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Saipan Tribune: NMC looks for new president (August 22, 2018)

The Northern Marianas College is looking for a new president after incumbent president Dr. Carmen Fernandez opted not to renew her contract.

The college said a presidential search committee would be created to identify new candidates.

In a statement to Saipan Tribune yesterday, NMC announced that Fernandez had opted not to have her employment contract, which expires on Oct. 3, 2018, renewed.

Since the news was brought to the attention of the Board of Regents during their special meeting last Friday, Saipan Tribune learned yesterday that the NMC board would initiate the search to identify a new candidate for the college while an interim president has yet to be announced. No explanation was provided why Fernandez opted not to renew her contract.

“The Board of Regents would like to thank Dr. Fernandez for her commitment and dedication to NMC the last two years and wish her well in her new endeavors,” said NMC BOR chair Charles V. Cepeda.

“We remain committed to NMC’s mission and will work with the interim president to ensure that the college continues to provide high-quality standard of education and services during the transition,” he added.

In a separate statement, Fernandez said it was an “honor and pleasure” to work with the staff and faculty of NMC. She highlighted the rising graduation rates and other “metrics of success” that continue to show “significant gains.”

Fernandez became the college’s president back in Sept. 30, 2016. She succeeded former NMC president Dr. Sharon Hart. Fernandez started her first day as NMC president on Oct. 4, 2016.

Fernandez also served as NMC president from 2008 to 2010.

“In the past two years [2016 to 2018] we have accomplished much that we are proud of,” she said. “I am sure that the NMC community will continue the momentum.”

“I will continue to be a strong advocate of NMC, its mission, and its students,” she added.

Fernandez, according to the statement from NMC, saw the completion of several major capital improvement projects, the jumpstart of NMC’s program review process, the revival of key partnerships with government agencies, and making progress in meeting accreditation requirements.

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