LIBERAL — Brad Bennett will serve as the 11th president of Seward County Community College, SCCC Board of Trustees Chairman Ron Oliver announced Saturday. Bennett, who currently serves as executive vice president of Colby Community College, is slated to begin work in Liberal Oct. 12.
“We’re pleased to have made an offer and signed a contract with our first choice of the five candidates interviewed,” said Oliver. “Brad comes to us not only with an impressive skill set and high recommendations from peers across the state, he will also be a good fit for our community.”
A Colorado native, Bennett worked in the private sector before he moved to K-12 education. In his undergraduate studies Bennett majored in history and minored in education before earning a master’s degree in business. He is in the process of completing a doctoral degree.
Bennett has served at Colby since 2008, starting as instructor and program director and working his way up with steady promotions. A stint as interim chief financial officer offered an opportunity to expand his skills, he noted in his application, though he opted to return to working directly with students rather than remain in that position when offered the opportunity. In his current capacity as the first-ever executive vice president of CCC, he combines oversight of academics and student affairs.
Bennett and his wife “love living in Western Kansas,” he wrote in his application, “and want to stay and continue to serve these communities.”
SCCC’s presidential search process was “comprehensive and intense,” said Oliver. “We have good momentum right now, and felt it was important to fill the position immediately, despite the timing,” of the pandemic and the beginning of the fall semester. Oliver thanked executive assistant Lois Magner and the SCCC team as a whole for completing a thorough and transparent hiring process that included seven separate campus panels of interviews for each of the five candidates.
Bennett is excited for the changes ahead.
“I’m so honored to be offered this opportunity,” he said. “I’ve always respected SCCC and the community of Liberal, and I’m excited to serve the college and the community. My thanks to the board of trustees and the entire SCCC family for their support.”