Dawn Lindsay to leave GCC for job in Maryland

Glendale Community College will soon be looking for new leadership after President Dawn Lindsay announced Tuesday that she has accepted the top job at a community college in Maryland.

Lindsay will leave Glendale at the end of the academic year and assume the presidency at Anne Arundel Community College in Arnold, Md., on Aug. 1.

“Obviously it makes me sad,” Lindsay said of her departure. “But I know from a professional and personal perspective this is the best opportunity for me. Anne Arundel was the only college I applied at.... It has a stellar reputation.”

The move marks both a professional step up — with 53,000 students, Anne Arundel is significantly bigger than Glendale Community College — and a homecoming for Lindsay, a Maryland native.

“It is a promotional opportunity, and at the same time it gets me back to where my family is,” Lindsay said.

Glendale Community College officials said they will name an interim president and will launch a formal search for Lindsay's replacement in the coming weeks.

“We will discuss the process and put a plan together to replace Dr. Lindsay at the next regularly scheduled board of trustees meeting,” board President Anita Gabrielian said in a statement Tuesday. “She continues to be our superintendent/president and will assist the board with a transition plan.”

Lindsay was named interim president at Glendale Community College in May 2009, following the resignation of then-President Audre Levy. One year later, the college hired her with a permanent, three-year contract through June 2013.

In November, the board of trustees voted to extend the contract through June 2015.

Lindsay earned $195,430, plus a doctoral stipend, during the 2010-11 school year, according to Donna Voogt, dean of human resources. However, the president, along with the rest of management staff, accepted a 5% pay cut for the current school year as the college worked to reduce expenses.

With the new job comes a substantial raise. Lindsay will earn an annual base salary of $234,500, full benefits and a $12,000 vehicle allowance at Anne Arundel, according the terms of the three-year contract released by the college. She will also be reimbursed for her relocation costs.

Lindsay was one of three finalists — pulled from a pool of 120 applicants — competing to replace Martha Smith, who has led Anne Arundel Community College for 18 of its 50 years. Lindsay spent much of the last week at the Maryland campus, meeting with college stakeholders.

Victoria Fretwell, president of the board of trustees at Anne Arundel, said in a phone interview Tuesday that she and her colleagues were looking for someone who could understand and appreciate the complexities of the college. They also wanted a president who could lead on campus, while also working effectively with community members, business leaders and top state officials.

“I think that Dawn's demonstrated action relative to inclusion was one of the key things that we really appreciated,” Fretwell said. “She engages and involves everybody in her decision-making process and respects and requests input from so many people.”

They were also impressed by her involvement with various community groups, and her efforts to draw their members into the life of the college.

“[She believed] Glendale Community College was there to serve the community,” Fretwell said. “We believe very strongly that Anne Arundel is here to serve the community.”

Lindsay said it was overwhelming to stand in front of a group of passionate educators as she was announced as the new president at an event on the Maryland campus Tuesday.

“I have made the right decision, and I do hope and anticipate this will be my last stop in my career,” Lindsay said.

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