Dr. Ken Lawson named college’s next president

MEDIA RELEASE – June 21, 2023
Contact: Tiffany Prince
Telephone: (541) 506-6013

Columbia Gorge Community College board directors have invited Dr. Kenneth Lawson to become the institution’s next president. He is expected to assume the office August 1, 2023. Directors made the decision in the college’s board meeting Wednesday, June 20, and Tim Arbogast, board chair, followed in a subsequent message to college staff and faculty.

“We welcome Dr. Lawson’s leadership as we begin the next chapter of CGCC’s history,” Arbogast said. “I extend my appreciation to the entire college community for your thoughtful participation at the presidential forums. The collaborative and concerted work by members across our community truly enriched the search process. I would also like to express my appreciation to the presidential search committee for their time, dedication, and important work on behalf of Columbia Gorge Community College.”

“We engaged in a very thorough process to select the college’s next president,” said search committee chair Nate Stice. “Out of 33 total candidates and several rounds of evaluation engaging key stakeholders in college and broader community, Dr. Lawson rose to the top as the leader best poised to help guide CGCC into the future.”

Dr. Lawson is vice president of instruction, Skagit Valley College, Mt. Vernon, Wash. His community college experience began as an adjunct faculty in basic education. From that experience, he gained an appreciation for the power of community colleges to make a transformative difference in students’ lives.

Dr. Lawson’s career — which includes serving as a full-time faculty and dean of the Social Sciences/Equity and Social Justice division at Shoreline Community College, and dean for the Humanities and Social Sciences at Seattle Central College — has focused on ensuring equitable access, achievement, and outcomes for all students. He is deeply committed to the role higher education plays as an agent of positive social change.

Since 2013, Dr. Lawson has served as the vice president for instruction at Skagit Valley College. In that role, he works with faculty and staff to create equitable learning environments, programs responsive to local economic and social needs, and educational pathways for diverse communities. Dr. Lawson has a doctorate in political science from the University of Washington, and a Master of Arts and Bachelor of Science in political science from the University of Utah.