The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

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February 17, 2014

Crowder board tabs Jennifer Methvin as new president

NEOSHO, Mo. — Jennifer Methvin, vice chancellor for academics at the University of Arkansas Community College at Hope, will be the next president of Crowder College.

“I’m very excited,” Methvin said.

Methvin will be Crowder’s first female president in its 50-year history.

The Crowder Board of Trustees offered the job to Methvin on Friday after discussing the qualifications of the three finalists behind closed doors. Methvin said she accepted the job late Friday.

No start date has been decided, but Methvin said she likely would complete the semester in Hope.

Methvin said Crowder has seen strong enrollment growth.

“One of the things I can see doing is maybe taking a breath and doing some strategic planning to make sure we’re intentional about sustaining that growth,” she said of her plan at Crowder, something she also mentioned last week at her public forum on campus.

She said she also has a lot of listening to do.

She said she was impressed during her visit to the Crowder College campuses in Neosho, Webb City and Cassville. She said Crowder has exceptional faculty and staff members.

“That’s the kind of place I want to be,” Methvin said she recalled thinking during her visit.

She said it will be difficult to leave her home in Arkansas, but that Crowder represents a new opportunity for her.

“We look forward to it,” she said.

Methvin has a bachelor’s degree in creative writing and English from Arkansas Tech University in Russellville; a master’s degree in creative writing and English from Oklahoma State University, Stillwater; and a doctorate in community college leadership from Walden University, an online institution based in Minneapolis, Minn.

She has been in her current position since 2005. Before that, she was a division chairwoman for arts and sciences, a coordinator of off-campus credit courses and an English faculty member at the University of Arkansas Community College at Hope. She was assistant professor of English at Arkansas State University at Newport from 1993 to 1995. She started her higher education career as an adjunct instructor at Arkansas State University at Beebe.

She is active in many professional organizations. She has received the National Institute for Staff and Organizational Development Excellence Award and the Outstanding Faculty Award at both Arkansas State University at Newport and the University of Arkansas Community College at Batesville.

She has made many professional presentations, and is a published author of several articles, short stories and poems.

Andy Wood, president of the Crowder trustees, said the decision was tough and that each of the three finalists could be a great president. He said the board’s decision to hire Methvin was unanimous.

Wood said by phone that Methvin’s starting salary will be about $155,000, or the salary of the most recent Crowder president, Alan Marble. Wood said he didn’t immediately have the precise amount.

Marble retired last June as Crowder president. He now is interim president at Missouri Southern State University in Joplin.

Other finalists

THE OTHER TWO FINALISTS for the top job at Crowder College were Jim Cummins, Crowder vice president of finance, and Brent Bates, vice president of education and student services at State Fair Community College in Sedalia.

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