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Pennsylvania community college leader Stuart Savin is unanimous choice


December 1, 2009 (El Caj on)– The Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community College District Governing Board has unanimously approved appointment of Dr. Stuart J. Savin as Cuyamaca College president, effective April 12, 2010.


Savin, who, for the last three years, has been the chief executive officer of Harrisburg Area Community College, Lancaster Campus, in Pennsylvania, was recommended by Chancellor Cindy L. Miles.

Miles said she was pleased to select Savin for numerous reasons.


“He brings a diverse background that will fit well with the forward-moving, innovative college that is Cuyamaca,” she said. “Dr. Savin worked 10 years in business and industry before discovering his passion for community colleges and making a difference in students’ lives. He brings more than 10 years of senior administrative experience in community colleges, as well as proven expertise in finance, technology, assessment, accreditation, facilities, fundraising, campus development and community partnerships.”


Governing Board President Bill Garrett praised Savin’s appointment and the thorough selection process.


“He is going to be very, very successful,” Garrett said about Savin, who holds a doctorate in education from Oregon State University.


Following a nationwide search, a 14-member committee of faculty, staff, administrators, students and community representatives began its work earlier this year with the screening and interviewing of candidates for the college’s top post. The committee forwarded the names of finalists for further consideration by the chancellor. As part of the process, public forums for each finalist were held at Cuyamaca in recent weeks.


“I am honored by this opportunity to become part of the Cuyamaca College family with its rich history of innovation and look forward as well to joining the Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community College District and its deep commitment to meeting student needs,” said Savin, whose three-year contract includes an annual salary of $185,000.


As senior executive of Harrisburg Area Community College, Lancaster Campus, Savin oversees a $24 million budget and is responsible for directing the overall operation of the campus, the largest of the four regional campuses of HACC. Lancaster enrolls approximately 7,000 students per year, with more than 400 full- and part-time employees.


Experienced in resource development, Savin has obtained more than $2.5 million in foundation donations, grants, industry-matching, equipment donations and training contracts. Savin also has a strong background in educational technology and has developed and taught online and hybrid courses.


Savin began his career in public education in the mid- ‘90s as an instructor at Rockland Community College in New York’s Hudson Valley, where he was director of the college’s Chrysler apprenticeship program. From 1999 to 2001, Savin was dean of instruction for the technical education division of South Seattle Community College; and from 2001-2006, he served as dean of mathematics, manufacturing, and transportation at Portland Community College’s Rock Creek campus.


Prior to working in education, Savin was employed in various technical and management roles in business and industry. For two years before moving into public education, he was a technical training specialist for Automotive Control Corp., a subsidiary of Echlin, Inc., a leading manufacturer of automotive replacement parts.


His private-sector career and his teaching and administrative experience in technical education have made Savin a strong proponent of community college partnerships with off-campus sectors.


“In all my positions I’ve worked closely with regional consortiums to develop and maintain partnerships with community, business and industry,” he wrote in his application letter to the presidential search committee at Cuyamaca College. “These partnerships have ranged from Tech Prep partnerships with the secondary schools in the region to working with local education consortiums to develop, secure and implement grants. as well as partnerships for career and workforce success built between business, industry, K-12 and other colleges.”


From his earliest days as an instructor in career technical education, Savin has been involved in accreditation and specialized certification processes, and over the years, developed the expertise to take part in statewide and national assessments for a variety of accrediting organizations.


A self-described non-traditional learner, Savin began in a career requiring little more than a high-school education. Realizing that career advancement necessitated returning to school, Savin spent several years juggling work and college, obtaining a bachelor’s in general studies from the University of Connecticut, a master’s in education administration from State University of New York; and a doctorate in education from Oregon State University’s Community College Leadership Program.


“After over a decade in business and industry, where I moved from entry-level positions into management positions, I left for what I thought was going to be a short visit in education,” he wrote. “It was then that I found my true passion, that of making a difference in the lives of our students.”


Savin will visit Cuyamaca College Jan. 19 and 20, 2010, during its convocation.


Located at 900 Rancho San Diego Parkway in the community of Rancho San Diego, Cuyamaca College has an enrollment of nearly 10,000 students each semester. The Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community College District has a student population of just more than 29,000 students. For more information go to

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