Search finally up, SLCC picks chief
After nearly three years under the leadership of an interim boss, Salt Lake Community College has a permanent president.
Cynthia A. Bioteau, vice president for instruction and chief academic officer for Forsyth Technical Community College in Winston-Salem, N.C., was selected Monday as the seventh president of the state's largest community college.
Bioteau becomes the second female current president among Utah's 10 public colleges and universities, joining Weber State University President F. Ann Millner.
Late Monday afternoon, members of the state Board of Regents introduced Bioteau to more than 60 faculty, staff and community members - and at least two state lawmakers - attending the public announcement at SLCC's Redwood Campus. Bioteau was one of five finalists the regents had interviewed in closed-door meetings most of the day.
In introducing the new SLCC president, Regent Bonnie Jean Beesley identified Bioteau as "personal and aggressive" and someone she has been told is "tough as nails."
With her husband Frank at her side, Bioteau attested to SLCC being one of the "top 10" community colleges in the nation.
"I don't think there's a better position than this anywhere in the nation," she said. "I am honored to serve as SLCC president and I look forward to working with the faculty, staff and community to provide the finest of educational opportunities to all who attend this fine institution."
Bioteau said one of her goals is to strengthen SLCC's collaborations with "our K-through-12 and higher-education partners." She also will have to deal with some internal issues, among them a rash of lawsuits alleging racial discrimination and job retaliation.
"We asked some central questions about a number of things and [Bioteau] was just right on in every answer. At that point, our group just focused in on her. She is just outstanding," said Sen. Brent Goodfellow, D-West Valley City, a vice president at SLCC.
Bioteau (pronounced Be-o-ta) succeeds former President H. Lynn Cundiff, who resigned in 2003 after nearly three years in the top job to return to the private sector. Since Cundiff's departure, retired SLCC administrator Judd Morgan has served as the college's interim president.
Regent members heaped praise on Morgan, who led the community college, serving more than 25,000 students at 11 locations in the metropolitan Salt Lake City area. During Morgan's interim presidency, he brought the outlying campuses back under a centralized administrative fold. Under Cundiff's brief presidency, the campuses were allowed to operate with a wide degree of autonomy, leading to a period of confusion and competition among the campuses.
Morgan also got rid of the school's police department, which was plagued by accusations of favoritism and discrimination. Now, SLCC contracts with the Utah Department of Public Safety and police departments near its various campuses for police and security services.
Bioteau, who is expected to move to Utah by July 24, will receive a base salary of $170,000 - in addition to use of SLCC's president's residence and a car. She also will receive a benefit package that includes health coverage as well as an insurance policy - available to all public college presidents - with the option of converting it into a cash annuity equal to 2.5 percent of her base salary.
SLCC Board of Trustees Chairman Dave Thomas called Bioteau "a standout" among the five finalists and said she is someone who will "help elevate SLCC to the next level."
Bioteau's selection comes on the heels of a search in 2003, when regents could not agree on one of three finalists. They scrapped that search and started the process anew in 2004. In January of this year, the board - finding itself with fewer than three candidates to consider - extended the search another three months.
The selection was difficult given the quality of each of the finalists, said Regent Chairman Nolan Karras. The board believes Bioteau has the leadership and experience to promote and enhance the state's largest community college in its mission to serve such a large and diverse group of students, he said.
The regents now begin two more presidential searches: Dixie State College in St. George and Utah College of Applied Technology.
Currently, Bioteau leads the instructional division for a college of 31,000 students and 600 faculty. Previously, Bioteau served as the dean of developmental learning and academic support of Bunker Hill Community College in Boston.
She also was the regional director and an associate professor of the Department of Instructional Studies at New Hampshire Community Technical College. In addition, Bioteau has experience in public education, serving in several behavior-specialist and consulting roles in New Hampshire school districts from 1980 to 1990.
Bioteau was recently invited to be a guest presenter at a symposium for the U.S. Department of Labor and Workforce Services. She also has made several national presentations on the biotechnology work force, including connecting education, employment and economic development.
The Bioteaus are the parents of two children: Aimee, 26, and Zachary, 23, who may join their parents in Utah.
"In the time that I have spent in Salt Lake City, I have never felt a more closely connected community that cares about family, literacy, faith and education," Bioteau said.
CYNTHIA A. BIOTEAU
New SLCC president
Former position: She was vice president for instruction and chief academic officer of Forsyth Technical Community College in North Carolina.
Education: She has a doctorate in educational studies from Lesley University in Massachusetts; a master's in special education from Assumption College, also in Massachusetts; and a bachelor's from the University of New Hampshire.
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