Quay County Sun - Serving the High Plains

By Thomas Garcia
Staff writer 

Newsom leaving Mesalands

The search has begun to replace the 5-year president.


February 28, 2018

Mesalands Community College has begun the process of searching for a new president after accepting the resignation of Thomas Newsom, who served as head of the institute for five years.

"I want to thank the board of trustees for giving me the opportunity to serve as Mesalands president," Newsom said. "It has been a pleasure working with the faculty and staff to provide a quality education to the students."

Newsom said the board of trustees accepted his resignation Feb. 20, with his last official day set for April 6. He said he has accepted a position at a institute closer to his family home in McKinney, Texas.

"Mesalands owes a lot to Dr. Newsom, he has done so much in the past five years to advance the college," said J. Bronson Moore, Trustee Chair. "Newsom came in and saved the college during a tumultuous time."

Newsom was hired after the previous president Mildred Lavato was fired by the board of trustees in Oct., 2012.

Before Newsom was hired in July 2013, the college had been jointly run by Natalie Gillard, vice president of academic affairs, and Aaron Kennedy, vice president of student affairs.

Moore said Newsom worked to get the college back on track, creating new opportunities with university partnerships and distance education programs. He said the dual enrollment programs with area high schools have given students a head start in their secondary education.

"It is going to be a difficult task to replace Dr. Newsom; he will be truly missed," Moore said.

Moore said a presidential selection committee has been formed, that committee is being headed up by Trustee Jim Streetman. He said it is the hope of the board of Trustees to have a replacement selected and hired by the first of June.

Moore said the board of trustees will discuss and approve the appointment of a interim president to serve after Newsom's departure on April 6 and until the hiring of a new president during the March 20 regular meeting at Mesalands.


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