December 15, 2011
Dr. Mark Erickson, president of Wittenberg University, will become the fourth president of Northampton Community College on July 1. His appointment was approved by unanimous vote of the College's Board of Trustees on December 15.
Dr. Erickson has strong ties to the communities Northampton serves. He earned a doctorate in educational leadership at Lehigh University, where he won the Mathew W. Gaffney Award for Academic Excellence, and served in several key positions there including dean of students from 1990-1999, associate vice president and executive assistant to the president from 1999-2001, and vice president for administrative and government affairs from 2001-2005.
In 2005 he was named president of Wittenberg University. In addition to upholding the university's reputation for academic excellence, he is credited with working with others to develop new academic programs, to expand international exchange opportunities, and to foster a close and mutually beneficial relationship between Wittenberg and the city of Springfield, Ohio, through community service initiatives and economic partnerships. The university's commitment to this type of collaboration was manifested in the creation of Wittenberg's Center for Civic & Urban Engagement in 2008. This past summer the Center was endowed with the largest gift from a living alumnus in the university's history -- $6 million from Susan Hirt Hagen, an emerita member of the university's board of directors.
In describing the search process, NCC Trustee Tom Doluisio, who chaired the search committee, said, "Our recommendation was the result of a very open process involving the College's many stakeholders. Hundreds of people had an opportunity to give input and all of that input was taken seriously. We're delighted with our selection of Dr. Erickson. His experience and credentials are outstanding and, based on the process we put him through, his personality and temperament seem to be a perfect fit with the NCC culture. It's been an objective of the Trustees to make sure that NCC's strong, collaborative and supportive culture is maintained. We feel that Dr. Erickson will not only play to the College's strengths but will also bring new perspectives as we move forward."
"I'm honored, humbled and thrilled to be selected as the fourth president of Northampton Community College," said Dr. Erickson. "I came away from my campus interviews very impressed by the staff and faculty, engaged by the campus culture and inspired and energized by the College's mission. I have long admired Northampton's student-centered focus and entrepreneurial spirit and feel privileged to follow in the footsteps of Bob Kopecek and Art Scott, both of whom I would count as friends.
"What I find most energizing in my present work at Wittenberg are those issues that will be central to my role as Northampton's next president: listening to and engaging community and government leaders, encouraging innovative programs that meet community needs, providing a personal connection to students and serving as the College's chief cheerleader and fundraiser. I look forward to leading Northampton during the next exciting chapter of its history and thank the Board of Trustees for providing me with this wonderful opportunity."
Dr. Erickson will succeed Dr. Arthur Scott, who will retire in June after a distinguished 36-year career at Northampton, culminating in nine years as president.
"Northampton has a history of strong presidents," says Stackhouse. "They have all been visionaries who cared about students, who worked well with others, and who understood the community. We are thrilled to have found that kind of leader in Dr. Erickson."
A native Nebraskan, Erickson earned a bachelor's degree in American history at Princeton University and a master's degree in education at Harvard University where he specialized in administration, planning and social policy. He pursued additional studies in world religions and pastoral care at Harvard Divinity School.
He was selected for the presidency of Northampton Community College from a field of more than 60 candidates from across the United States and abroad. The screening committee included students, faculty, staff, alumni and members of the community.
When the Ericksons lived in the Lehigh Valley, Erickson's wife Lin was director of the National Training Center for Microelectronics, director of the Advanced Technology Center and associate dean of community education at Northampton before becoming executive director of the Da Vinci Science Center. The Ericksons are the parents of two grown children, Sarah and David.
About Northampton Community College: Founded in 1967, Northampton Community College (NCC) is a comprehensive community college with a distinctive culture that is both student-centered and entrepreneurial. The College serves more than 36,000 students each year in credit and non-credit programs. The student body is diverse in age and ethnicity. Fifteen percent of the students are Hispanic; 9 percent are African American, and there are 122 international students. The average age of students in credit programs is 26, and students range in age from 15 to 84. In addition to offering degrees and certificates in more than 100 academic and career fields, Northampton is home to nationally renowned child care centers, a Center for Business and Industry that provides customized training for many area employers, and research and development facilities like the Center for Emerging Technologies and the Fab Lab. Members of the faculty have been selected as the Pennsylvania Professor of the Year by the Carnegie Foundation in two of the last three years. The College is one of the largest employers in the Lehigh Valley with an annual operating and capital budget exceeding $80 million.