Helena College University of Montana

CEO / Dean Search

UPDATE: 10/19/17

The search committee to select the next dean of Helena College has narrowed the candidate pool to two finalists. Of the 56 applications received for the position, the committee chose 12 individuals to interview.  From those interviews the committee selected Dr. Dave Ferreira of the Georgetown Campus at Horry-Georgetown Technical College (HGTC) in South Carolina and Dr. Vern Lindquist of Richard Bland College of William & Mary to visit the campus and meet with students, staff, faculty and community members. 

The community is invited to a public forum to meet Dr. Ferreira on Monday, October 30th at 4pm.  The public forum for Dr. Lindquist is scheduled for November 6st at 4pm.   The forums will be held at the Donaldson Campus on Roberts Street.  Both candidates will also meet with Commissioner of Higher Education Clayton Christian.

Both candidates provided a photo and bio:


Dr. Dave Ferreira

Dr. Dave Ferreira has been in higher education for over 12 years.  He is currently the Associate Provost of the Georgetown Campus at Horry-Georgetown Technical College (HGTC) in South Carolina.  In this position, he provides and academic and operational leadership for the Georgetown Campus in addition to coordinating college-wide Apprenticeship initiatives.  He recently served as the Assistant Vice President of Academic affairs at HGTC where he oversaw the Business and Technology programs and collaborated with faculty and the community to align the curriculum with workforce demands and ease of transfer.  Prior to coming to HGTC, he was the Dean of Academic Resources & Assessment at Broward College in South Florida.  In that position, he led the tutoring, library, testing, and media services departments and directed initiatives to align with the strategic goals of increasing enrollment, retention, and completion.  Before coming to Broward, he started his career in community college administration as the Director of Learning Initiatives at Three Rivers Community College in Eastern Connecticut.  At TRCC, he was the project lead for the college’s Title III grant that redesigned developmental education and created a faculty professional development training program.  For over 10 years, Dave has also taught Political Science and College Success Skill courses as an adjunct instructor for a number of community colleges and universities in face-to-face, hybrid, and online formats.  He is a graduate of the American Association of Community College’s Future Leaders Institute, holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science from Southern Connecticut State University, a Master’s Degree in Political Science from American University, and a Doctorate of Education in Higher Education Leadership from Northcentral University. 


Dr. Vern Lindquist

Vern Lindquist is Dean of Faculty & CAO of Richard Bland College, the two-year branch of the College of William & Mary in Virginia. Before that, he served as the Dean of Liberal Arts & Science at the State University of New York College of Technology at Delhi and was a professor and chair of liberal arts at Sullivan County Community College. He has experience leading projects on curriculum assessment and development, predictive analytics and Student support, and adaptive learning technologies. Lindquist has 25 years of experience in higher education and earned his PhD in English from Indiana University.


UPDATE: 9/15/17

Helena College received 56 applicants for our CEO/Dean search. From this initial group, the committee determined to interview 12 applicants via Skype. These initial interviews are currently scheduled to occur during the first week of October. From these Skype interviews, the committee hopes to invite 4 to 5 applicants to Helena for in person interviews and to meet and interact with the community, students, staff and faculty

UPDATE: 8/9/17
On August 10th the initial applications will be reviewed by search committee members.  Thus far, 33 applications have been received.  As a reminder, the position closes on September 8, 2017.  At that time, the committee will finalize their review of all applicants in order to determine those who will be considered for interview.

Anticipated timeline:

September 11 – Committee meets to determine candidates selected for Skype interviews

October 2-6 - Skype interviews conducted

October 11 – Committee meets to determine candidates selected for on campus interviews/campus visits

October 30-November 3 - Campus forums and on campus interviews will be conducted

November 7 – Committee meets to determine top candidates to forward on to the Commissioner of Higher Education and Board of Regents

 Position Profile

The Dean/CEO is appointed by the Montana Board of Regents and reports to the President of the University of Montana. The Dean/CEO will lead further development and progress of a shared innovative vision for the College, inspiring College stakeholders to pursue and fulfill goals for student and community success. The successful candidate must have a full understanding of education, including two-year and community college education, secondary education, and workforce development. The Dean/CEO must have effective leadership and interpersonal skills to maintain a successful balance of the College’s academic and administrative responsibilities with the needs of local business and industry, high schools, government and community organizations. The successful candidate will be a creative leader, open to new ideas and risk-taking, with an understanding of the importance of technology as it relates to institutional effectiveness.

Desired attributes include:

  • Successful experience as an educator and leader where it was necessary to demonstrate substantial understanding of two-year education, secondary education partnerships, and workforce development. Experience in community or Technical College desired.
  • Experience with building partnerships with secondary schools.
  • Experience with building partnerships with industry and community organizations.
  • Technical expertise in effectively advocating for the use of technology to facilitate and enhance the quality of education.
  • A record of accomplishment in innovative educational leadership.
  • Proactive commitment to student-first, student-centered learning, and student support.
  • Capacity to work effectively with plans and policies of the Board of Regents, Office of the Commissioner of Higher Education, and Montana University System colleagues;
  • Motivation to be the voice and champion for the College with all stakeholders.
  • Knowledge of current major issues facing all aspects of education including community and technical colleges.
  • Knowledge of, and experience with online educational programs and services.
  • Understanding of and commitment to serve a diversity of students and stakeholders of different life experiences, including but not limited to academic, socioeconomic, cultural, disability status, gender identity, sexual orientation, and ethnic backgrounds.
  •  Excellent communication and human relations skills.
  • A proven track record of leadership in obtaining private support, federal funding, and grant support for programs and services in public post-education settings
  • Successful leadership experience in educational planning, fiscal management, personnel relations, and community relations.
  • An earned doctorate or a master’s degree plus experience in educational leadership (from a regionally accredited institution).

Search Committee

Search committee members

Anticipated timeline


Helena College Chat