Presidential Finalists Announced

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We are one step closer to having a new College President! The search committee’s hours of painstaking deliberation have paid off, and the Board of Trustees now has four outstanding candidates from which to choose:

Utpal GoswamiUtpal K. Goswami, Ph.D. currently serves as president of Metropolitan Community College- Maple Woods, in Kansas City, MO. Dr. Goswami has more than 33 years of higher education experience, divided between classroom and administration at colleges and universities in Arizona, California, Missouri and Texas. He is experienced in advocating for community college funding, fostering shared governance, enhancing student success, programming for workforce development, launching and completing capital projects, and revamping and integrating technology platforms. Goswami is actively involved in statewide and local community organizations related to education, community service and economic development.

Suzanne JohnsonSuzanne M. Johnson, Ph.D. is the current Vice President of Academic Affairs at Suffolk County Community College in Long Island, NY. Dr. Johnson began her career in higher education in 1988 as a psychology instructor at Dowling College, and moved through the ranks to become the Dean of the College in 2012. Johnson also served as the Interim Campus President of the Sylvania Campus of Portland Community College in Portland, OR. Johnson has been instrumental in accreditation reviews, providing leadership over both instruction and student affairs, as well as having a deep commitment to the community college mission.

Kenneth LawsonKenneth G. Lawson, Ph.D. is currently the Vice President for Instruction at Skagit Valley College in Mount Vernon, WA. He has a doctorate in Political Science from the University of Washington.  Dr. Lawson served as Dean of Humanities and Social Sciences at Seattle Central College and Dean of Equity and Social Justice/Social Sciences at Shoreline Community College.  Dr. Lawson started teaching International Studies and Political Science at Shoreline in 2001. He has a passion for teaching and learning, and he is committed to ensuring underserved students have an equitable opportunity to succeed.

Elliot SternDr. Elliot Stern serves as the Vice President of Instruction at Lake Washington Institute of Technology in Kirkland, WA. Prior to his career in higher education, Dr. Stern earned both a Juris Doctor and Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine, and had a successful career as a physician-attorney and medical malpractice litigator. Stern changed career paths in 2003, and joined the ranks of Biology faculty at Everett Community College, where he later became Dean of Allied Health. Stern also served as the Dean of S.T.E.M. at Edmonds Community College.

The candidates will each have a full day on campus packed with multiple interviews and campus forums. The schedule has been posted on the presidential search page at

**During the interview week, members of the campus community will have the opportunity to provide feedback via an online survey, the results of which will be passed on to the board for consideration. **

If you wish to learn more about the candidates prior to their visit, candidate resumes are available to Green River College faculty and staff on the shared N Drive (N:\human resources\Presidential Search). This link is only accessible from campus computers or via remote desktop.


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