Breaking: Lisa Avery Chosen as Greg Hamann’s Successor as President of LBCC

LBCC board members gather to choose a new president Tuesday night. Greg Hamann is retiring after 10 years. (Photo: McKenna Christmas)

Students, faculty and staff alike filed into the LBCC boardroom with anticipation Tuesday night, as the college’s Board of Education was about to make history.

A constant chirping filled the room, which sounded like the spring birds we’ve all been hearing in the last few weeks, but was merely feedback coming from the speakers of board members on the video conference call. Who would be the seventh president of LBCC?

LBCC Board Chairman Jim Merryman’s face took up three screens at the start of the meeting at 6:30 p.m. sharp.

“I am so pleased to announce that our choice for LBCC’s next president is Dr. Lisa Avery.”

He went on, “Dr. Avery has a proven track record developing and maintaining key community partnerships, navigating the legislative landscape in Salem, and championing important diversity, inclusion and equity initiatives.”

After Merryman had finished, he called for a motion to name Avery LBCC’s next president. After a motion and a second, the board voted unanimously to confirm Avery as the college’s seventh president.

Avery currently serves as campus president of the Sylvania Campus at Portland Community College, a position she has held since 2015. In her role she is responsible for leading PCC’s largest and oldest campus, which is home to nearly 27,000 students and about 1,300 employees.

“I am deeply honored to become part of the Linn-Benton Community College family,” Avery said in an LBCC press release. “I am proud to help carry on many great LBCC traditions, innovations and student success gains, while working with the board, faculty and staff to envision the road ahead in order to continue serving the communities across Linn and Benton counties.”

Avery officially begins her new position on July 1. Avery visited campus two weeks ago, one of three finalists for the position and met with students, faculty, staff and board members.

One of those on hand for Tuesday night’s meeting was current LBCC President Greg Hamann, who will be stepping down in June after 10 years as LB’s chief executive.

“I feel great about who is succeeding me,” Hamann said.

He quickly added, “I’m not stepping out of education. I’ll just be doing other things.” Hamann works with a variety of educational advisory panels, including the state’s Higher Education Coordinating Commission.

“I’m not leaving Albany,” Hamann said. “I like it here.”

While technically his contract doesn’t overlap with Avery’s, he anticipates they will have plenty of opportunity to share notes in the transition, beginning with a meeting they’re both attending this Thursday.

Story by Robert Greco

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