Monday, October 6, 2008

SCC's interim leader Lisa Waits accepts challenges

SCC's interim leader accepts challenges

By Nika Megino | Daily Republic | October 04, 2008 12:07

FAIRFIELD - Lisa Waits has yet to decide whether she will apply for the position of superintendent/president at Solano Community College. On Monday, she will have the title on an interim basis.

SCC's Board of Trustees appointed Waits Sept. 9. She was vice president of student services before replacing Gerry Fisher, who retired.

Waits accepted the interim position because it was 'the next logical step' after seven years as a vice president. As much as she has goals as the college's leader, she also expects there will be challenges.

Her first goal is to help the college continue to thrive.

'I see it as an opportunity to have our students succeed,' she said.

To ensure that success, Waits said she wants to maintain a focus on academics despite the economic hardships being felt by community colleges across the state.

The largest project she will take on is continuing Fisher's work on the college's new K-16 Bridge Program, which works with local K-12 schools to emphasize the importance of college.

'It's good for us to create a college-going environment in the county,' Waits said. 'We want those partnerships (with school districts) to be strong. We want to strengthen them. We want to strengthen the transition from high school to college.'

Waits will serve as the college's chief administrator until the SCC Board of Trustees appoints a permanent leader.

The college's search for a permanent superintendent/president continues, and the board unanimously voted Wednesday to hire the Association of Community College Trustees as the search firm.

The board is slated to hire a permanent superintendent/president by May 2009. Waits said she is keeping the option of applying for the permanent position in mind.

Don Mourton was appointed to replace Waits as the interim vice president of student services. Mourton retired in 2004 but has served as a consultant to various community colleges since then.

Mourton has held various positions in the California Community College system, including assistant superintendent and vice president of student services at Antelope Valley College and vice president of student services and director of guidance services at Cerro Coso Community College.

Reach Nika Megino at 427-6953 or