SMC Advances All Four Internal Presidential Candidates to Interview Round

Looks like all four internal candidates for the job of President of Southwestern Michigan College all made the first round cut last night and will move on to the interview phase of the presidential search.

College officials tell us that at the regular monthly meeting last night, Monday, September 16th, the SMC Board of Trustees began the second phase of the interview process for identifying their next president. The Board had solicited public input on the characteristics most desired in the next leader, and trustees heard from a dozen individuals, including taxpayers, current faculty, former employees and a representative from the Michigan Education Association.

The Board then voted unanimously last night to conduct interviews on Monday, September 30th on the Dowagiac campus with all four internal candidates to succeed Dr. David Mathews as SMC’s eighth president.

On August 6th, Mathews, who is characterized as SMC’s longest-serving president at 18 years, announced his retirement at the end of 2019 after 22 years with the college. During their August 19th meeting, the Board of Trustees voted 6-to-1 to begin with an internal search process. The window for interested candidates to apply was open for several weeks and closed on September 10th.

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Four candidates have formally applied for the position, including:

  • Dr. David Fleming, Vice President of Instruction
  • Dr. Lucian Leone, Director of Admissions
  • Dr. Joseph Odenwald, Vice President of Student Services
  • Dr. Stacy Young, Dean of the School of Business and Advanced Technology

Board Chair Thomas Jerdon says, “We are pleased with the experience of these four candidates and their interest in serving as SMC’s next president,” adding, “They each bring knowledge from previous positions with different colleges and universities, providing perspective that, when combined with their solid understanding of SMC’s current strengths and challenges, makes them valuable leaders already. The Board looks forward to learning more about their vision and plans for SMC.”

Members of the public are invited to observe the interviews in person. A schedule and further details will be made available on the college’s Taxpayer Information web page under the section “Presidential Search.” You can follow that information online by clicking the link below:

Southwestern Michigan College was founded in 1964, and is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools and is a member of the American Association of Community Colleges.