Montgomery College President Dr. DeRionne Pollard is under consideration as a candidate for Nevada State College’s top leadership position.
Bart Patterson, the current president of Nevada State, announced that he’s stepping down from his role effective June 30, 2021. Pollard, who has served in Montgomery College’s top position since 2010, is one of four finalists in the running to succeed Patterson.
The other candidates under consideration include:
- Hubert Benitez, who serves as vice president for strategy and innovation at Rockhurst University in Kansas City, Mo;
- Susan Borrego, a professor and former chancellor and executive officer at the University of Michigan-Flint; and
- Shari McMahan, the provost and associate vice president for academic affairs at California State University San Bernardino.
Nevada State, which is part of the Nevada System of Higher Education, opened in Henderson, Nev. in 2002. According to Nevada State’s website, the school enrolls more than 5,500 students, the majority which are minority students and more than 50% of which are first-generation college students.
Pollard, along with the other three finalists, will participate in campus forums on April 26 and 27. The Presidential Search Committee will hold a closed meeting at 8 a.m. on April 28 to review the candidates. The final selection will be announced at 1 p.m. on April 29 at the Special NSHE Board of Regents meeting, which will be live-streamed.
Before serving as Montgomery College’s president, Pollard was president of Las Positas College in Livermore, Calif. She received her PhD in educational leadership and policy studies in 2005 from Loyola University Chicago. She was honored in 2016 by Washingtonian Magazine as one of Washington’s 100 Most Influential Women.
Pollard recently spoke at the launch of a statewide COVID-19 vaccination clinic at Montgomery College’s Germantown campus.
She said, “There are three things every [community] in our nation needs right now — every community, every town across the nation: one is vaccines, second is jobs for vulnerable populations, and third is a skilled labor force. The thing I know for sure, there is one place in the country you can get all three — and that is at your local community college.”
Montgomery College issued the following statement about the news:
As many institutional leaders do, Dr. Pollard is considering a professional opportunity created by the retirement of the president of Nevada State College, located in Henderson, Nevada. As one of four finalists for this position, she is being advanced to the final phase of interviews, which will take place this month. Dr. Pollard responded to this unique opportunity because it aligns with her deep commitment to student access and success in higher education. She will keep everyone informed as these processes move ahead.