Dr. Laurie Chesley, provost and executive vice president for academic and student affairs at Grand Rapids Community College has announced that she will step down from her role at the end of the school year to become a college president.
Chesley, who has been at Grand Rapids for over 13 years, was recently named president of Central Oregon Community College and will begin her new role on July 1.
Central Oregon Community College, located in Bend, Oregon, annually enrolls around 8,700 students in credit courses and 7,900 in noncredit courses.
There will be a national search for her replacement.
“I’m excited Provost Chesley has this wonderful opportunity, and we will miss her leadership,” GRCC president Dr. Bill Pink said. “She is an outstanding educator, and an even better person.”
Chesley has maintained her focus on student success during her time at the community college, Pink said, no matter if they were looking at adding credits to transfer to a four-year institution or building career skills.
Her responsibilities included the oversight of several Grand Rapids initiatives created to help students begin their degree program strong, help them seek a clear academic pathway and successfully move to their next move, whether it be a career or transfer to a four-year college or university, according to MLive.
“All of my life, beginning in the earliest grades, I have loved ‘going to school,’ and I have spent my entire career in higher education, where I get to do just that,” Chesley said. “By far, the most rewarding part of my job has been and always will be helping other people — students, faculty, and staff — to develop their talents and realize their potential. I feel honored and grateful to have spent these years at an institution where faculty and staff are so committed to student success.”
Chesley received a Ph.D. in English from the University of Notre Dame.