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James L. White/Staff

North Arkansas College Board of Trustees member Scott Miller (left) talks with Dr. Rick Massengale after the meeting where trustees voted to hire him to replace retiring Dr. Donna Wood.

The North Arkansas College Board of Trustees voted to hire a Harrison Middle School teacher for a new college position and an Arkansas Tech vice president to replace Dr. Donna Wood, vice president of academic and student affairs, who is retiring.

Mary Beth Hatch, Harrison Middle School’s EAST Initiative facilitator, was hired for the new position as work-based learning coordinator and Dr. Rick Massengale, associate vice president of sponsored programs and university initiatives at Arkansas Tech University in Russellville, will replace Wood.

Northark president Dr. Randy Esters made the recommendation for both personnel matters, which were approved unanimously in open session last week.

Esters explained that the Arkansas Department of Higher Education Workforce Continuation Grant included funding to create the work-based learning coordinator position to better serve the needs of business and industry.

The position will oversee program administration, coordination and collaboration with Northark, business/industry and K-12 partners.

Additionally, referrals, job placements, follow-up, program evaluation and liaison with faculty as needed will be required.

Hatch was recommended for the position after human resources and a committee performed a search. She earned a Bachelor of Science in Education from the University of Central Arkansas and has been a classroom teacher in Arkansas and Texas, the last five years at Harrison Middle School.

She is scheduled to start at the college on July 22.

The vice president of academic and student affairs reports to Esters and is responsible for leadership, direction, planning, supervision and evaluation of the Academic and Student Services Divisions, to include multiple functions associated with curriculum, faculty, libraries, outreach programs, student services and other programs and services that promote student learning as the core of Northark’s mission.

Thirty applications were received for the position, Esters said. Massengale holds a Ph.D. in Applied Science-Applied Computing from the University of Arkansas, Little Rock, and an MBA from Webster University, St. Louis. He has 21 years of higher education experience in various positions including faculty and administration.

Massengale officially begins at Northark July 1.

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