Community College of Aurora names 3 finalists in presidential search

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AURORA | Three final candidates have been announced in the search for the Community College of Aurora’s next president.

The current president, Betsy Oudenhoven, will be retiring at the end of July after a decade at the college. A search committee for her replacement formed in the fall, and on Wednesday Colorado Community College System president Joe Garcia announced the final candidates:

  • Mordecai Brownlee, vice president for student success at St. Philips College in San Antonio, Texas
  • Stephanie Fujii, vice president of academic affairs at Scottsdale Community College in Arizona
  • Michelle Schutt, vice president of student services at the College of Southern Idaho in Twin Falls

Fujii was also selected as a finalist in Arapahoe Community College’s search for its next president, along with three other candidates.

This is a rare occurrence because there are not usually vacancies at multiple colleges in the system at one time, Colorado Community College System spokesperson Christina Cecil told the Sentinel in an email.

Garcia is in charge of selecting each president, Cecil said, and would make the final determination if both colleges chose Fujii as their top candidate.

None of the candidates have worked in Colorado before, according to candidate biographies on the college’s website, though Schutt received a PhD from Colorado State University.

A commitment to diversity is evident in each of the candidates’ biographies. Scottsdale Community College and the College of Southern Idaho are both Hispanic Serving Institutions (HSI), and St. Philips is the only college that is designated as both an HSI and a Historically Black College (HBCU).

Fujii is on the board of the National Asian/Pacific Islander Council, and Schutt helped establish a Gay-Straight Student Alliance at the College of Southern Idaho.

Each candidate is scheduled to meet virtually with the CCA community April 19-21. Feedback will be requested from participants and used to inform Garcia’s final selection, according to a news release.

Biographies of each candidate and information on how to attend the virtual forums are available on CCA’s website.

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