Dr. Paula Pitcher
Dr. Paula Pitcher. Photo provided.

Kellogg Community College recently announced the four finalists in the college’s presidential search, who have been visiting KCC to meet with students and staff.

Each candidate will also be formally interviewed by the KCC Board of Trustees in a public interview held in the Roll Building Board Room, on campus at 450 North Ave. in Battle Creek. The fourth and final candidate to visit KCC will be Dr. Paula Pitcher, who will be interviewed by the board beginning at 4 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 7.

A public forum just for students to meet Pitcher will begin at 1:45 p.m. Nov. 7.

Dr. Paula Pitcher is currently vice president for Enrollment Management at Delaware County Community College. She holds a Doctorate of Management in Community College Policy and Administration from the University of Maryland University College, where she later received the Alumni Business Leader Award. She also holds a Master of Business Administration and a Bachelor of Science from Bethel College, and an Associate of Applied Science from Texas State Technical College.

We asked Pitcher some questions about what her presidency at KCC would look like. Her answers are below.

The Bruin News: What are you going to do to maintain affordability for tuition and textbooks at KCC?

Pitcher: My goal is to keep tuition as low as possible while providing quality teaching and learning, excellent student services and engaging student activities. The increasing cost of textbooks is a challenge. Colleges have begun to explore Open Educational Resources (OER), which have begun to play an important role in aiding students with the high cost of textbooks.

The Bruin News: Why were you drawn to KCC?

Pitcher: I have dedicated my career to serving in community colleges. I
am drawn to Kellogg Community College because of its students, faculty, staff and community. The commitment to student success is demonstrated in teaching and learning, student activities and employer partnerships. I feel connected to KCC and have a strong desire to support academic programs. I started following Kellogg Community College on Instagram long before the president search because of the exciting things you are doing. Some of these items are:

  • Dual enrollment: My son and my daughter were dual enrollment students at Southwestern Michigan College.
  • Sports programs: I played volleyball in high school, and years later I met my husband playing intramural volleyball at SMC.
  • Cross country: A runner myself, you might catch me out there sometimes.

I also love that Kellogg CC has something for everyone – baseball, soccer, youth programs, ESL, visual and performing arts. The list goes on and on.

The best thing I like about Kellogg is that we are focused on equity, diversity and inclusion. I saw it in the presidential profile, the website, and it is demonstrated by the new position that was created and filled. I would be proud to work with a college that is moving towards providing access to high quality education in an equitable and inclusive environment to all individuals.

The Bruin News: What are your main short-term and long-term goals for the campus and students? What will be your top priorities at KCC?

Pitcher: My short-term goals will be meeting with students as much as possible, getting to know the faculty and staff and our community and university partners. I would also like to learn about the college and what is important to them as an institution. My long-term goals are improving student success. My top priority at KCC is our students, and teaching and learning. As a member of a larger ecosystem, Kellogg Community College is vital to the community in and surrounding Battle Creek. Our commitment to provide access to high quality education for our residents will continue to be the focus of my career.

The Bruin News: What will be the first thing you do once you start?

Pitcher: The first thing that I will do is meet with students, and often. It will be important for me to understand who you are as a student, and what your goals are. My role will be to ensure that you have everything that you need to be successful at KCC and in the community. A continuous dialogue will be critical for me to get you what you need.

The Bruin News: What is your attitude toward student-led and campuswide events? How are you going to support clubs and their activities?

Pitcher: Student-led and campuswide events are wonderful. I believe, and research shows, that students are more successful if they are engaged in activities on campus. I would like to see all our students get involved in as much as possible. And don’t be surprised if you see me there, too.

The Bruin News: What is your plan to prioritize diversity, inclusion and equity for student success?

Pitcher: I believe that equity is the foundation on which we can build a fair society. This is important to me because I experienced diversity and equity challenges throughout my life. This has compelled me to act. It has empowered me. It provided me with the passion to become something, to be an advocate for underrepresented individuals. I believe that everyone deserves access to college.

For more information

The Bruin News published answers to the above questions from the other presidential candidate finalists in advance of their visits to KCC. Click through the links below to view answers from the other finalists.

For more information about KCC’s presidential search, visit www.kellogg.edu/transition.