees, was happy with Gates-Black’s presentation and presence on campus.
“I think she’s doing a great job,” Bleke said. “She’s obviously very experienced and very astute and I thought her answers were spot on.”
Bleke went on to mention that so far, the Board of Trustees is facing the one problem they wanted to have: equally qualified and pleasing candidates so far.
“Basically, the board is probably confronted with the problem that we wanted to have which is a lot of good candidates,” Bleke said. “It’ll be difficult, but it’s a problem we were really hoping we could have.”
Gates-Black is the second candidate to visit GRCC. Bill Pink, GRCC’s Vice President and Dean for Workforce Development, presented yesterday and tomorrow Amy Fugate, Vice President for Academic Affairs at Mott Community College, will be on campus.
Several videos of Gates-Black’s presentations of the day can be found below.