MCC leaders stepping down

Kearns, current vice chancellor for instruction, may get leadership role

KINGMAN - A new management team will be in place before Thanksgiving at Mohave Community College.

It was announced Friday that Chancellor Thomas Henry, Vice Chancellor for Administration Bill Lovejoy and Vice Chancellor for Student Services Billy Bates all plan to leave the college to pursue other opportunities.

"Chancellor Henry and Vice Chancellor Lovejoy promised us they would stay with the college at least five years, and this announcement fulfills that promise," Board President Dan Hargrove said in a news release. "A recommendation for leadership succession was also promised, and now the Board will consider that recommendation."

Bates will leave first, departing June 30. Henry and Lovejoy will finish up Oct. 31.

The Board of Governors is to meet Tuesday at 1 p.m. on the Bullhead City campus to consider the recommendations. Kingman residents may participate via Interactive Television from Room 502 on the Kingman campus at 1971 Jagerson Avenue.

The Board is expected to consider Michael J. Kearns, currently vice chancellor for instruction, as Henry's replacement effective Nov. 1. The initial salary suggested for Kearns as chancellor is $185,000 annually and that he be given a five-year contract.

Henry then will recommend five-year contracts for H. Lynn Cundiff as vice chancellor for administration and Charles D. Spotts as vice chancellor for instruction and student services. Their salaries would be decided based on a recommendation from the next chancellor.

Henry was asked where he felt MCC needed the most attention when he replaced Mike Tacha nearly fives ago.

"We needed to add a real firm hand on where the money was going and whether that was a good investment for students and taxpayers," Henry said.

"We did about 20 studies the first year before we did anything. You can't start changing things unless you know what's on the table."

"At the beginning of the second year, we had a strategic plan laid out for direction and have followed it ever since. We did additional studies to prevent making any decisions in the dark about resource use."

Henry said some of the more satisfying things that happened during his chancellorship were the addition of more degree and certificate programs that help students get jobs, strengthening of relations with nine other universities that aid MCC students pursuing baccalaureate degrees, serving county business and industry needs through an expanded continuing education program, and further strengthening the popular leisure studies program.

He probably will become a consultant to help other colleges improve their efficiency and effectiveness and perhaps do board development work around the country after leaving MCC. However, he plans to continue living in Kingman, Henry said.

Lovejoy also plans to stay in the community.

"What I have most enjoyed is seeing the college get on sound financial footing and thinking outside the box," Lovejoy said. "We brought SunGard in for information technology and that has helped students, faculty and staff in the delivery of education."

Bates was off campus Friday. He has served in his position for three years and will move to southeast Arizona, Henry said.

"Billy has improved student retention, financial aid and counseling," Henry said. "He has done an outstanding job."