Community Colleges of Spokane (CCS) Chancellor Christine Johnson announced today she has selected Kimberlee Messina to serve as the new president of Spokane Falls Community College. The decision follows a comprehensive recruitment and selection process that began in November.
“Dr. Messina has the qualifications, experience and proven reputation to lead SFCC,” Johnson said. “She is absolutely committed to the mission of community colleges and to our ability to open the doors to new opportunities for people seeking affordable high-quality education in our region.”
Messina, who has her doctorate in educational leadership from the University of California, currently is serving as the interim vice president of instruction at Clovis Community College in California. She previously served for five years at Foothill College as the vice president of instruction and institutional research and as interim president. Foothill College is part of the Foothill-De Anza Community College District, a high-performing college district in the heart of Silicon Valley serving over 60,000 students a year.
She will begin at SFCC in June.
Messina is a first-generation college graduate and is a strong supporter of student success and equity. She has served the community college system in California for more than 27 years. Before working at Clovis, she served as the interim vice chancellor of educational services and planning for the San Mateo County Community College District. Messina has a bachelor’s degree in sociology, a master’s degree in Spanish and a doctorate of education from UC Davis. She began her career as a tenured professor of Spanish and Dean of STEM at Santa Rosa Junior College.
“Spokane Falls Community College is a dynamic college with an outstanding faculty and staff, and strong partnerships with the community,” Messina said. “I am honored to be selected as the president of SFCC and am looking forward to continuing the positive momentum and energy of achieving SFCC’s mission and vision. On a personal note, my husband and I are excited to explore our new city and the beautiful surroundings of Spokane, and this move will bring us closer to family in Washington.”
SFCC has been led by interim presidents since July 2017 when former president Janet Gullickson resigned to become president of Germanna Community College in Fredrickson, Virginia. She had been president for five years. Nancy Fair-Szofran, Ph.D. has served as acting president for the past year.
Thirty five candidates applied for the SFCC presidential position, eight were brought to Spokane for interviews and three finalists took part in full-day, on-campus visits with numerous interviews and college wide forums. Johnson praised the skills and experience of the field of candidates, especially the finalists, who were considered for this position.
SFCC is one of two colleges in the Community Colleges of Spokane district. Combined with SCC, they serve about 30,000 students annually in 12,302 mile service area spread across a six-county region. Last year CCS awarded more than 3,200 college degrees and professional certificates.