Highline names interim V.P. of Student Services
By Izzy Anderson - Staff Reporter
Highline's new interim vice president of student services aims to help students through serving them with integrity, passion, and sincerity.
The appointment of Dr. Saovra "Sy" Ear was announced on Monday.
Dr. Ear, a Kent resident, starts the position on Nov. 26 and will remain as interim until Dec. 31, 2019.
His character and drive made Dr. Ear stand out from the crowd, Highline President Dr. John Mosby said.
"Dr. Ear has a proven track record of success, and is a true leader who will advocate for student services and the entire college community," said Dr. Mosby.
He currently works as the dean for student success over Enrollment and Entry Services at Edmonds Community College.
Dr. Ear also worked as an interim vice president for student services at Edmonds.
Dr. Ear began his career in higher education because of his own experiences with college.
"I've been in higher education for two decades now, I came to America when I was 5 years old. ... I came from Cambodia, I was a first- generation college student," Dr. Ear said on Wednesday.
"I went through that, I struggled somewhat, and then I got interested in... what I can do to work [and] provide opportunities to underprivileged students?" He said.
Both Dr. Ear's personal history and experience in education helped contribute to the decision to hire him on, Dr. Mosby said.
"Dr. Ear has an excellent grasp and understanding of student services, based on his years of experience and various roles and responsibilities," Dr. Mosby said. "In addition, his personal background and story will resonate strongly with many of our students, staff and faculty."
He applied for the position because of how well his own ideals and passions fit in with Highline's as a whole, Dr. Ear said.
"I think it's a great fit [with] my core values, how I operate with high integrity," he said. "I want to say that it's my calling, it's a great fit. [They] just align with each other."
"What impressed me was his passion and belief in diversity, social justice and equity, traits that align with our values here at Highline College," Dr. Mosby said.
Once the interim position ends, Highline will have an official vice president of student services in place.
"In late spring, the college will begin recruitment for a permanent vice president of student services. Any interest- ed individuals are welcomed to apply," Dr. Mosby said.
As the new interim, Dr. Ear said that this will be an opportunity to see if he is a good fit for the permanent role.
"It's an opportunity for the campus community to assess how I am as a leader, and for me to assess if it's the right fit," he said. "It'll take some assessing from both sides." Overall, Dr. Ear said that he is excited to begin his journey
at Highline. He said he hopes to further
its strengths, while also improving on the institution's weaknesses.
"I think Highline is a great institution, I'm fortunate to be selected as the interim vice president," he said. "Part of what I want to do is go there and continue to build on the strengths, and look for gaps, for what we can do better for the students."