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Coconino Community College President Announces Retirement


Dr. Colleen Smith, president of Coconino Community CollegeDr. Colleen Smith, president of Coconino Community CollegeCoconino Community CollegeDr. Colleen Smith, president of Coconino Community College (CCC) in Arizona, announced this week that she intends to retire after a 41-year career. In a letter to staff breaking the news, Smith referred to family health concerns as a reason for her decision.

"I feel the need and the desire to spend as much time with them as possible and be there when they need me," she wrote. "Our college community is amazing, always accomplishing so much with so little, and I genuinely believe that is because our colleagues all across the college are committed to serving students and making a difference in their lives."

Smith became CCC's president in 2016 and previously worked at community colleges in Wyoming and Texas.

The chair of the CCC District Governing Board, Nat White, said that the board received Smith's retirement news with "great regret but heartfelt understanding." The board has started the process of hiring a consultant to conduct a national search for the next president and gather input from staff, faculty, and community members.

Smith stated that she will work with the board on their presidential search in the weeks ahead.

"It is my sincere hope that the college will find the right person who is passionate about the community college mission and that has the skills necessary to help the college move forward in developing a financially strong footing that provides fiscal sustainability long into the future," wrote Smith.

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