President

Westmoreland County Community College

Westmoreland County Community College, a vibrant, student-centric community college located near Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, in the town of Youngwood, is in search of its next President. The Board of Trustees invites applications from and nominations of visionary, strategic, and student-centered leaders who can build on a remarkable era of transformation and innovation.

The Institution: Founded in 1970, Westmoreland County Community College lives its mission of improving the quality of life in its surrounding communities through education, training, and cultural enrichment. The College serves approximately 3,000 full- and part-time students across eight locations in Westmoreland, Fayette, and Indiana counties and offers more than 100 associate degree, diploma, and certificate programs. A comprehensive community college, Westmoreland prepares students for careers in a diverse array of fields or to transfer into baccalaureate degree programs at four-year institutions. The College is also committed to helping learners re-skill and up-skill in response to industry needs as well as providing personal enrichment opportunities for all members of the community. Westmoreland’s academic programs are exceptionally strong, and in 2023, the College received a glowing report as well as reaffirmation of its accreditation from the Middle States Commission on Higher Education. The College’s Culinary Arts, Dental Assisting, Dental Hygiene, Medical Assisting, and Nursing programs all enjoy programmatic accreditation, as well.

Due to the College’s investment in major capital improvements over the past ten years, the Youngwood Campus boasts updated facilities, including a Health and Culinary Center that houses academic and administrative offices, classrooms, laboratories, a top-of-the-line culinary arts complex, a dining facility, and several multipurpose rooms that provide settings for a variety of conferences and seminars for business and industry. The Health and Culinary Center is also home to five High-Fidelity Nursing Simulation Labs. Also located on the Youngwood Campus is a state-of-the-art Science Innovation Center, a popular 425-seat theater that hosts both College and community events, and a Student Achievement Center that houses classrooms, academic offices, study areas, the Library, a 300-seat amphitheater, the College Store, a café, a gymnasium, an indoor running track, and a fitness center. Also located in the Student Achievement Center is the College’s Event Center, which is used for College activities and also available for public use.

The College also has responded to the needs of its large service region by offering fully-outfitted locations across southwestern Pennsylvania conveniently situated in the towns of Latrobe, Murrysville, New Kensington, Indiana, and Uniontown. Additionally, the College’s Public Safety Training Center in South Huntingdon Township has emerged as a premier, in-demand training ground for the region’s firefighters, police officers, emergency service personnel, and even federal law enforcement agencies. The College is also home to a 73,500-square-foot Advanced Technology Center (ATC), which offers credit programs, continuing education, and contract training for industrial technology and manufacturing occupations. The ATC also houses the Westmoreland Makerspace District, a business accelerator for local, national, and global businesses and start-ups. Through the ATC, the College has forged partnerships with world-renowned institutions, including Carnegie Mellon University and MIT. Since its founding, Westmoreland County Community College has continued to evolve to serve the community’s needs, thanks in large part to a strong culture of philanthropy, partnership, and collaboration. For more information about the College, please visit https://westmoreland.edu.

The Position: Reporting to the Board of Trustees, the President serves as the Chief Executive Officer and is responsible for the overall operation of the College. The President articulates a common vision and guides the College in achieving its goals. Serving as a visible advocate for the College’s role in economic development, the President maintains and builds partnerships with business, industry, and local government and addresses the changes in the local economy by leading the College in developing programs and services to meet the needs of the community and the state. The President also fosters strong ties with the College’s funding sources, including state, federal, and local sponsors, and collaborates with other presidents to identify and achieve state-wide support for community colleges. The President is responsible for overseeing strategic planning and institutional effectiveness plans and processing for the College and articulates and advances the student success and completion agenda for the College. The President cultivates innovation throughout the College, including but not limited to, improving physical facilities through major capital projects, guiding the development of academic programs in emerging fields, and ensuring responsiveness to workforce needs. In addition to being responsible for all employment-related decisions, the President supervises and evaluates the President’s Cabinet. The President attends all College Board of Trustees meetings and keeps the Board abreast of accomplishments and new developments at the College. The President also prepares reports and presentations for the Board of Trustees and submits and maintains an operating budget that adheres to College guidelines and reflects the long-range plans of the College. Additionally, the President ensures compliance with federal, regional, state, and program accreditation processes and performs other presidential duties assigned by the Board of Trustees.

Qualifications: The College seeks an inspirational, collaborative, engaging, and approachable leader with a strong commitment to the philosophy and mission of a comprehensive community college. The ideal candidate will be committed to shared governance and participatory management and will bring a history of successful senior-level administrative experience, preferably in a community college setting. Candidates must bring a demonstrated skill and knowledge of the following areas: academic policies and procedures, state and local government, executive leadership, and fiscal management. Additionally, the successful candidate should have the ability to identify new and alternate sources of funding and revenue generation. They must have excellent communication, organization, and presentation skills and be committed to maintaining the College’s existing culture of transparency. Demonstrated skills in and/or understanding of workforce development will be essential for the next President’s success. The next President must be able to lead a strong executive team and be able to adapt to the changing landscape of higher education. They must be able to handle sensitive and difficult situations with tact and diplomacy and must maintain professionalism, confidentiality, composure, and a student-centered focus and attitude. An earned terminal degree from a regionally accredited institution is required. Experience with collective bargaining and fundraising is preferred.

Location: Westmoreland County is situated in Pennsylvania’s beautiful and rugged Laurel Highlands. Residents enjoy easy access to a bounty of outdoor activities and natural resources, from hiking lush forests to testing one’s mettle on the swift waters of the Youghiogheny River. Culture and the Arts are also well within reach, as the region is home to numerous theaters and performing arts venues, museums and galleries, and historical points of interest, such as Frank Lloyd Wright’s iconic Fallingwater house. The classic, picturesque amusement parks of Idlewild and Kennywood are each a short, easy drive from Youngwood, and the town of Greensburg, located just north of Youngwood, offers ample dining and shopping options. The region also provides an affordable cost of living, strong school systems, quality health care, and thriving business and industry. Additionally, Pittsburgh is 40 minutes away by car and offers all the amenities one would expect from a major city, including a booming restaurant scene, professional sports, and world-class arts, culture, and educational institutions. For more information about the Westmoreland County region, visit www.co.westmoreland.pa.us and www.golaurelhighlands.com.

Application: Interested candidates should submit only a cover letter and resume to RPA Inc. at WestmorelandPresident@rpainc.org. For a confidential discussion about this opportunity or to make a nomination, please contact Isaac Karaffa, Vice President and Senior Consultant, or Amanda O’Donnell, Vice President and Senior Consultant, at the email address above. While applications will be accepted until the position is filled, please apply by March 11, 2024.

The college does not discriminate in its educational programs, activities, or employment practices based on race, color, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, disability, age, religion, ancestry, gender identity or expression, veteran status, union membership, or any other legally protected classification protected by state or federal law or the proper exercise by an Association member of their rights guaranteed by the Pennsylvania Public Employer Relations Act Number 195.

Announcement of this policy is in accordance with state law including the Pennsylvania Human Relation Act and with federal law, including Titles VI and VII of the Civil Rights act of 1964, Title IX of the Educational Amendments of 1972, section 503 and 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the age Discrimination Act of 1975, and the American with Disabilities of 1990.

Reasonable accommodations will be made to all qualified applicants with disabilities. If you are an individual with a disability who needs assistance or cannot access the online job application system, please contact Human Resources. 

WCCC is committed to an educational and workplace environment where all are treated with dignity and respect.

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