With the highly successful chancellor moving on, what lies ahead?
Selecting a new chancellor for Bossier Parish Community College could be a lengthy process.
The Board of Supervisors for Louisiana’s Community and Technical Colleges will spend the next several weeks discussing the best way to move forward after Dr. Jim Henderson was unanimously named the 18th President of Northwestern State University in Natchitoches last month.
“Given that each college, leadership circumstance, and community is different, the timelines associated with a chancellor search often varies,” Monty Sullivan, President of Louisiana’s Community and Technical Colleges, said. “Discussions have yet to occur and once they have, we will communicate that to the college and community.”
Henderson’s selection was the culmination of a five-month search that yielded 41 applications, 12 candidates, four semifinalists, and two finalists. He will begin his leadership term at NSU on Jan. 1, 2015.
“It is difficult to put into words the mix of emotions I felt at being selected: pride, humility, gratefulness, excitement,” Henderson said. “The warm welcome extended by the Northwestern/Natchitoches community and the support from the BPCC/Bossier community have been overwhelming and humbling.”
Henderson said his first on-campus visit to NSU with his wife “just felt right.”
“I absolutely love working with the faculty and staff at BPCC and living in Bossier. Very few opportunities would have even drawn my interest,” he said of his decision to apply for the position. “The immense potential for Northwestern to build on its rich 130 year history and become a national model of excellence for regional universities was enticing. The purple blood running through my and Tonia’s veins as alumni made the decision easy.”
Henderson has been Chancellor of Bossier Parish Community College since 2009. According to Sullivan, the process of finding his successor will be very detailed and inclusive of the entire college community and includes students, faculty and staff, members of the business community, and the Board of Supervisors.
“We have a transparent and step-by-step process we use when conducting a chancellor search and we will share that process with the college and community at the appropriate time,” Sullivan added.
Despite the new job and title, Henderson said there’s still work to be done in Bossier.
“We are focused on providing a world class environment for our students, creating additional programming for our employers, and continuing to improve a national model for community colleges,” he said. “We expect another record graduation in December, and we expect those graduates to excel in employment or continued education.”
Under Henderson’s leadership, the college created market responsive programs in nursing, oil and gas technology, construction management, industrial technology and engineering. Henderson is confident, though, that BPCC’s reputation in the community, state and nationally will continue to prove itself year after year.
“The occupant of the chancellor’s office gets a lot of credit for the college’s accomplishments, but the real secret to BPCC’s success is the faculty and staff,” he said. “The professional team at BPCC is unlike any I have encountered. They are a creative, dedicated bunch that is totally committed to achieving the mission. I will enjoy watching the growth and innovation that is inevitable.”
Sullivan concluded by saying Henderson has been a “tremendous leader for Bossier Parish Community College and Louisiana’s Community and Technical Colleges over the last decade.”
“He has left an indelible mark on Bossier Parish Community College and the people of northwest Louisiana,” Sullivan said.