HFCC president search down to 6

Candidates to be interviewed next week

DEARBORN — Six candidates are vying for the position of Henry Ford Community College president after the December retirement of Gail Mee.

Mee had been president since July 2006.

HFCC invited the six finalists to the campus for open forums March 18 to 25. Additional details on times and locations were not released by press time.

The six candidates are:

Ismael Ahmed
Ismael Ahmed was appointed associate provost for Integrated Learning and Community Partnerships at the University of Michigan-Dearborn in January 2011. In this position, Ahmed is responsible for connecting academic programs to community, business, and government initiatives, locally and nationally.

During his tenure, he has brought internal and external stakeholders together to form a collaborative and student-centered vision around the University’s community outreach, institutional development, and fund raising strategies.

In September 2007, Gov. Jennifer Granholm appointed Ahmed as director of the Michigan Department of Human Services, a position he held until the end of 2010. He oversaw nearly 11,000 employees and administered a $7 billion annual budget.

In 1971, Ahmed co-founded the Arab Community Center for Economic and Social Services, which is the largest Arab-American human services organization in the United States, with a budget of $17 million and more than 300 staff members.

Wilfredo Arvelo
Arvelo is currently the president of Great Bay Community College in Portsmouth, N.H., a position he has held since 2007. During his presidency, Arvelo has worked to strengthen the college’s mission, visibility and vitality through the creation of new programs and activities designed to streamline student services and enhance student success.

In addition, he oversaw the construction of a new $15 million campus in Portsmouth; led the institution through a 10-year NEASC accreditation process; and oversaw the college’s rebranding efforts, which comprised a new name, logo, website, publications and other associated resources.

Additionally, over the past five years, enrollment increased 30 percent and the college also experienced an increase of 35 percent in online/hybrid courses, among other achievements. Prior to his presidency, he served as vice president of Corporate and External Relations from 2004 to 2007.

Reginald Gerlica
Gerlica is currently an instructor of English and World Languages at Henry Ford Community College. Previously, he served HFCC as vice president of Academic Affairs for Arts & Sciences from 2007 to 2012. He has also served as the associate dean of English and World Languages and has been at HFCC since 1984.

During his career at HFCC, he contributed to numerous projects, including service as the core team leader of the national Achieving the Dream Initiative. He also has co-chaired several major task forces geared toward providing services and support to students. These included efforts focused on tutoring services, service learning and retention.

Gerlica also served as administrative chair of the college’s general education assessment committee, which reviewed and assessed the college’s general education requirements.

Stan Jensen
For almost five years, Jensen served as president and CEO of Colorado Mountain College. CMC is a growing institution that is ranked first in Colorado and 17th in the nation for student success, as measured by graduation rates and transfer rates.

The western Colorado college comprises 22,000 students and eight campuses with 12 locations in areas that include Aspen, Vail, Steamboat Springs, Breckenridge, Glenwood Springs.

As a higher education administrator, Jensen has focused on strategic planning for college growth, program development, resource development, strategic technology adoption and leadership.

Gordon May
May began his career in higher education in 1986. During the latter part of his 15-year transportation management career, he taught Principles of Business Management at Oakland Community College Auburn Hills Campus. In 1987, he became the initial director of the new OCC Pontiac Center.

Following interim assignments as dean of Academic and Student Services at the Highland Lakes and Auburn Hills campuses, he returned to downtown Pontiac as executive director in 1997. From September 1998 through December 1999, he served as interim president of the Auburn Hills campus.

On Sept. 1, 2002, he was appointed to the Highland Lakes campus presidency. During November and December 2012, he concurrently served as interim president of the Auburn Hills campus.

Valerie Roberson
Roberson has served as a community college administrator for 20 years. Currently, she is vice president of Academic Affairs at Joliet Junior College. Joliet is recognized as the nation’s first public community college and serves approximately 15,600 college credit students in more than 100 degree and certificate programs.

Community College Times recognized Joliet Junior College as one of the top 100 associate degree producers in the nation (June 2012) as a result of college efforts and projects that Roberson led.

Previously, she served as president of Olive-Harvey College, of the City Colleges of Chicago, for more than five years. Olive-Harvey College serves approximately 7,500 students annually from a predominately black, and growing Hispanic population on the southeast side of Chicago.