Nesbary discusses role of president
By Robin Morales
Muskegon Community College President Dale K. Nesbary was joined by his cat, “Moonlight,” May 7 to address LCC’s questions submitted for the presidential candidate open forums.
Nesbary was the third of four finalists for the position to be interviewed this week.
The online forum was moderated by LCC Chief Diversity Officer Dr. Tonya Bailey. Nesbary added humor to his responses and battled through occasional technical difficulties to answer questions relating to student equity and shared collegiate governance.
“In terms of what I would bring to the college,” Nesbary said, “the most important skillset that I think I’d bring, is having taught classes online, having taught classes remotely … having written books on the topic.”
Nesbary explained how he would increase and stabilize student enrollment at LCC if he were president.
“I would robustly support the Early College and dual enrollment programs,” he said. “We develop a strong relationship with the local intermediate school districts, with the local high schools, with the local elementary schools. We deeply engage ourselves in that environment.
“We need to engage with students … by creating scholarship programs.”
When asked about his presidential experience at the community college level, Nesbary said creating a campus culture of equity is one of his foremost priorities.
“There are members in (the Muskegon) community who understand that there are underserved populations that could do extraordinarily well if given the opportunity,” Nesbary said. “So we modified our mission to include the word ‘equity.’
“Our mission reads, ‘Muskegon Community College, dedicated to equity and excellence, prepares students, builds communities and improves lives.’”
Nesbary added: “I believe that, with respect to students who are in need, colleges are places where we can lead, we can provide direction to others … who are unable to help themselves.”
In closing, Nesbary summarized his accomplishments as president of Muskegon Community College. He said his experiences and administrative expertise would make him a strong choice for LCC’s next president.
“This is the most important decision that Lansing Community College is going to make in years,” Nesbary said. “You need a president who not only understands, conceptually, how to work with faculty, how to improve the quality of education and the environment in which you find yourselves, you need someone who’s demonstrated that.
“In my years as a professional, as an academic, as someone who’s been a college president … I’m committed to students and to the community.
“I’m a strong candidate for this position.”
The LCC Board of Trustees will host the final candidate forum Friday, May 8, at 6 p.m., by WebEx. Dr. Elaine Collins is the final candidate and her forum will be moderated by Mark Cosgrove.
The Lookout will cover the May 8 forum and publish an online story May 9.
The new president will replace Dr. Brent Knight, who is retiring June 30 after 11 years at LCC.