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Wednesday, May 29, 2024

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Ready to serve Southwest

Dr. Tracy D. Hall soon will have the best opportunity she has experienced up to this point to act on her strongly held belief about the value of “quality, affordable education” to a community.

On Wednesday, the Tennessee Board of Regents is expected to approve TBR Chancellor John Morgan’s recommendation that Hall succeed Nate Essex as president of Southwest Tennessee Community College, the largest community college in the state. Essex’s retirement is effective June 30.

“I believe that access to a quality, affordable education is critical to the economic survival and development of communities,” said Hall in her application seeking the Southwest presidency. “As such, I have dedicated my career to working exclusively at urban colleges and believe fervently in the potential of all people.h, I have dedicated my career to working exclusively at urban colleges and believe fervently in the potential of all people.

Hall earned a doctorate from the University of Missouri-Columbia in educational leadership and policy analysis, a master’s degree from Wichita State University and a bachelor’s degree from the University of Missouri-St. Louis. She emerged from a field of 65 applicants and four finalists who visited Southwest late last month. Her first day as Southwest president will be July 13.

“We are fortunate to have Dr. Hall join the Tennessee Board of Regents,” said Morgan. “We expect she will be the right leader at the right time to help address the unique opportunities at Southwest. Her credentials are excellent, and her experience in engaging all constituents and building a strong, successful and collaborative team while recognizing unique strengths and opportunities is the right fit.”

Hall has served as vice president for academic affairs at St. Louis Community College-Forest Park since 2011. Her responsibilities included more than 30 career and technical programs, academic support services and instructional resources, stackable credentials for workforce development, faculty oversight and the African American Male Initiative.

For six years, Hall served as associate dean of instruction at Metropolitan Community College-Penn Valley in Kansas City, Mo., where she managed strategic planning efforts, articulation agreements, career and technical program reviews and P-16 initiatives. She taught speech, mass communication and intercultural communication at the campus from 1999-2004.

Two years prior she led Kennesaw (Ga.) State University’s minority student retention services. Hall was an instructor of speech and intercultural communication courses at St. Louis Community College-Meramec from 1993 until 1997.

On her application, Hall offers a glimpse of her thoughts about the importance of engaging students.

“For more than 20 years, I have remained committed to actively engaging students both in and out of the classroom,” wrote Hall. “In fact, my dissertation title was ‘A pedagogy of freedom: Using hip hop in the classroom to engage African-American students.’ I am particularly passionate about serving the needs of underserved students and communities.”

In addition to her membership in numerous professional and civic organizations, Hall has participated in the Thomas Lakin Institute for Mentored Leadership, the American Association of Community College’s Future Leaders Institute, National Council on Black American Affairs Mid-Level Management Institute, and the Kaleidoscope Women’s Leadership Conference.

(To view Dr. Hall’s complete application materials, visit http://tinyurl.com/tracydhall.)

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