KCC Board of Trustees announces new KCC president

Dr. Adrien Bennings

The Kellogg Community College Board of Trustees this evening voted to extend an offer of employment to Dr. Adrien L. Bennings to become the College’s sixth president.

Dr. Bennings, currently the Vice President for Finance and Administration at Clovis Community College in Clovis, New Mexico, was selected to succeed President Mark O’Connell, who announced earlier this year that he will retire from KCC after four years as president and 29 years of total service at the College.

O’Connell will retire Dec. 31, and Dr. Bennings is expected to begin Jan. 1. At KCC, the president is the institution’s top administrative employee and reports directly to the Board of Trustees.

“I am so grateful for the honor to serve as president of Kellogg Community College,” Dr. Bennings said. “To be selected as the College’s first African American female president is not only historical, but indicative of clear efforts in diversity, equity and inclusion. Not only will I have the opportunity to join the Bruin family, but also a community that is rich in its legacy and many successes.”

“I truly believe that KCC is where I can fulfill a greater purpose to impact the lives of our students,” Dr. Bennings said. “I look forward to a thriving partnership with our Board, faculty, staff, students and community.”

Following today’s offer of employment, the Board and Dr. Bennings will negotiate a contract, which will come to the Board for consideration during a special meeting scheduled for 4:30 p.m. Dec. 3.

“Dr. Bennings is a dynamic, enthusiastic leader who will boldly move KCC forward and help all of us excel in our mission to provide excellent higher education to our students,” said Board Chair Steve Claywell. “We were very pleased with the caliber of all four of our finalists and we wish all of them the best in their professional futures. We are excited to welcome Dr. Bennings to KCC.”

Dr. Bennings earned a Ph.D. in Higher Education Administration from Texas Tech University, a Master of Business Administration from Wayland Baptist University and a Bachelor of Science in Agricultural Development from Texas A&M University. Dr. Bennings is a former professional track and field athlete and currently serves as a certified peer reviewer for the Higher Learning Commission.

Leading up to its deliberation on Nov. 20, the Board in recent months received 54 applications from candidates across the United States. Earlier this year, the Board hired the Pauly Group, an executive search firm, to recruit applicants. It also appointed a screening committee comprised by trustees, community members and KCC personnel to review applicants’ materials and recommend finalists. The Board selected four finalists during a meeting Oct. 21.

In late October and early November, each of the four finalists spent a full day on KCC’s North Avenue campus in Battle Creek. During the visits, each finalist met with the College’s senior leaders, answered questions during employee and student forums, met with KCC bargaining unit leaders, received a campus tour, talked with community members and participated in a 90-minute public interview in front of the Board of Trustees. Students, community members and employees had the opportunity via an online form to provide confidential feedback to trustees prior to their final selection. Claywell said trustees reviewed some 230 comments submitted.

In addition to the selection process, members of the Board of Trustees this fall held outreach conversations with stakeholders in the communities of Albion, Battle Creek, Coldwater and Hastings to gather advice about KCC and its connections with employers and educators across a three-county service area.

For more information about Dr. Bennings, visit Kellogg.edu/transition.

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