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Bowhay Named Highland’s 45th President

published February 19, 2024Bowhay Named Highland’s 45th President

Dr. Vincent Bowhay is the 45th president of Highland Community College. Bowhay was approved by a unanimous vote by the HCC Board of Trustees Monday evening following a national search led by the hiring committee garnering over 50 applicants for the position. He will begin the role of president July 1, 2024. Bowhay is currently the 16th president of Independence Community College since 2021.

“We are excited to welcome Dr. Vincent Bowhay to Highland Community College. He brings to us his higher education experience, compassion for students, for the College and community opportunities. Welcome home, Vince,” said Tom Smith, chair of the Board of Trustees.

“I am immensely grateful for the opportunity to serve as president of Highland Community College, an institution that provides lifelong learning opportunities to students and contributes to the economic vitality of northeast Kansas. I am tremendously inspired by Highland’s student-centric, mission-driven approach to education, and I look forward to beginning my journey as a Scottie,” said Bowhay.

Bowhay was one of three candidates who came to Highland to present to faculty, staff and students in-person and via Zoom at the end of January. After presentations and interviews on-campus were complete, faculty, staff and students were asked to submit feedback and recommendations to the hiring committee.

Dr. Vincent Bowhay addresses faculty and staff at his visit to HCC.

Bowhay has more than a decade of experience in higher education and assessment consultation. His career has involved work in the public and private sectors. As an assessment, strategic planning and accreditation consultant at Campus Labs in Buffalo, New York, Bowhay was recognized as a highly effective and innovative leader, positioning campuses for data-driven success. Prior to joining ICC, he also served in student affairs roles at Missouri Western State University and Fort Hays State University.

In 2021, Bowhay was one of 25 community college presidents nationwide selected for the prestigious Aspen Institute New Presidents Fellowship. This highly competitive fellowship recognizes the nation's most promising community college leaders—committed to taking risks, building partnerships, and setting a bold vision to advance equitable student outcomes.

He is active in educational, civic and charitable organizations. Much of his passion is focused on promoting affordable access to education, helping veterans achieve academic and career success and encouraging civic engagement among college students. His most recent book, “The Proper Role of Higher Education in a Democratic Society,” reexamines the role higher education plays in preparing students for a life of civic engagement and community leadership. Bowhay is an active volunteer for the Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity and other values-based organizations.

Bowhay is a Gallup-Certified Strengths Coach with experience in career transition and executive coaching. He earned his Bachelor of Arts in English Literature from Washburn University; a Master of Arts in student affairs administration in higher education from Ball State University; and an Ed.D. in educational leadership from Baker University. Bowhay was one of 60 business and educational leaders to be selected for the Executive Leadership Program at Stanford University in 2022.

Bowhay will succeed President Deborah Fox, who assumed the role of 44th president July 1, 2019. President Fox will retire June 30, 2024 after serving as HCC’s president for five years.

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