At a Wednesday afternoon special meeting members of the New Mexico Junior College Board named Derek Moore to be the seventh president of the college.
Moore, who was the first of five applicants interviewed by the board in April, said he plans to be in Hobbs and on the job by the third week in June.
Steve McCleery, interim president of the college, said his contract with the school runs out on July 1, but he intends to assist Moore in the transition by being, “at his beck and call as needed. I want to take him around and introduce him to people in town and in Santa Fe,” McCleery said. “He is smart and experienced and will be great at this school.”
Moore signed the contract to become president in the presence of board members, McCleery and members of the audience including all the vice presidents of the college as well as guests. Pat Chappelle, president of the board, also signed the contracts.
After signing the contracts, Moore thanked the board for its diligence in adhering to process as it interviewed candidates and pledged to maintain the high standards in existence at the school.
During his interview in April, Moore described NMJC as “a jewel” and said he hopes the residents of Lea County understand what a valuable asset the college is to the entire area. During that interview, he emphasized student success, student engagement and retention, remaining faithful to the mission of the college and making positive contributions to the quality of life of the community.
He also emphasized the need to market the school and maintain lines of communication with the community.
Wednesday, he said the college has a “great strategic plan. It’s well thought out, and we will follow it.”
He said before he makes any recommendations about adding programs, answering a specific questions about adding music and drama to the course offerings, he will have to study “the feasibility of offering the programs and how they will contribute to the quality of life in the area. I know the community has an interest in fine arts.”
Moore is currently serving as Vice President for Student Services at South Arkansas Community College in El Dorado, Ark.
He has more than 25 years of experience in higher education and workforce development, as listed on his resume.
Prior to his service at SACC, Moore was Associate Vice Chancellor for Student Success at Arkansas State University Mid-South, where he led student retention and engagement efforts of the college.
While at the University of Arkansas Community College at Morrilton, Moore served as chair of the college’s student retention committee, along with chairing the college’s diversity committee. Moore has been a faculty member, textbook author, national presenter, and professional development facilitator.
Moore’s commitment to the community where he currently lives includes being a current board member and past president of the El Dorado Rotary Club. He also serves as a board member of the El Dorado Union County Chamber of Commerce, El Dorado Boys and Girls Club, and Hope Landing, Inc., and he volunteers at Hugh Goodwin Elementary in El Dorado, Ark., assisting second graders with improving their literacy skills.
From a national student success perspective, Moore currently serves as an advisory board member of HERDI Innovate (Higher Education Research and Development Institute), and Innovative Educators. He was a founding board member of Two-Year First Year.
Moore earned a Doctor of Education in Community College Leadership from Morgan State University in Baltimore, Md.; a Master of Public Administration from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock in Little Rock, Ark.; and a Bachelor of Science in Psychology from the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff in Pine Bluff, Ark. He is a graduate of the Executive Leadership Institute conducted by the League for Innovation in the Community College.
Moore has been married to his wife, Pinkie, for 28 years. They have two adult sons and two daughters-in-law, along with one granddaughter.