Laker Current staff report
Mid Michigan Community College president Carol Churchill has announced that she will retire from the college effective June 30.
In a Nov. 27 letter to faculty and staff, Churchill cited family as the reason for her decision. The letter coincided with her announcement, which was made during Professional Development Day. “Recently, we experienced the loss of a loved one,” Churchill said in the letter. “Other family members are facing significant challenges. Our grandchildren are growing up, and we find that we have missed whole parts of their lives. . . . our path now has to be one that assures us more time together and more time with our family.”
Churchill came to MMCC as its fifth president on July 1, 2007. She has focused on managing enrollment growth and on carrying out one of the most ambitious construction and renovation programs in the college’s history, which includes the consolidation of the two Mt. Pleasant campuses. She also has led the development and implementation of strategic planning for the college.
“MMCC has been a great fit for us,” Churchill said, referring to herself and husband Jim, who is a timber buyer in Michigan. “We have loved the surrounding communities; we have developed deep and lasting friendships. We have come to appreciate MMCC in so many ways.
“But now we find ourselves at a fork in the road, and like baseball star Yogi Berra said, ‘When you come to a fork in the road, take it.’ The time has come for me to assess what path we want to travel for the next journey of our lives.”
Churchill said she had informed the MMCC Board of Trustees of her plans “some time ago,” but did not want to make a formal announcement until later in the year because of some commitments that had been made. “This college is entering a new phase,” Churchill said, “one that will benefit from a fresh perspective and different leadership competencies that can build on the strong foundation that has been laid.”
The board is discussing preliminary plans about what process will be used to select the next president.
In closing, the letter stated, “The future of this institution isn’t dependent on me or any other single person. It is dependent upon each and every one of you, working together in an environment of caring and respect, for our students and for each other.”
President Churchill has 23 years of administrative experience within the Michigan Community College system. From 2003 to 2007, she served first as Dean of Student Success and then as Vice Provost for Economic and Workforce Development at Macomb Community College in Warren. For 15 years, she served in a variety of roles at Southwestern Michigan College (SMC), including Placement Counselor, Director of Work Experience Programs, Dean of Enrollment Management, and Vice President for Student Services. She has taught on both the secondary and postsecondary levels.
She received an Associate in Arts degree from Southwestern Michigan College. From Western Michigan University, she received a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and social science as well as the Master of Arts degree in educational leadership with an emphasis in human resource development. She is also a graduate of the Executive Leadership Institute of the League for Innovation in the Community College.
Local and state organizations will miss Churchill’s involvement. She has served as an active member, officer and/or board member of Clare Rotary, Clare County United Way, MidMichigan Health – Gladwin, Harrison Women’s Association, Union Township Downtown Development Authority, Middle Michigan Development Corporation, Vision 20/20 Isabella County, Michigan Virtual University, American Council of Education Women’s Network, and the President’s Council of the Michigan Community College Association.
Churchill and her husband are expected to return to southwestern Michigan where they own a family farm.