Midland College board picks Damon Kennedy as next president

The Midland College board has selected Damon Kennedy to be the replacement to Steve Thomas as the college’s next president.

The board made its decision to make Kennedy the school’s fifth president at a meeting Thursday morning.

Kennedy is the vice president of Instructional Services at Midland College. He was one of three finalists, joining Thad Anglin, the president of Cisco Junior College, and Ian Roark, vice chancellor of Workforce Development and Innovation at Pima Community College in Tucson, Arizona.

The following is a bio that the college released on Kennedy when he was a finalist.

Damon Kennedyis vice president of Instructional Services at Midland College. In this role, he led the successful launch of the Pre-K Academy at Midland College and accompanying Baccalaureate in Early Childhood Education, both responding to significant community need. Additionally, he led the implementation of the Concho Resources/Texas A&M University Engineering Academy and the dual-credit fire academy. He also led numerous significant instructional initiatives to improve student outcomes, leading Guided Pathways, the implementation of eight-week terms, and the creation of the Teaching and Learning Center.

Kennedy previously served as Dean of Social/Behavioral Sciences and Business at Midland College and taught at the university and college level for 20 years. As a more than 25-year higher education professional, Kennedy has made teaching, learning and the community his primary focus. He has been an advocate for the Midland community, families, students, faculty and staff.

Kennedy has been committed to Midland and the wider Permian Basin for more than two decades. During that time, he has successfully collaborated with taxing entities, business and industry, and philanthropic partners to enable impactful work at Midland College. He is a champion of workforce development aligned with student demand and industry need and has emphasized the significance of dual credit opportunities for students throughout the Midland College service area. Kennedy is a mindful steward of public dollars as well as an accomplished fundraiser. He currently serves on the Permian Basin Workforce Development Board, the Education Partnership of the Permian Basin Leadership Team and the Midland Independent School District Bond Committee.

Kennedy has extensive experience with program and institutional accreditation, serving as a chair of regional accrediting committees for the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges. He played a key role in the successful decennial reaffirmation of Midland College.

Kennedy is an award-winning professor and has been honored by the National Phi Theta Kappa of the International Honor Society as a distinguished administrator. He was also named a “Distinguished Former Odessan” by the Heritage of Odessa Foundation.

A former student at Midland College, Kennedy is a life-long West Texan. He and his wife of 27 years have two daughters studying at Texas A&M University: one pursuing a graduate degree in early childhood education curriculum and instruction with an emphasis on literacy and the other is pursuing an undergraduate degree in philosophy with an intention to go to law school. Kennedy enjoys college sports and playing tennis and pickleball.

Kennedy earned a Ph.D in American History from Texas Tech University. His dissertation focused on Samuel Burk Burnett and the 6666 Ranch. He has an M.A. and B.A. in American History from The University of Texas of the Permian Basin. His thesis focused on John Ben Shepperd.

Source: https://www.mrt.com/news/local/article/midland-college-board-picks-damon-kennedy-next-18118663.php

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