Three finalists named in Salt Lake Community College Presidential Search

SLCC Finalists

After a nationwide search and a review of 55 applicants, the Salt Lake Community College Presidential Search Committee has recommended three finalists to the State Board of Regents for the position of Salt Lake Community College President: Dr. Deneece G. Huftalin, Dr. Tony Miksa and Dr. Christopher Villa.

“After an exhaustive search the Salt Lake Community College Presidential Search Committee has narrowed down the applicant pool to these three highly-qualified candidates, and is honored to recommend them to the Board of Regents for their consideration in selecting a new leader for SLCC,” said Regent France Davis, Vice Chair of the Board of Regents and Search Committee Chair. “We thank SLCC’s trustees, faculty, students and staff, along with the community as a whole, for their valuable participation in this process.”

After months of soliciting input through public meetings, online submissions and the 21-member Presidential Search Committee, the Board of Regents will interview the following finalists (in alphabetical order):

Dr. Deneece G. Huftalin (pictured left) is currently the Interim President of Salt Lake Community College and has served the SLCC students, faculty and staff for more than two decades. Prior to her current role, Dr. Huftalin served on the Executive Cabinet as Vice President of Student Services.  She has worked collaboratively with faculty and staff to strengthen high impact practices, learning outcomes and inclusivity initiatives, and led college-wide strategic priority and assessment efforts. Dr. Huftalin also served as the Dean of Students and the Director of Academic and Career Advising.  Prior to joining SLCC, Dr. Huftalin held positions at William Rainey Harper College, Northwestern University, the University of Utah and the Institute for Shipboard Education. Dr. Huftalin teaches in the Education, Leadership and Policy program at the University of Utah and serves on the Board of Directors for the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators (NASPA) and YWCA Utah. She also serves on the Executive Board of EDCUtah and the Salt Lake Chamber’s Board of Governors. Dr. Huftalin earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Utah, a master’s degree from UCLA and a doctorate in Education, Leadership and Policy from the University of Utah.

Dr. Tony Miksa (pictured center) has served as the Vice President of Academic and Student Affairs at McHenry County College, where he is also in charge of Human Resources. He has led the College through two contract negotiations, large enrollment growth and the development of an educational master plan. During this time, the College has nearly doubled the number of graduates and has one of the highest graduation rates in Illinois. Prior to this, Dr. Miksa served as Dean of the Math, Science, Engineering and Health Professions Division at Elgin Community College where he led the development of multiple health professions programs as well as the planning process for a new health sciences building. Dr. Miksa has also worked as a mathematics instructor and assistant basketball coach at Kishwaukee Community College, where he was later selected as the Dean of the Math, Education, Science and Health Division.  He began his career as an Admissions Counselor at Mount Mercy College. Dr. Miksa holds degrees from Kishwaukee Community College, Mount Mercy College and the University of Northern Iowa, and a doctorate in Community College Leadership from National Louis University.

Dr. Christopher Villa (pictured right) has served as the Vice President of Student Services at Fresno City College since 2009.  Prior to arriving at Fresno, Dr. Villa was Vice President of Student Support Services at Long Beach City College where he played a key role initiating the Long Beach College Promise, a nationally recognized K-16 student success program.   He successfully recruited and mentored ethnic minority students for six years as an Assistant Dean in the Graduate School at the University of Utah.  Dr. Villa has served as a Board Member for the State of California Community College Chief Student Services Administration Association and is a current member of the State of California Community College Chancellor’s Office Advisory Group on Student Mental Health.  Dr. Villa received his bachelor’s degree in Social Ecology from the University of California, Irvine, a M.P.A from the University of Southern California, and a doctorate in Education, Leadership and Policy from the University of Utah.

The finalists will be on the Salt Lake Community College campus September 10, 2014, to meet privately with groups representing faculty, staff, students and administration. On Thursday, September 11, the Board of Regents will interview the finalists in a closed session. The Board may convene a public meeting at 2:30 pm that day to select the President. However, they may convene at another time, which will be announced at a later date.

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