By Sophie Deiters
The final three candidates to replace former Grand Rapids Community College president, Bill Pink have been announced.
A press release was sent out earlier today revealing the names of the three men – including one with previous ties to GRCC – who made the finalist list: Stuart Blacklaw, provost and executive vice president at the Community College of Allegany County in Pittsburgh; Tim Casper, vice president for student affairs and institutional effectiveness at Madison Area Technical College in Madison, Wisconsin; and Charles Lepper, vice president for student affairs and Enrollment Management at Salt Lake Community College in Salt Lake City, Utah.
The news release also listed the schedule for several community forums during which students and community members are invited to attend. Blacklaw will be on campus on Oct. 18, followed by Lepper on Oct. 19, and Casper on Oct. 24. On those days there will be a community forum from 2:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. and then a public interview by the board of trustees between 3:45 to 5:15. These will take place in the auditorium of the Applied Technology Center.
Before Blacklaw became provost and executive vice president at the Community College of Allegheny County in Pittsburgh, he was an assistant dean in the School of Liberal Arts and Sciences at GRCC from 2001-2002. He also taught Communication and Media Studies at Olivet College for 12 years and was associate dean for Curriculum and Instruction for Jefferson Community College in New York.
Casper, has been the vice president of Student Affairs and Institutional Effectiveness at Madison Area Technical College in Wisconsin since 2011. Prior to his role as vice president, Casper served as the deputy secretary of the Wisconsin Department of Revenue and a senior adviser to Wisconsin Gov. Jim Doyle. Casper has also worked for the Wisconsin Department of Health and Family Services and the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Lepper, prior to becoming the vice president for Student Affairs and Enrollment Management at Salt Lake Community College in Utah, was the vice president of Student Affairs at Tidewater Community College. He has earned a bachelor’s degree from Ball State University, a master’s degree from Grand Valley State University and a doctorate from Indiana State University.
“I’m impressed by the quality of the candidates, all with careers supporting students and their communities,” said GRCC Board of Trustees Chairperson, David J. Koetje, in a statement released by GRCC Oct. 10. “We are looking forward to getting to know them better, hearing their vision for leading GRCC into the future.”