New president impresses campus

By Izzy Anderson - Staff Reporter

Dr. John Mosby appears to have impressed many people on campus as the right person to lead Highline forward.

Nearly everyone who met Dr. Mosby during his on-campus visit left with a positive impression.

Dr. Mosby was announced as Highline's new president on May 31.

He is currently the vice president for Student Services at Mission College in Santa Clara, where he began in 2015.

The presidential search started when former Highline President Dr. Jack Bermingham announced his retirement in July 2017. 

Since then, Dr. Jeff Wagnitz has served as interim president.

The Board of Trustees, along with the help of a presidential search subcommittee, whittled down from a pool of more than three dozen applicants. 

From there, three finalists were interviewed and given opportunities to speak at on-campus forums.

Dr. Mosby came to Highline and held his open forums on May 16.

"I felt so welcomed during my campus visit, I felt like the college understood, and wanted to be on the journey with me," Dr. Mosby said.

His campus visit and interviews appeared to impress Highline leaders and students alike.

"During the in-person campus visit, where interviews were held with 18 different individuals by our Trustee visitation team, it was clear that he is a person of integrity, is highly effective, and is greatly respected and admired as a leader," Trustees President Debrena Jackson-Gandy said.

"His personality and style is also a great fit for the warm, collegial environment of Highline," Gandy said.

As far as candidates go, it became clear that Dr. Mosby was the top applicant, said Board of Trustees Member Fred Mendoza.

"I got the opportunity to go down with Dan [Trustee Dan Altmayer] to his [Dr. Mosby's] college campus… and meet with him. In the 16 pages of notes taken, there wasn't one negative thing written about him," said Trustee Mendoza.

But of the top three candidates, there were no bad choices, Trustee Mendoza said.

"All three could've grown into a nice fit for the college," he said.

A lot was taken into account for this final decision, said Trustee Bob Roegner.

"This was a very intensive process, [an] inclusive process, in which literally hundreds of people participated," Roegner said. "Everybody's going to love Dr. Mosby."

While Dr. Mosby was an overall good candidate, several qualities made him stand out from the rest, such as inclusion and experience. 

"Dr. Mosby's broad experience in the student services area was a particular strength," said Dr. James Peyton, president of the Highline College Education Association. 

"He also [has] a good sense of what it takes to make sure that employees, of all kinds across the institution, are included in institutional planning and decision making," Dr. Peyton said.

"He strikes me as someone who can build relationships quickly, even as he goes about setting his own leadership agenda," said Interim President Dr. Wagnitz. "We couldn't ask for a better combination of knowledge, skills and attributes."

And while changes are approaching with new leadership coming in, Highline will stick together and become stronger because of it, Dr. Mosby said.

"We're going to experience it together, I want to support the college through [this] change," Dr. Mosby said. "I'm always a big believer that change can be good."

Overall, Dr. Mosby said he feels honored to be offered the role of president, and will take Highline wherever it needs to go next.

 "I just feel really humbled to be the seventh president…. I feel like I'm coming into an amazing environment," said Dr. Mosby. "I don't take this opportunity lightly.… I'm really committed to being the best president possible for Highline College."

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