Next week, three finalists will bid to become the next president of Highline College. Dr. Lisa Avery, Dr. Justin Guillory and Dr. John Mosby were selected by the Highline College Board of Trustees as the top candidates, following the recommendation of the presidential search subcommittee.
Dr. Lisa Avery is president of Portland Community College’s Sylvania Campus, located in southwest Portland, Oregon. Prior to joining PCC in July 2015, Avery was an administrator at the Community Colleges of Spokane.
Dr. Justin Guillory is president of the Northwest Indian College, located in Bellingham, Washington. Prior to becoming president in 2012, Guillory served as dean of academics and distance learning and dean of extended campus for NWIC.
Dr. John Mosby is vice president for student services at Mission College in Santa Clara, California, part of the West Valley Mission Community College District. Before joining Mission College in January 2015, Mosby was a dean at Skyline College in San Bruno, California.
Forums Open to All
The dates of their on-campus visits have been set in the following order:
- Monday, May 14: Dr. Lisa Avery
- Tuesday, May 15: Dr. Justin Guillory
- Wednesday, May 16: Dr. John Mosby
Each day, community members, students, faculty and staff will be able to meet the candidates at the following forums:
- Community Forum: 9:15–10:15 a.m., Building 29, Room 207
- Employee Forums: 10:30–11:30 a.m. and 2:45–3:45 p.m., Board Room (Building 25, 5th floor)
- Student Forum: 1:30–2:30 p.m., Building 8, Room 302
Attendees will be encouraged to provide feedback on the candidates. Feedback forms will be available at the forums and online on the Community Input page. To be considered, comments must be received by 5 p.m. on May 16.
In its next president, Highline College is seeking an open, inspirational leader who embodies and promotes the college’s values of diversity, access and community. More information on the presidential search process is available on the Presidential Search page.
The goal is to have the new president in place no later than July 1. If all goes according to schedule, the board will announce its decision later in May.
The five-member board is seeking a successor to Dr. Jack Bermingham, who retired in August 2017 after more than a decade as president.
Dr. Jeff Wagnitz is serving as interim president. After a new president is selected, he will return full time to his previous role as a vice president.
Dr. Lisa Avery
“For many Highline students, college is a new experience for the entire family and provides a chance for them to seek economic mobility and family-wage jobs. It is this potential that undergirds my deep commitment to the community college mission, and one which is integral to all functions of my daily work.”
Dr. Lisa Avery is president of Portland Community College’s Sylvania Campus, located in southwest Portland, Oregon. As campus president, Avery is responsible for overseeing a $94 million biennial budget for signature programs including Automotive Technology, Dental Hygiene, Machining, MakerSpace, Nursing, Pre-Engineering and Visual Performing Arts. The campus serves approximately 26,000 students per year.
Prior to joining PCC in July 2015, Avery was an administrator at the Community Colleges of Spokane (CCS). During her five years at CCS, she served in various roles, most recently as vice provost for strategic partnerships.
In addition to her administrative experience, she has taught at the University of Southern Mississippi and Eastern Washington University, where she became a full professor in the School of Social Work and Human Services and served as associate dean.
All told, she has more than 20 years of higher education experience and is a leader in community college comprehensive internationalization. Avery has published over 15 manuscripts and continues to author articles on international education issues.
Avery received her doctorate and master’s degree in social work from the University of Illinois at Chicago and her bachelor’s degree in psychology from Ball State University. As a first-generation college student from a working-class family, Avery benefitted from a Pell grant and need-based work study while completing her undergraduate degree.
In addition, she actively participates in the community. Here is a sample of her service:
- Neighborhood House Board of Directors (Portland, Oregon)
- Portland Board of Transportation Southwest in Motion Steering Committee
- Board of Directors, Odyssey Youth Center (Spokane, WA)
- Early Head Start Governing Board – Eastern Washington
- Member, Board of Directors, Spokane Child Abuse/Neglect Center
Her professional memberships and awards include the following:
- National Board Member, American Association of Community Colleges
- Andrew Heiskell Award for Innovation in International Education. Internationalizing the Community College: Honorable Mention for Spokane Falls Community College 2020 Global Vision
- Member, American Association of Community Colleges Structured Pathways Commission
- Vanessa Behan Crisis Nursery: Special Recognition for Research and Evaluation Assistance
- Member of the League for Innovation in the Community College
- Member of NAFSA: Association of International Educators
Dr. Justin Guillory
“The path toward true equity and inclusion is a forethought, not an afterthought, and begins long before students arrive on campus. I want to be part of a higher education institution that is committed to helping shape and empower the next generation of students of color and underrepresented groups including women.”
Dr. Justin Guillory is president of the Northwest Indian College (NWIC), located in Bellingham, Washington. Prior to becoming president in 2012, Guillory served as dean of academics and distance learning and dean of extended campus for NWIC. As president, Guillory is responsible for oversight of NWIC’s main campus including six extended campus sites in tribal communities in Washington and Idaho.
His duties include maintaining the college’s accreditation process and meeting accreditation standards and self-study processes. He also provides leadership and supervision for academic/instruction and workforce education, student services, fiscal operations, long-range strategic planning, assessment of community needs and formal evaluation of the college’s education programs and enrollment. He has been involved in student success initiatives such as Achieving the Dream and obtained funding for the completion of two new buildings.
In addition to his administrative experience, Guillory was an adjunct faculty member at NWIC and Washington State University in Pullman, Washington. He has also worked as a graduate assistant /mentor program coordinator in the Native American Student Center within the Office of Multicultural Student Services at WSU.
He received his doctorate in higher education administration and master’s degree in education administration from WSU. He earned his bachelor’s degree in recreation and sports management from Eastern Washington University.
Guillory was the recipient of the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Distinguished Service Award and was nominated to represent the WSU College of Education as a participant in the David L. Clark National Graduate Student Research Seminar in Educational Administration and Policy.
He has presented at Harvard University and the National Indian Education Conference and has been a keynote speaker at conferences such as the College Board’s Native American Student Advocacy Institute and the Washington State Faculty and Staff of Color Conference.
Guillory lived on the Nez Perce Indian reservation in Idaho until he was 15, at which point his family moved to Olympia, Wash., for two years before settling in Tacoma, Wash.
His professional affiliations and memberships include the following:
- American Indian Higher Education Consortium (AIHEC) executive committee and board of directors
- American Indian College Fund board member
- Affiliated Tribes of Northwest Indians (ATNI)
- Center for Minority Serving Institutions (University of Pennsylvania) advisory board member
- Washington Campus Compact executive board member and board of directors
Dr. John Mosby
“I value the rich diversity of community colleges. Inclusive excellence that enables anyone to enter campus and be served is something that drives my ethical foundation and commitment to students.”
Dr. John Mosby is vice president for student services at Mission College in Santa Clara, California, part of the West Valley Mission Community College District. As vice president, Mosby oversees the Student Services unit of the college, including all categorical programs, Admissions and Records, Financial Aid, Health Services, Counseling, International Studies, Athletics and a number of other programs and services. In addition, Mosby provides direction and oversight for the Student Success and Support (3SP), AANAPISI (Asian American Native American Pacific Islander Serving Institutions), Student Equity and Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI) grants.
Before joining Mission College in January 2015, Mosby was a dean at Skyline College in San Bruno, California. He has been serving higher education for over 23 years.
A staunch advocate for student success, Mosby continues to serve in various capacities within higher education, developing new programs and services, and has served on numerous committees addressing the areas of fiscal and institutional planning, accreditation, educational policy, enrollment management, equity and access at both the local and statewide levels.
His professional history includes rich experiences across a variety of higher educational settings. He has served in undergraduate and graduate admissions, outreach and recruitment, advancement and residential life in the community college, California State University and private college systems. His work experience also includes that of adjunct faculty, teaching undergraduate-, graduate- and doctoral-level courses at the community college and four-year institutions. His research interests are rooted in the belief of servant leadership, social justice and equity.
Mosby holds a doctorate in leadership/higher education administration from the University of San Diego, a master’s degree in educational and counseling psychology from the University of the Pacific and a bachelor’s degree in English from St. Mary’s College.
He was selected as a 2017–18 Aspen Presidential Fellow for Community College Excellence, a rigorous 10-month executive leadership program for aspiring community college presidents, led by the Aspen Institute. He was just one of 38 leaders selected across the nation. Other professional activities and affiliations include:
- Association for California Community College Administrators (ACCCA)
- California Chief Student Services Officers Association (CSSO)
- College Board Western Regional Council, Guidance and Admission Committee chair
- National Council on Black American Affairs (NCBAA)
- Western Regional Council on Black American Affairs (WRCBAA)
Looking for a Leader
Learn what has happened so far in the presidential search process.