LBCC board selects new president

Dr. Lisa Avery has been selected to serve as Linn-Benton Community College’s next president.
LBCC board members voted unanimously to approve the hiring of Avery as its seventh president in LBCC’s 54-year history during a special meeting held March 3.
“We are thrilled to welcome Dr. Lisa Avery to LBCC as our next president,” said Jim Merryman, Board of Education chair. “She brings an incredible track record of leadership and experience to this role, and is the right leader to continue building LBCC’s mission of student success and community and economic vitality. We look forward to a seamless transition and I am very proud to be a part of this historic moment for our community college.”
Avery has served as campus president of Sylvania Campus at Portland Community College in Oregon, a position she has held since 2015. In her role she is responsible for leading PCC’s largest and oldest campus, which is home to nearly 27,000 students and approximately 1,300 employees.
“I am deeply honored to become part of the Linn-Benton Community College family,” Avery said. “I am proud to help carry on many great LBCC traditions, innovations and student success gains, while working with the Board, faculty and staff to envision the road ahead in order to continue serving the communities across Linn and Benton counties.”
Avery will begin her new position on July 1, replacing Dr. Greg Hamann who has served as LBCC president for the past 10 years and is retiring in June.
In her role overseeing PCC’s Sylvania Campus, Dr. Avery has been an advocate for equitable student success, increased student access, sustainability, diversity, equity and inclusion, as well as a steward of many flagship academic programs including nursing, engineering, business, dental hygiene and automotive technology, as well as a new Center of Excellence in Cybersecurity. Sylvania’s budget is approximately $94 million in state funding with additional bond support; the campus includes 14 buildings, including a cutting-edge MakerSpace, and approximately 1,000,000 square feet of facilities on a 122-acre campus.
A proponent of strategic partnerships, Dr. Avery currently serves on numerous local and regional committees to help support Oregon’s community colleges. During her PCC tenure, Dr. Avery’s advocacy has included testimony on the Community College Support Fund, Applied Baccalaureate Programs, the Community College Transfer Bill, and Capital Projects.
Prior to PCC, Dr. Avery served as Vice Provost for Strategic Partnerships at Community Colleges of Spokane in Washington and as a Professor at Eastern Washington University. Dr. Avery earned a Doctor of Philosophy in Social Work degree and a Master’s of Social Work from the University of Illinois at Chicago in Illinois; and a Bachelor’s of Science in Psychology from Ball State University in Indiana.
A first-generation college graduate and native of LaPorte, Indiana, Dr. Avery obtained her doctorate and master’s degrees from the University of Illinois at Chicago. Prior to this, she earned her bachelor’s degree in research psychology from Ball State University.
The Board of Education began an open and inclusive search process in August 2019. Faculty, staff and students, as well as industry partners and community members, helped to shape the Board’s Presidential Profile. Retaining the Association of Community College Trustees as its search consultant, the board assembled a search committee comprised of representatives from all employee groups, students, and committed community partners who reviewed nearly 50 applications and recommended finalists to the board. Finalists were then personally invited to the college to participate in open forums, where members of the college and public asked questions and provided feedback to the board.