The North Idaho College Board of Trustees recently selected Priscilla Bell, Ph.D., to serve as interim college president while the board works to replace NIC President Michael Burke, who resigned in January after accepting a position as president of San Jose City College in California.
The board contracted with the Association of Community College Trustees in January to help guide the search for an interim president at NIC. Bell will serve as the interim president at NIC until a new president is hired. College officials expect to complete the hiring process by the start of fall semester.
“I feel privileged to have the opportunity to join NIC, which I view as one of the country’s premier community colleges,” Bell said. “I have known Dr. Burke for many years, admire his leadership and am enthusiastic about continuing the excellent work of his administration. I look forward to working with the college team as we pursue the NIC vision of ensuring excellence in education and responding to community needs.”
Bell earned a doctorate in educational administration from the University of Texas in Austin in 1986. She also holds a master’s degree in counseling from California State University in Los Angeles and a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Texas Tech University in Lubbock.
Bell served as president of Highline Community College in Des Moines, Wash., from 2000 to 2006. With an annual budget of approximately $60 million and a faculty and staff base of about 1,000, Highline Community College serves a student body of about 18,000 annually.
While at Highline Community College, Bell secured funding for new construction and renovation of current facilities as well as state and federal appropriations to initiate and expand college programs and services. Bell’s accomplishments also include establishing a strategic planning process involving the campus and community and strengthening the regional economy through fostering partnerships with institutional, governmental and businesses entities.
Bell served as the president of Fulton-Montgomery Community College in Johnstown, N.Y., from 1995 to 2000. The college serves about 4,200 credit and noncredit students annually.
There, Bell was responsible for assuring the quality, coherence and effectiveness of college programs and services. Bell established the college’s first strategic planning process, which included annual reports to the community on institutional effectiveness.
Bell also successively served as the director of student programs and activities for three years, associate dean for student development for five years and the dean of student services for nine years at Tacoma Community College.
She has taught classes in student leadership, human relations, career development and college orientation throughout her career and has served on several boards and committees for the American Association of Community Colleges, the American Council on Education and Community Colleges for International Development.