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Old Dominion University Ph.D. Graduate Named President of New River Community College

By Brendan O'Hallarn

Patricia Huber, a graduate of Old Dominion University's Ph.D. program in community college leadership, has been named president of New River Community College in Dublin, Virginia.

She is the fourth graduate of the innovative Darden College of Education doctoral program to become the leader of a community college. The others are Natalie Harder, chancellor of South Louisiana Community College; Hara Charlier, president of Central Lakes College in Minnesota, and Al Roberts, president of Southside Virginia Community College.

To mark the 15th anniversary of Old Dominion's community college leadership program, Old Dominion President John R. Broderick will present Glenn DuBois, chancellor of Virginia's community college system, a Distinguished Career Award on June 7.

Presidents of community colleges from across the Commonwealth will attend the event, which will be held from 12 to 1:30 p.m. in the Multipurpose Room of Old Dominion's new Education Building.

Huber's appointment, announced in April, was celebrated by faculty members of the Darden College.

Linda Bol, professor of educational foundations and leadership, taught an intensive research methods course at the start of Huber's doctoral program.

"It was a condensed two-week summer course, and I assigned far too much work in far too short a time frame. At the end of the class, we were all in tears," Bol said. "But Pat behaved so bravely and performed so exceptionally that I readily agreed to serve on her dissertation committee."

Bol admired Huber "not just for her academic work, but for her camaraderie, collaborative skills and sense of humor, even in the face of challenging circumstances. These traits will serve her well as president."

Huber has worked at New River Community College since 1988 and now serves as vice president for instruction and student services. She will be the college's first female president. Her official start date will be July 1.

"It's absolutely awesome," she told The Roanoke Times. "It's a dream come true. I've never felt more humbled."

Huber will succeed Jack Lewis, who recently retired from New River after 17 years at the helm and 42 years at the school. The college is currently led by interim president Charlie White.

DuBois is the second longest-serving chancellor of Virginia's system of 23 community colleges and 40 campuses, which serve more than 250,000 students per year.

During DuBois' tenure, Virginia's community colleges have signed groundbreaking guaranteed transfer agreements with more than 30 public and private universities, including Old Dominion; become Virginia's leading provider of workforce development services; diversified funding sources, re-launching a statewide foundation and doubling foundation-led private fundraising, and maintained a tuition rate that is roughly one-third the rate at Virginia's four-year universities.

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