Dr. Emily Lardner will join Highline College as interim vice president, overseeing the Academic Affairs division. She will fill the role currently held by Dr. Jeff Wagnitz, who is retiring at the end of June after 11 years in the position and nearly 19 years at the college.
Lardner comes to Highline after two years as a vice president at Grays Harbor College in Aberdeen. While there, she headed up the Instruction division and led the redesign of the college’s Teacher Education program to include an endorsement in English language learners.
She has collaborated with Washington community college educators for over two decades, designing and implementing strategies aimed at increasing student engagement, student learning and student success. This collaboration is most evident in her work at The Evergreen State College, where she directed the Washington Center for Improving Undergraduate Education.
At the Washington Center, she and colleagues designed two national summer institutes, one on learning communities and one on using evidence for improvement, which have drawn over 200 campus teams from across the U.S., including many of Washington’s community colleges. She also provided on-campus consultations for more than 75 two- and four-year colleges on implementing learning communities, revising developmental education, supporting English language learners and addressing equity and opportunity gaps.
During her time at Evergreen, she was adjunct faculty, teaching a variety of writing courses in the college’s Evening and Weekend Studies program.Her past experience also includes 11 years on the English Composition Board at the University of Michigan, where she served as Associate Director for Writing Assessment.
“Dr. Lardner believes deeply in the power of collaboration, that teaching and learning are best accomplished through trusting relationships and teamwork,” said Dr. John R. Mosby, president of Highline College. “She is passionate about the role education can play in helping students find their voices and their paths. Our students, staff and faculty will benefit greatly from her knowledge and experience.”
Lardner earned a master’s and doctorate in English language and literature at the University of Michigan and a bachelor’s degree from Augustana College in Illinois.
Lardner’s appointment is for one year. The college will begin recruiting for a permanent replacement in spring of 2020. Her first day at Highline will be June 10.