The Highline Community College Board of Trustees May 8 chose a familiar face to lead the Des Moines-based school — interim President Jack Bermingham.
Bermingham served as academic vice president at Highline for 12 years before his appointment as interim president during fall 2006. A unanimous vote by the board last week named the longtime administrator president of the school. The appointment will be effective immediately.
“The Board of Trustees fully supports Dr. Bermingham, and we look forward to working together for the betterment of students and Highline Community College,” said Elizabeth Chen, board member and co-chair of the presidential search committee.
Highline Education Association President Ruth Windhover was pleased.
“The appointment of Dr. Jack Bermingham will enable him to continue his exceptional leadership of the college in supporting student achievement, diversity, international education, basic skills attainment and the economic growth of the region and the state,” she said.
In addition to his time at Highline, Bermingham has had a distinguished academic career.
He received his doctorate in history from the University of California at Santa Barbara and went on to a faculty appointment at the University of the West Indies in Jamaica. He received tenure as a faculty member and later became dean of social sciences at Pacific Lutheran University.
Bermingham’s passion for promoting access and student achievement brought him to the community-college system. His work has led to national and regional recognition of Highline’s practices related to diversity, international education, basic skills and its Honors Program.
The college’s student-body president also responded positively in regard to Bermingham’s appointment.
“On behalf of the student body of Highline Community College, I would like to express heartfelt congratulations to Dr. Jack Bermingham on his appointment to the presidency of this wonderful institution,” said Steven Simpkins. “Working with him over the past year has been an incredible experience for me personally, and I have no doubt that he will lead Highline to an even higher level of excellence and multicultural awareness in the years to come.”
With his appointment, Bermingham said he will now focus on the future of Highline, its students and the South King County community.
“It is an honor and privilege to have been named the permanent president,” he said. “We do important work at Highline Community College as we prepare students to live in a multicultural society and to work successfully in a competitive global economy. I will continue this work as I serve the college and community. I was overwhelmed by the support I received both on and off campus while interim president and will strive to meet the changing needs of our region.”
Highline Community College’s campuses are located at 2400 S. 240 St. in Des Moines and 33320 1st Way. S. in Federal Way. For more information about the school, call 206-878-3710 or visit www.highline.edu.