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Modesto Junior College welcomes new president
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Modesto Junior College completed the search for a new president on Friday, selecting experienced college administrator Gaither Lowenstein. He will replace interim MJC President Kenneth White on July 1.
Lowenstein was selected in a nationwide search from 40 qualified candidates. He bested two competitors in the final set of interviews, which occurred earlier this month.
“My wife, Hope, and I are absolutely thrilled to be coming home to the Central Valley and joining the MJC team,” Lowenstein said. “I came away from the interview process extremely impressed with the quality of the faculty, staff and management team at the College and am very much looking forward to getting to know the students as well.”
Lowenstein currently sits as vice president of Norco College, a member of the Riverside Community College District. He helped transform the “center” into a “college,” ushering Norco College in as the newest member of the California Community College System.
Yosemite Community College District administrators hope that experience will help Lowenstein guide MJC through the process of establishing satellite educational outreach sites in both Turlock and Patterson.
“These are extremely challenging times for California community colleges in general and for Modesto Junior College in particular,” Lowenstein said. “Our upcoming fall 2011 accreditation visit, the ongoing budget shortfall at the state level, and the current state of the economy in Modesto and the surrounding region are among the more significant challenges we will be taking on once I assume office in July. I'm confident that by working together our team can weather the budget storm, achieve reaffirmation of the College's accreditation and continue to make a positive contribution to the revitalization of the local economy.”
Prior to his tenure at Norco College, Lowenstein spent more than 16 years as a college administrator. He worked at the College of the Desert, Barstow Community College and Mendocino College.
Lowenstein also worked locally as the Dean of Instruction at Humphrey’s College in Stockton, advance planner for San Joaquin County, and planning director for the City of Escalon. He has held professorships in political science and worked in the private sector, spending four years as senior planner at Neal Martin & Associates in San Carlos, Calif.
Lowenstein holds a Ph.D. in Urban Affairs from the University of Delaware, and a master’s degree in the subject from Wichita State University. He earned his bachelor’s of science in Public Administration from the University of the Pacific.
To contact Alex Cantatore, e-mail or call 634-9141 ext. 2005.