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Board selects Salt Lake Community College VP as GRCC president

GRCC — The Board of Trustees voted unanimously Monday, Nov. 21 to select Charles Lepper as the new president of Grand Rapids Community College.

Vice president for Student Affairs and Enrollment Management at Salt Lake Community College, in Salt Lake City, Utah, Lepper will become GRCC’s 11th president. He succeeds Bill Pink, who took office in July as president of Ferris State University after leading GRCC since 2017. 

Lepper has been in his role at SLCC since 2015, running day-to-day operations for student affairs at 10 campuses serving over 60,000 students.  Prior to that he served as vice president for Student Affairs at Tidewater Community College in Norfolk, Virginia, and in leadership positions at Ivy Tech Community College in Indiana.  

He has a bachelor’s degree from Ball State University, a master’s from Grand Valley State University and a doctorate from Indiana State University. 

The vote authorizes the college to approach Lepper about a contract.

Trustees were impressed by Lepper’s leadership experience at both community colleges and universities, said board Chairman David J. Koetje.

“Dr. Lepper has the skills and the passion for education needed to lead GRCC into the future,” Koetje said. “He will arrive at a college in a good place, and stand on a strong foundation built by Dr. Pink and his predecessors. I am excited to see where he will take us in the years to come.”

GRCC President Emeritus Juan. R Olivarez has been serving as interim president during the search. One of two finalists in the running to replace Pink, Lepper is expected to take over the role in January. 

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Alexis Stark
Alexis Stark
Alexis Stark is a reporter covering Byron Center, Caledonia, Godfrey-Lee, Kenowa Hills and Thornapple Kellogg. She grew up in metro Detroit and her journalism journey brought her west to Grand Rapids via Michigan State University where she covered features and campus news for The State News. She also co-authored three 100-question guides to increase understanding and awareness of various human identities, through the MSU School of Journalism. Following graduation, she worked as a beat reporter for The Ann Arbor News, covering stories on education, community, prison arts and poetry, before finding her calling in education reporting and landing at SNN. Alexis is also the author of a poetry chapbook, “Learning to Sleep in the Middle of the Bed.”


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