Mesalands’ new president selected

Thomas Newsom

Thomas Newsom

Thomas Garcia

QCS Senior Staff

Thomas Newsom, president of the Art Institute of Dallas, has been chosen to be the next president of Mesalands Community College.  The college’s board of trustees announced its choice of Newsom at a special meeting Tuesday night.

Newsom has not yet been hired for the job.  Negotiations for his hiring are expected to be finalized by 5:30 p.m. Thursday, J. Bronson Moore, chairman of the board of trustees, said.

“Thank you for your vote of confidence and I hope I can live up to your expectation,” Newsom said during a Skype interview held during the meeting.  Newsom said he looks forward to working with the board of trustees  and taking Mesalands in the right direction.

Newsom, who lives in McKinney, Texas, north of Dallas,  has served as president of the Art Institute  of  Dallas since 2010, having served in various roles with the organization since 2000.

Trustee Jim Streetman, who chaired the presidential search committee,  said the committee and the board have done extensive research and had in depth discussions to make sure the right candidate for Mesalands was chosen.

Committee member Laurie Bidegain added, “I feel Newsom will be fine as president of Mesalands.”

Since Oct. 31, Natalie Gillard, vice president of academic affairs, and Aaron Kennedy, vice president of student affairs, shared oversight of the college’s daily operations.

Gillard and Kennedy were selected by the board of trustees to run the college following their unanimous vote to fire president Mildred Lovato. The decision followed an executive session held during a special meeting on Oct. 31.

The board hasn’t given a cause for Lovato’s termination.

The presidential screening committee has been working since January, reviewing applications and eventually narrowing the field to three finalists.  Besides Newsom, the finalists were Kris Jamsa of Prescott, Ariz. and Mark VanDenHende of Eugene, Ore.

Each was interviewed by the board of trustees and toured the college campus on separate days in late June.  Each candidate also participated in public forums, allowing residents a chance to meet them and question them about their plans for Mesalands if hired.newsom-mug-fitted

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