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Four finalists named for community college presidency

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The State Board for Community Colleges has certified four finalists who have applied to become president of New River Community College.

They were selected from more than 90 applicants.

The finalists include David L. Brand of Fayetteville, N.C.; Pat Huber of Pulaski; Susan Short of Salem; and Kristen A. Westover of Martinsville.

They are vying to succeed Jack Lewis, who retired last year after serving New River Community College for 42 years, including 17 as college president. Charlie White is the college’s interim president.

The finalists will each spend a day or more on the college campus in April, to meet with faculty, staff, students and community members.


The college, which opened in 1969, serves an estimated 4,500 students in Montgomery, Floyd, Pulaski and Giles counties and the city of Radford.

Brand has worked in higher education for the past 18 years following a 23-year career in the U.S. Army.

Brand is the senior vice president and chief academic officer at Fayetteville Technical Community College, a role he has held since 2012. Before that, he was director of the Department of Education, a senior civilian role at the U.S. Army Special Operations Command at Fort Bragg, N.C.

Brand holds a doctorate from the University of South Carolina, a master’s degree from the University of Houston and a bachelor’s degree from Troy State University.

Huber has worked in education for 41 years. She has been at New River Community College since 1988 when she began as an adjunct English instructor.  Huber has been vice president for instruction and student services at the college since 2007.

She earned a doctorate from Old Dominion University, a master’s degree from West Virginia University, a bachelor’s degree from Emory & Henry College and an associate degree from Wytheville Community College.

Short has more than 36 years of experience in higher education. Since 2011, she has been associate vice president for engagement at Virginia Tech.

Short earned a doctorate from Virginia Tech, a master’s degree from Shippensburg University and two bachelor’s degrees from Shenandoah College and Conservatory.

Westover has more than 25 years of experience in higher education. She is vice president for academic and student services at Patrick Henry Community College in Martinsville, a position she has held since 2011. Previously, she served as higher education program coordinator at the University of Texas in Austin.

She holds a doctorate from Nova Southeastern University in Florida and master’s and bachelor’s degrees from Fort Hays State University in Kansas.




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