The College of the Mainland board of trustees has named three finalists in the search for the college’s next president and will hold public forums at which community members may meet them.
The finalists, who all offer extensive experience working in higher education, are Dr. Dale Doty, vice president for academic affairs at Florence-Darlington Technical College in Florence, S.C.; Dr. Ralph Ford, vice president of student services at Union County College in Cranford, N.J.; and Dr. Beth Lewis, vice president of academic affairs at Northeast Lakeview College in Universal City, Texas.
To provide the community, students and college staff an opportunity to meet and hear the vision of each candidate, each finalist will speak at a public forum from 12:30 to 1:30 at COM in the Learning Resources Center Auditorium. Doty will share Oct. 23, Ford will speak Oct. 24, and Lewis will share Oct. 25. The three finalists will be also interviewed by the full board.
Dr. Dale A. Doty
Dr. Dale A. Doty is currently the Vice President for Academic Affairs at Florence Darlington Technical College (FDTC) in Florence, South Carolina. At FDTC he is involved with academic program development and improvement, accreditation processes, workforce development enterprises and various grant procurement and management activities. He held a similar position in Colorado at Western Colorado Community College in Grand Junction Colorado. His previous roles include the Department Chair of Engineering at North Central State College in Mansfield, Ohio.
Dr. Doty has also been the Chief Executive Officer and President of Southern Tool Company in Colorado and Louisiana, an Assistant Professor in Technical Education (drafting, plastics and manufacturing) at Appalachian State University, a teaching assistant at Texas A&M University (arts and crafts) and a Residence Hall Director at the University of Arkansas. He also worked as a Drop-out Prevention Specialist in the Hot Springs School District in Arkansas.
Dr. Doty earned his doctorate in Industrial Education from Texas A&M University in College Station, Texas. He received his masters’ degree in Student Personnel Services and his bachelors’ degree in Industrial Education from Western Illinois University in Macomb, Illinois.
Dr. Ralph L. Ford
Dr. Ford is currently serving as Vice President of Student Services for a four campus comprehensive community college in New Jersey. Dr. Ford is responsible for providing visionary leadership and direction for a college of 35,000 academic credit and workforce development/continuing education students each year. Dr. Ford previously served for eight years as a Dean of Enrollment Management and Student Services at Odessa College in Texas. He has experience at community colleges in New York (3500 students) and Michigan (4500 students) as well as a university in Alabama.
Dr. Ford has presented at national conferences on student success initiatives, assessment of learning outcomes, global competition and institutional effectiveness. Dr. Ford has experience as a workforce consultant to business and industry in the U.S. and overseas, as a teacher for the federal government on such diverse topics as computer exceptions and equal employment rights and responsibilities, as a college/university instructor, as an equal employment opportunity counselor for the federal government, and as a grants director. Dr. Ford has written and directed innovative and model workforce development grants/programs such as the Farm Family Opportunity Program in New York. Dr. Ford has been the lead person in numerous student success efforts such as Hispanic Serving Institution grants in Texas that led to dramatic increases in student retention. He has also established extensive partnerships with K-12 as well as wrote and supervised $6 million projects with K-12.
Dr. Ford has developed innovative college programs to prepare colleges for a diverse student body and to attract a diverse workforce. He is jointly responsible with the President for affirmative action on his campus. He has led the efforts at several colleges to attract students to match the diversity of the community. This resulted in becoming majority-minority student enrollments.
Dr. Ford has a record of successful fund raising through grant writing and through the development of donor support including a $8 million fund drive. Dr. Ford led the development of the first 22 online courses at a community college in 1997. He used technology to have one of the first two online career/job information systems in the country over 15 years before the first system in Texas.
Dr. Ford has managed a wide range of budgets from private donation grant budgets, state grant budgets, income reimbursement account budgets, federal grant budgets, economic development grant budgets, college operating budgets, and facilities and equipment budgets. He recently developed a white paper on federal student regulations for college presidents. Dr. Ford has worked with numerous community groups to prepare for a bond issue including newspaper editors and fortune 500 CEOs.
Dr. Ford has a B.S. in English and Social Science from the University of West Alabama, a M.A. and Ed.S. from the University of Alabama - Birmingham and a Ed.D. from the University of Alabama in Higher Education Administration with an emphasis on community colleges. He has been a licensed professional counselor and he completed postdoctoral work at several universities as well as the Enrollment Management Institute (6 credits) at Harvard University. Dr. Ford has led successful accreditation efforts through two SACS reaffirmations, two Middle States Association reaffirmations, and one North Central Association reaffirmation of accreditation. He was recognized as helping his current college to be recognized as “a leader among their peers.” He has been selected as a President of the JCSPAT of Texas for two years, the New Jersey state council President as well as the New Jersey Council of County College 2012 Award for Leadership. Dr. Ford is married to Cheryl Ford, a reading and ESL/bilingual specialist.
Dr. Beth Lewis
Dr. Beth Lewis has more than twenty-five years' experience in higher education instruction and administration. In her current role as Vice President of Academic Affairs at Northeast Lakeview College (part of the Alamo Colleges in greater San Antonio, Texas), she has the oversight of all credit and continuing education instructional programs and supervises the administration of the library, academic support center, distance education, and the instructional innovation center. She is also responsible for securing Northeast Lakeview College's candidacy for admission to the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (COC-SACS) and serves as the NLC administrative liaison to the Early College High School partnership (Judson Early College Academy) between the Judson Independent School District and Northeast Lakeview College.
Prior to her current position, Dr. Lewis served as the Dean of Academic Affairs at Blinn College in Brenham, Texas. In this capacity, she provided oversight to the academic programs and faculty on the Brenham Campus, as well as the dual credit program partnerships in 31 high schools and the college credit programs in four prisons. She also served as Blinn College's Compliance Director and Quality Enhancement Plan Director for the COC-SACS reaffirmation project. Before she arrived at Blinn College, she was the District Director of New Program Development and Evaluation for the North Harris Montgomery Community College District in Houston. She has been a full-time faculty member in the English Departments at Lee College in Baytown, Texas, and at Johnson County Community College in Overland Park, Kansas, and an adjunct faculty member in the Community College Leadership Doctorate program at Sam Houston State University.
Dr. Lewis was named an Executive Fellow by the US Department of Agriculture in June 2008. She has been selected for a number of regional and national leadership programs, including the premiere program for women in community colleges, the National Institute of Leadership Development in 2009. She was a member of the Class of 2009-2010 for Leadership North East, a community outreach program in North East ISD. In 2010 and 2011, Dr. Lewis was nominated for Sam Houston State University's College of Education Alumni Distinguished Administrator of the Year. In April 2010, Dr. Lewis was honored to receive the Alamo Colleges' "Council of Chairs' Award for Outstanding Support of Department Chairs." She was also named a 2010 NISOD Excellence Award recipient. The National Institute for Staff and Organizational Development (NISOD), a consortium of over 700 community colleges and universities worldwide, has a 31-year history of recognizing faculty, staff, and administrators for outstanding contributions to teaching, leadership, and learning. She served on the Board of Directors of the Texas Community College Instructional Administrators and the Universal City Parks and Recreation Commission from 2008-2010, and in August 2010 she was named an Honorary Commander for the 902nd Mission Support Group at Randolph Air Force Base, a position she held for two years.
Dr. Lewis earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from the University of Texas at Austin, a Master of Arts in English and a doctorate in Educational Leadership from Sam Houston State University. She is also a Certified Mediator in Workplace Conflict.