LIBERAL, Kan. —Seward County Community College will welcome a familiar face to the president’s office, starting Monday, announced board chair Ron Oliver: Brad Bennett, who served in the role for six months during the 2020-21 academic year, will return to the office. Current president Greg Gunderson announced Tuesday that he would step down Feb. 11, due to a family emergency.
“This is nobody’s fault,” said Oliver, who expressed support for Gunderson. “Your family should come first.” In just 10 weeks, “Greg got a lot done on this campus; it was impressive,” he added.
At a farewell breakfast for faculty, staff, and students, Gunderson chatted with Oliver and board member John Engel, pausing to greet students who stopped by for donuts.
“We’re going to miss you,” said Engel, “but you’ve got to take care of family first.”
Gunderson agreed, noting that he knew the college will be in good hands under Bennett’s leadership.
“I never heard a single person say anything negative about him,” he said. “I’m glad to know people are happy to welcome him back.”
Bennett has signed a contract and will begin duties Monday, though he will combine remote and on-campus work for a transitional period. Bennett and his family relocated to Colby upon leaving SCCC.
“The board is elated that Brad accepted our offer,” said Oliver. “He did an excellent job when he was here, and we know the campus will welcome him back.” As a 52-year-old institution, Oliver noted, “even with all these things that are happening, Seward has quite a bit of stability.”
Phones lit up and excited voices sounded in the hallways as faculty and staff shared the news. A steady stream of well-wishers filed in and out of the administrative offices to say goodbye to Gunderson.
“We’re always saying that it’s like a family here,” one said. “This is how families work.”