AC Names Sole Finalist for President

- AMARILLO -- Amarillo college has decided on a new president.

    Only problem is, it won't be official for another three weeks.

    Before the board took action Wednesday night, Dr. Russel Lowery-Hart had plenty of support.

    Several faculty members addressed the board throwing their support behind the current Vice President of Academic Affairs.

    Dr. Lowery-Hart also had overwhelming support from the rest of the faculty, staff and community as well.

    An on site and online survey of 387 respondents completed Wednesday morning shows 94% favor Dr. Lowery-Hart as the next president.

    "Many people who support Russel, support his vision and his leadership.  And, his ability to create student success and help students create success."  Said Amarillo College Chief of Communications and Marketing Ellen Robertson Green.

    Dr. Lowery-Hart got a chance to speak with the board in closed session before they made their decision.  Once it was over, the board unanimously chose Dr. Lowery-Hart as the sole finalist.

    AC Regent Paul Proffer was is on the Presidential search committee, he said, "We just really felt like with his emphasis on student success and his familiarity with the college that he was the right one."

    After being named the sole finalist, Dr. Lowery-Hart said, "I think it's an acknowledgement of the great work we've done as a college over the four years I've been here.  It's a tribute to the leadership of Dr. Matney and the legacy he's leaving.

       Dr. Lowery-Hart says he has learned a lot from his predecessor.

    He plans to carry on the goals and vision of Dr. Paul Matney once he takes over after a 21-day waiting period.

    The board, by law, has to wait 21-days between naming it's finalists and when they can officially take over.

    They could still decide on someone else, but with a unanimous vote from the board Wednesday, it looks like Dr. Lowery-Hart will easily pass a second vote.

    Dr. Matney's last day is next Thursday.  AC faculty member Bob Austin will take over on an interim basis until Dr. Lowery-Hart takes office.

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