Anne Arundel Community College has hired Maryland native Dawn Lindsay, who now heads Glendale Community College in California and has an extensive background in local academia, as its next president.
Lindsay, 52, will be the sixth president in the school's 50-year history, replacing Martha A. Smith, who will retire from the position after 18 years on Aug. 1.
AACC officials said that Lindsay has signed a three-year contract worth $234,500 annually, with required annual evaluations. Her benefits package includes a $12,000 vehicle allowance and a $7,000 college contribution to a retirement plan of her choice after one year of employment, based on satisfactory performance.
Lindsay said she grew up in Woodlawn and has also lived in Fallston, Perry Hall and Severna Park. She held adjunct and instructor positions at Howard Community College and the Community College of Baltimore County's Dundalk campus. She also said she lectured for the Howard County Police Department.
Lindsay earned a bachelor's degree in social work and psychology and a master's degree in educational counseling from Western Maryland College (now McDaniel), and a doctorate in organizational leadership from Pepperdine University.
"The reputation of this college is national," Lindsay said about AACC. "I come from a very successful college; Glendale is known as one of the stellar community colleges in California. I wanted to step up, and Anne Arundel, in size and scope, is bigger than Glendale. It has more students by about 10,000, and it has more off-site centers.
"The reputation of the college, the commitment the college has to this community, the passion of the faculty, staff and administration, and the leadership by the board — the longer I was here over the last week, the more I wanted this job," she said.
Victoria K. Fretwell, chair of the AACC board of trustees, said she and Lindsay signed the new president's contract Sunday after an offer was made Friday evening. She said that among Lindsay's first responsibilities will be to take part in the school's search for a new vice president for learning to replace Andrew Meyer, who announced recently that he is stepping down in July.
"By the time she joins us, we will have a new budget," Fretwell added. "We will be wrangling with what kind of position that will be putting us in and maybe making us make different decisions about programs and processes."
AACC officials said it received 120 applications nationwide for the position, then narrowed the pool to 12. Three finalists visited the campus last week. AACC trustee James H. Johnson Jr., who led the school's search and screening committee, said Lindsay's local ties were not a factor in her selection.
"The big thing was that we have a person who has experience at a similar-sized institution," Johnson said, "and someone who understands the need to reach out and communicate with members of the college community, and will do that in a way that we think will take the college to the next level."
Lindsay is required to live in Anne Arundel County.
Education: Bachelor's degree in psychology and social work, 1981, and master's degree in educational counseling, 1982, from Western Maryland College (now McDaniel College); doctorate in organizational leadership from Pepperdine University, 2000.
Career highlights: President of Glendale Community College, 2009-present; executive vice president and vice president, instructional services, Glendale Community College, 2007-2009; Riverside Community College, various dean positions, 2003-2007; adjunct professor, Dundalk Community College, 1991-1994; adjunct instructor, Howard Community College, 1992-1994.
Honors: Named one of the "Top 20 Female Leaders of Los Angeles" by Business Life Magazine.