RICHMOND – Dr. Kris Westover will become the next president of Mountain Empire Community College. That announcement was made today by Dr. Glenn DuBois, the chancellor of Virginia’s Community Colleges. Westover becomes the seventh person, and second woman, to serve as the college’s permanent president. Her hiring ends a process that began with a national search, which attracted more than 80 candidates, and finished earlier this month with open-to-the-community visits of three finalists to the college.
“I’ve known Kris for nearly a decade. She’s a rising star among our nation’s higher education executives,” said DuBois. “I’m delighted to announce her as the next president of Mountain Empire Community College, and I’m looking forward to what she has to offer the college and the community.”
Westover has more than 25 years of experience in higher education. She currently serves as the vice president for academic and student services at Patrick Henry Community College in Martinsville, a position she has held since 2011. Previously, she served as higher education program coordinator at the University of Texas in Austin, from 2009-2011. From 2008-2009, she served as director of technical programs for the Kansas Board of Regents. In 2016, the Aspen Institute selected Westover for inclusion in the inaugural class of its national Aspen Presidential Fellows program.
She holds a doctorate from Nova Southeastern University in Florida, and both a master’s degree in instructional technology and a bachelor’s degree from Fort Hays State University in Kansas.
“We appreciate the opportunity for our board, MECC faculty and staff, students, and the community to be involved in the selection and interview of candidates,” said David Graham, chair of the Mountain Empire Community College local advisory board. “While all of our candidates possessed strong qualifications, Dr. Westover was the resounding choice to lead the college forward. Her commitment to student success is evident in her past leadership experiences within the VCCS and at other colleges nationwide. Dr. Westover’s strong knowledge of academic program development, workforce credentials, business and community engagement, as well as her innovative vision demonstrated that she was the right fit for MECC. We welcome her to the college and are committed to her successful transition.”
Westover will succeed Dr. Scott Hamilton, who will retire at the end of June, having served in that role since 2010.
Mountain Empire Community College, founded in 1972 and located in Big Stone Gap, VA, is a comprehensive two-year college serving approximately 3,800 credit students and more than 1,000 noncredit students annually from the counties of Lee, Scott, Wise, and Dickenson, and the city of Norton.
About Virginia’s Community Colleges: Since 1966, Virginia’s Community Colleges have given everyone the opportunity to learn and develop the right skills so lives and communities are strengthened. By making higher education and workforce training available in every part of Virginia, we elevate all of Virginia. Together, Virginia’s Community Colleges serve more than 252,000 students each year. For more information, please visit www.vccs.edu.