Portera to Head Search for State Community College Director

JACKSON, Miss. — At its May meeting, the Mississippi Community College Board unanimously chose Mrs. Deborah Gilbert as its interim Executive Director, effective July 1. She will replace Dr. Eric Clark who is retiring on June 30, 2015.  Dr. Clark has served as Executive Director since January 2008.

Mrs. Gilbert began working with the Mississippi Community College Board in 1988.  She currently serves as the Deputy Executive Director for Finance and Administration and handles all financial aspects of the community college system. She is a Certified Public Accountant.

“I am excited to serve as interim Executive Director for the Mississippi Community College Board.  Our community college system is nationally recognized as being among the best,” said Mrs. Gilbert. “I look forward to working with our board and with our community colleges to continue to improve Mississippi.”

Mr. Bruce Martin, board chairman from Meridian, added, “I am thrilled that Deborah Gilbert will serve as interim Executive Director for the agency.  She is recognized across the country as one of the most knowledgeable people in community college finances. Her new role will benefit our system and our state.”

Also at the meeting, the board unanimously hired Dr. Malcolm Portera to lead the search for a permanent Executive Director.

Dr. Portera brings a wealth of experience to the Executive Director search.  He is Chancellor Emeritus of The University of Alabama System, which is Alabama’s largest higher education enterprise.  Prior to serving in Alabama, he was President of Mississippi State University from 1998 to 2001.

During his career, Dr. Portera has been instrumental in the creation of numerous research and instructional programs.  His long history of involvement in economic development has contributed to the location of $7 billion in capital investment in the Southeast, including the Mercedes Benz plant in Alabama.

“The Mississippi Community College Board is grateful to Dr. Malcom Portera for agreeing to lead the efforts to hire our next Executive Director,” said Bruce Martin.  “Dr. Portera brings a unique expertise in the importance of higher education and workforce training that few have.  I am really excited about working with him as we hire the person who will lead our community college system.”

No timetable has been set for hiring a permanent Executive Director.

Categories: Local News, State News

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