RICHMOND — The Virginia State Board for Community Colleges learned Monday that Russell Kavalhuna, J.D., its choice to lead the system, had decided to negotiate an agreement to continue as president at Henry Ford College in Dearborn, Michigan and not become the next Chancellor of Virginia’s Community Colleges (VCCS).
The VCCS State Board had voted March 17 to hire Kavalhuna to lead Virginia’s 23-college statewide system.
“We are disappointed, of course,” said NL Bishop, chair of the VCCS State Board. “Russ is an outstanding educator and leader in workforce development. We were looking forward to his joining us, but we respect his intent to remain in Michigan. We wish him well.”
Current Chancellor Glenn DuBois is retiring at the end of the month after 21 years of service. While the VCCS State Board prepares to launch a new, nationwide search to select the next permanent Chancellor, it has named Dr. Sharon Morrissey to serve as Interim Chancellor.
“It’s an honor to step in to help continue the work of our colleges to improve the lives of Virginians,” said Morrissey. “There’s a great team here at the VCCS and great leaders at our colleges statewide, and I know our Board will find an excellent candidate as our permanent Chancellor.”
Morrissey is currently the VCCS’s Senior Vice Chancellor for Academic and Workforce Programs.
“We are exceedingly grateful to have a talented and experienced leader in Dr. Morrissey to maintain and promote the progress we have made in strengthening Virginia’s communities through higher education and workforce training opportunities,” said Bishop.
Douglas M. Garcia is slated to become chair of the VCCS State Board in July.
“We know that great days are ahead for Virginia’s Community Colleges,” he said. “Our academic programs provide high-quality instruction and major cost savings for students who earn associate degrees with us and then transfer to four-year institutions. And we’re excited about the growth and vitality of our innovative workforce and career training programs that serve the needs of our employers and lead to family-sustaining jobs for our graduates. We know these programs enjoy bipartisan legislative support and we’re eager to align our workforce training priorities with our governor’s goals for a more productive and prosperous Virginia. Working together, we can accomplish great things for the commonwealth.”