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PCC Selects New President

Adrien Bennings called a passionate leader and student advocate

Adrien Bennings has been named the next president of Portland Community College. She will leave her position as president of Kellogg Community College in Michigan to become PCC’s first permanent woman president in July.

Portland Community College’s Board of Directors selected Adrien Bennings as the college’s next president by unanimous vote Monday, following a nine-month national search.

Bennings will replace Mark Mitsui, who is retiring at the end of June after serving as PCC’s president since 2016. The search process relied on a 23-member committee, chaired by board directors Tiffani Penson and Dan Saltzman. Feedback from the college community and external stakeholders, based on public forums with each of the finalists, was also considered, officials said.

“We were tremendously impressed by Dr. Bennings’ passion for the transformative power of community colleges,” said Mohamed Alyajouri, chair of PCC’s Board of Directors. “Dr. Bennings brings demonstrated strengths as a strategic thinker and transparent decision maker; as a skilled and collaborative communicator, relationship builder and fundraiser; and as a strong advocate for equitable student success.

Bennings is currently the president of Kellogg Community College, one of 28 community colleges in Michigan whose service region spans three counties. She is also the president of the Kellogg Community College Foundation, helping to lead the foundation’s strategic planning and fundraising activities, and advocating for equity, diversity, and inclusion.

Bennings has taught courses in human resources development, academic development and retention, and small business development. Before joining KCC, she was the vice president of administration and finance and chief financial officer at Clovis Community College in New Mexico. Prior to this, she served as regional director of small business development at Texas Tech University. Additionally, she serves as a certified peer reviewer for the Higher Learning Commission.

The PCC Board’s decision to hire Bennings makes her PCC’s first female president, permanently selected for the role. Sylvia Kelley, formerly PCC’s executive vice president, served as PCC’s interim president from 2015 to 2016 before Mitsui’s arrival.

Alyajouri shared the PCC Board’s appreciation for the work of the presidential search advisory committee and also thanked President Mitsui for nearly six years of exemplary work on behalf of the college.

Bennings’ educational background includes a Doctor of Philosophy in Higher Education Administration from Texas Tech University; a Master of Science in Business Administration with a Human Resources concentration from Wayland Baptist University; and a Bachelor of Science in Agricultural Development from Texas A&M University.

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