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NWACC President Leaves Legacy

Peers Praise Departing Paneitz’s Tenure

Posted: June 23, 2013 at 5 a.m.

Becky Paneitz, president of NorthWest Arkansas Community College, is photographed in front of the student center June 12 at NWACC in Bentonville. Paneitz will retire at the end of the month. The student center was named after Paneitz in the June 10 Board of Trustees meeting.

NorthWest Arkansas Community College is almost unrecognizable from what it was 10 years ago.

The Other 2003 Finalists

Where They’ve Gone

Sixty-six people applied for the president’s job at NorthWest Arkansas Community College when it became available in late 2002.

The college’s board interviewed four candidates: Ann Alexander, Steven Jones, William Roden and Becky Paneitz. On April 30, 2003, the board hired Becky Paneitz as the second president in the college’s history. Paneitz will retire at the end of this month. But whatever happened to those other three finalists?

Ann Alexander

• 2003 Job: President of Wytheville Community College in Wytheville, Va.

• After NWACC: Alexander left Wytheville in 2006 to join the faculty at Western Carolina University in Cullowhee, N.C., where she led a master’s degree program in community college administration and a doctoral program in educational administration. She retired last year and moved back to her hometown of Okmulgee, Okla., about 40 miles south of Tulsa, Okla.

• NWACC Thoughts: “I thought the people there were really, really wonderful. Some of the faculty I got to talk to, you could tell they were really student-oriented. I knew (Paneitz) would do a great job.”

• Steven Jones

• 2003 Job: Chancellor of the Phillips Community College District in Helena.

After NWACC: Jones became the 12th president of Amarillo College, a community college in Amarillo, Texas, in October 2003. His legacy as president at Amarillo includes a $68 million bond issue he helped get passed in 2007, which paid for construction of two buildings and renovation of existing classroom space. Jones died of cancer in February 2009 at 56; he was survived by his wife and two daughters.

• William Roden

• 2003 Job: Chancellor of Louisiana Technical College in Baton Rouge, La.

• After NWACC: Roden went on to hold different administrative positions in education, including two stints in the United Arab Emirates — first as director of a military/government language training institute, then as principal at the Institute of Applied Technology. He’s also been an associate dean at the College of Business at Cardinal Stritch University in Milwaukee and director of a statewide charter online high school in California. Since 2011 he has been a faculty member at the California Southern University School of Law.

• NWACC Thoughts: “I thought it was neat. I liked (Bentonville). I got the tour of Walmart; that was an interesting experience looking at the infrastructure there. I was very, very impressed. It would have been a really good job. It’s too bad it didn’t work out. There are a lot of good things going on there.”

At A Glance

College Facilities

Buildings constructed on NorthWest Arkansas Community College’s campus since Becky Paneitz became president and the year they opened:

• Center for Health Professions (2013)

• The Shewmaker Center for Global Business (2010)

• The Student Center (2007)

• The parking deck (2006)

Source: Staff Report

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