Five people have advanced in the Louisiana Community and Technical College System’s search for a new chancellor of the Louisiana Delta Community College.

Earlier this year, Dennis Epps stepped down from his role as chancellor in light of poor health. Chris Broadwater has served as the college’s interim chancellor. The search began in August.

As of earlier this week, each finalist was scheduled to participate in separate virtual public forums with students, faculty, staff, and community members.

“As LCTCS Board Chair and a member of the Louisiana Delta Chancellor Search Committee, I am extremely proud of the process which has resulted in these finalists,” said Paul Price, Jr. “This is a strong group, and they represent the best leaders in Louisiana and the nation. The future of Delta and the communities it serves in Northeast Louisiana is bright.”

The finalists are listed below in alphabetical order.

MORDECAI BROWNLEE

Dr. Mordecai Ian Brownlee currently serves as the Vice President for Student Success at St. Philip’s College, the only college in the nation federally-designated as both a historically black college (HBCU) and a Hispanic-serving institution (HSI), located in San Antonio, Texas. Brownlee also serves as an adjunct professor at Morgan State University School of Education & Urban Studies and the University of Charleston School of Business and Leadership, where he teaches business management, human resources, social justice, and community college leadership. In addition, he is a higher education columnist for EdSurge.

Brownlee earned a Doctorate of Education in Educational Leadership and a Specialization in Higher Education at Lamar University (Beaumont, Texas) where he was awarded the Outstanding Doctoral Student Award for his research regarding legislative impacts on community colleges in the state of Texas. Prior to completing his doctorate, Brownlee attended Houston Baptist University where he earned a Master of Science Degree in Human Resource Management and a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Mass Communication & Political Science, and an Associates of Arts Degree in Liberal Arts from North Harris Community College District (now known as Lone Star College) in Kingwood, Texas.

RANDY ESTERS

Dr. Randy Esters currently serves as the 4th President of North Arkansas College in Harrison, Arkansas. Before coming to Harrison, he served as the Head of the Liberal Arts division at Louisiana State University at Eunice, Dean of the School of Education and Associate VP for International Affairs at Louisiana College in Pineville.

Esters received a B.A. in Biology and General Science Education and M.A. in Educational Leadership and Supervision from McNeese State University, and an Ed.D. in Educational Leadership/Higher Education from Lamar University in Beaumont, Texas.

SCOTT RULE

Dr. Scott Rule currently serves as President of West Georgia Technical College in Carrollton, Georgia, serving more than 7,000 students per term across seven counties with five full-service campuses, two instructional sites, and additional facilities. Rule is currently leading a $64 million capital construction project that is relocating one of the College’s largest campuses — completely replacing an aging facility and providing much needed additional space with purpose-designed classrooms and labs for its programs.

Rule earned his undergraduate degree in Computer Science from Southern Polytechnic State University, his MBA in Management from Kennesaw State University, and his Ph.D. in Higher Education Policy from Georgia State University.

WENDI PALERMO

Dr. Wendi S. Palermo currently serves as the Executive Director of Nursing and Healthcare Initiatives for the Louisiana Community and Technical College System (LCTCS) and is a native of Caldwell Parish. She has over 16 years of full-time experience in higher education at both undergraduate and graduate levels. In addition to her full-time position, she serves as adjunct faculty in both Doctoral and Master programs at Northwestern State University.

Palermo earned an Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) and Baccalaureate of Science in Nursing (BSN) in 1999 & 2002 respectively from Northwestern State University. She continued her education and earned a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) from McNeese State University in 2004 and then a PhD in Nursing Research from Southern University in 2011.

HEATHER POOLE

Dr. Heather Spillers Poole currently serves as the Executive Vice Chancellor of Student Services and is the Director of Foundation Relations at Central Louisiana Technical Community College (CLTCC).

Poole is a Louisiana native and began her career in higher education over 25 years ago at the Board of Regents, where she worked in a number of capacities, primarily serving as the Assistant Commissioner of Assessment and Economic Development, where she coordinated several statewide initiatives.

Poole earned both her undergraduate degree and her Masters of Business Administration from Louisiana State University and completed her Doctorate in Higher Education Administration from Louisiana Tech. Poole is also a graduate of the University of Oklahoma’s Economic Development Institute, Council for a Better Louisiana (CABL) 2007 class of Leadership Louisiana and LCTCS’s Leadership Louisiana.

SEARCH COMMITTEE

The full search committee is comprised of LCTCS Board members, as well as LDCC community members, college faculty and staff, and a student representative. The search committee’s members include Timothy W. Hardy, Search Committee Chair, LCTCS Board of Supervisors; Paul Price, Chair, LCTCS Board of Supervisors; Tari Bradford, LCTCS Board of Supervisors; West Monroe Mayor Staci Mitchell; Monroe Mayor Friday Ellis; LDCC Foundation Board President Ann Hayward; Glen Post, the former chief executive officer at CenturyLink; Richland Parish Schools Superintendent Sheldon Jones; LDCC Faculty Senate President Tiffany Green; Ryan Pierce, LDCC Division Chair, School of Business & Technology; LDCC SGA President Anita Gordin; and LDCC Dean of Student Affairs Alvina Thomas.

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