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STLCC Trustees Approve Appointment of Cynthia Hess as New Forest Park President

March 25, 2010

Cynthia Hess  
Cynthia Hess will become president
of St. Louis Community College-Forest
Park effective June 1.

The St. Louis Community College Board of Trustees at its March 25 meeting approved the appointment of Cynthia Hess, executive vice president and chief academic officer at Craven Community College, as the eighth president at the college’s Forest Park campus. Hess will assume these duties June 1.

“Dr. Hess’ credentials and commitment to community college education make her a strong candidate to provide leadership as we move forward with our agenda for the Forest Park campus,” said Joann Ordinachev, chair of the STLCC Board of Trustees.

The appointment of Hess caps a seven-month national search, which attracted more than 45 candidates.

“Dr. Hess’ extensive experience as both an administrator and teacher at the community college level, and her passion for teaching and learning, convinced me that she is the best candidate to lead the Forest Park campus,” said Zelema Harris, STLCC chancellor.

After her appointment was approved by the board, Hess said: “I'm both honored and thrilled to be invited to serve the Forest Park community, and to build upon the college's traditions in providing quality learning opportunities for students.

“My service in education will continue to address three critical areas: how our students are doing, both in and out of the classroom, how our faculty and staff are doing, and how the community perceives what we are doing,” she added. “I look forward to strengthening the college's relationships with all community partners to ensure that we are meeting their specific needs, while continuing to focus on Forest Park's capacity to provide a rigorous and supportive learning environment for students.”

Located in eastern North Carolina, Craven Community College has campuses in New Bern and Havelock. The college annually serves 5,000 credit students and 12,000 in noncredit offerings.

Under Hess’ leadership since 2005, the college has been successfully reaccredited, and has revitalized its processes of employee appraisal, program review, and assessment of student learning outcomes. Reorganization in 2009 reduced administrative layers and provided for greater funding for faculty positions. During Hess’s tenure, program offerings expanded, with particular emphases on health care and advanced manufacturing.

Prior to her work in North Carolina, Hess held academic leadership positions for 10 years at Tulsa Community College, a multi-campus system in Oklahoma, where she served as provost of the Northeast campus, dean of instruction at the West campus, and liberal arts chair at the Southeast campus. She also served for two years as the assistant department head for general education at Oklahoma State University’s Technical Branch in Okmulgee, Okla.

Hess holds a doctorate of education in higher education administration, a master’s degree in curriculum and instruction, and a bachelor’s degree in English, all from Oklahoma State University. She is married to Frank Duncan, a lifelong educator who taught high school sciences and served in secondary school administration.