Dr. Kimberly Beatty named new MCC chancellor; public reception June 19

The Metropolitan Community College Board of Trustees has named Dr. Kimberly Beatty the eighth chancellor of the institution, succeeding Mark James, who will retire at the end of June.

Dr. Kimberly Beatty

Dr. Beatty, currently serving as vice chancellor for instructional services and chief academic officer at Houston Community College, will be introduced to the Kansas City community at a June 19 reception at Union Station’s Sprint Festival Plaza. The event begins at 5:30 p.m., with remarks at 6:30. All are welcome.

“We are absolutely thrilled that Dr. Beatty has accepted our invitation to lead MCC at this time of tremendous opportunity and challenge,” said Trent Skaggs, president of the MCC Board of Trustees and chair of the Chancellor Advisory Screening Committee.

“We searched nationally for a visionary and strategic leader who would work collaboratively with the board and college community to create a renewed sense of mission and identity, define a clear and compelling shared vision, and set the direction for MCC,” Skaggs said. “We are confident that Dr. Beatty is the right person at the right time to lead us into the future.”

MCC’s chancellor, the chief executive officer of the five-campus system, is appointed by and reports to the elected six-member Board of Trustees. The chancellor is principally responsible for implementing the board’s policies and overseeing strategic planning, budget management, academic and workforce development programs, student success, resource development and fundraising, corporate and business partnerships, human resources, facilities maintenance and all other areas of operation.

Barbara Anne Washington, vice president of the Board of Trustees, who also served on the screening committee, said: “Dr. Beatty is uniquely qualified to lead MCC, having served four of the nation’s best community colleges in such roles as tenured professor, program manager, academic dean, senior student services administrator and chief academic officer. She will serve MCC, the Kansas City region and the state well.”

“It is a tremendous honor to be entrusted with the leadership of MCC,” Dr. Beatty said. “The opportunity to serve as the chancellor marks the high point of my career, not because it is the highest position, but because I believe the values of MCC and the Board of Trustees align perfectly with mine — and that’s very important to me. I’m looking forward to working alongside the faculty, staff and friends of the college to advance MCC’s mission of preparing students, serving communities and creating opportunities.”

Dr. Beatty comes to MCC with 28 years of teaching and administrative experience in higher education, including 21 years of progressive leadership experience at community colleges in California, Virginia and Texas. Dr. Beatty has also served as a tenured associate professor in English. A three-time graduate of Morgan State University in Baltimore, she holds a B.A. and M.A. in English and an Ed.D. in higher education, with a specialization in community college leadership. (Click here for her complete biography.)

The nationwide search for MCC’s chancellor began in January with the formation of a screening committee made up of trustees, faculty, staff and a student representative. Consultants from the executive search firm Spelman Johnson held listening sessions with employees in February and March and subsequently recruited a robust and diverse pool of 40 candidates.

The screening committee evaluated 16 top-tier candidates and interviewed seven semifinalists in April. Three chancellor finalists were announced on May 3. Each spent two days at MCC in meetings and interviews, including a town hall at each campus. More information about the search process can be found at mcckc.edu/chancellor-search/.

In making the announcement, Skaggs also thanked outgoing Chancellor Mark James for his service and leadership. “Chancellor James guided MCC with a steady hand through some turbulent financial times,” Skaggs said. “He has also surrounded himself with strong leaders who focus on student success.”

Metropolitan Community College is Kansas City’s oldest and largest public institution of higher education, and the fourth largest public college or university in Missouri. Enrollment is about 18,000 credit students a semester.

The College was founded in 1915 as the Kansas City Polytechnic Institute and in 1919 became known as the Junior College of Kansas City. The five campuses — MCC-Blue River, MCC-Business & Technology, MCC-Longview, MCC-Maple Woods and MCC-Penn Valley — educate more than 30,000 students annually through credit and noncredit courses and business services.

Metropolitan Community College’s chancellors

Metropolitan Community College became a true multi-campus institution in 1969 with the opening of the Longview, Maple Woods and Penn Valley locations. With a president serving each campus, the College appointed its first chancellor in 1969 to oversee the entire system, known at the time as the Metropolitan Junior College District.


Leslie Koltai, 1969-72

Ervin Harlacher, 1973-78

William Hatley, 1978-81

William Mann, 1981-93

Wayne Giles, 1993-2005

Jacqueline Snyder, 2005-10

Mark James, 2010-17

Kimberly Beatty, 2017-

Note: Robert Hankins served as acting chancellor, 1972-73.