Spokane Community College will have a new president in June.
James H. Williams, the dean of the college of arts at California State Polytechnic University, will become the first black president in Spokane’s community college system.
He was named this week by Community Colleges of Spokane administrators to replace interim president Don Kolb, who will return to his job as a district vicepresident.
Williams was one of six finalists brought to Spokane in recent months during a nationwide search. He was among 70 applicants.
He was offered a three-year contract with a starting salary of $96,000 a year, said Jennifer Roseman, director of communications and development for the colleges. He is expected to start work in June.
Williams will head the campus at Mission and Greene and be part of the administrative team for the community colleges. The system includes SCC, Spokane Falls Community College and the Institute for Extended Learning.
Williams’ selection was announced on campus Wednesday. He visited the campus for a second time Monday, and was offered the job then.
Terry Brown, the colleges’ chief executive officer, said Williams is a good listener with a strong academic background and an ability to work well in a community setting.
He has a history of being able to resolve conflicts in his previous jobs, Brown said.
Williams started his college education at a community college and later earned a master’s degree in urban planning from Pepperdine University and a doctoral degree in education from Washington State University.