On February 2, the Northwest State Community College Board of Trustees named Dr. Michael Thomson the next president of NSCC, succeeding the successful tenure of President Thomas Stuckey. Dr. Thomson, a first generation college student, is a passionate leader dedicated to the community college movement who believes strongly that every student can succeed. Thomson also believes that community colleges are the primary instrument for economic mobility by providing educational opportunities meeting students where they are and resulting in family-sustaining wages.
Dr. Thomson stated that, “It is an honor and privilege to become the leader of a great institution like Northwest State and to build upon the excellent achievements of President Thomas Stuckey.”
In addition, Thomson thanked his many mentors including President Alex Johnson, President Emeritus Jerry-Sue Thornton and President Kenneth Ender. Thomson said that, “These great presidents invested in me and helped me become the leader that I am today. I will pay forward that investment to the team at Northwest State Community College to be the best leaders they can be.”
Dr. Thomson most recently served as the president of Cuyahoga Community College’s (Tri-C) Eastern Campus, leading 550 full and part-time team members who serve more than 275,000 citizens and 6,000 students annually. His team’s signature accomplishment, the Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel Humanities Center, provides high-performing students a civically-engaged leadership experience. Additionally, Dr. Thomson assisted faculty in creating learning communities that redesign the teaching experience, and leading the Hospitality Management Center in completing its strategic plan, most notably the food and music festival Cleveland Eats.
Dr. Thomson began his Tri-C career in 2005 as dean of academic affairs at Tri-C’s Western Campus, where his team increased enrollments in the county’s western suburbs. In 2009, Thomson was selected for the prestigious American Council on Education (ACE) fellowship. During his fellowship, Dr. Thomson worked at the Ohio Board of Regents and William Rainey Harper College in Chicago. After returning to Tri-C, Dr. Thomson led multiple teams of faculty, staff, students and community members to plan, build and accredit Tri-C’s Westshore Campus, where he served as inaugural campus president from 2011 to 2013. During his 13-year tenure at Tri-C, Dr. Thomson was honored with three Tri-C President’s Awards, Cleveland YMCA’s Triangle Award, and the national Phi Theta Kappa’s Shirley B. Gordon Award.
Prior to arriving at Tri-C, Dr. Thomson served Northern Kentucky University (NKU) as a tenured associate professor teaching political science classes and serving the University and community. His peers elected him to serve as the faculty senate president and then the faculty’s regent serving on the NKU Board. His administrative positions at NKU included department chair and director of academic technology services. His signature accomplishments included co-leading the University’s first capital campaign, successfully raising over $1 million amongst faculty and staff. He also created and directed the University’s Master of Public Administration (MPA) program, the only accredited MPA program serving government and not-for-profit entities in the greater Cincinnati area.
Dr. Thomson holds master and doctoral degrees in political science from the University of Kentucky, as well as a bachelor’s degree from Pennsylvania State University. The son of a brewer and a bookkeeper, Dr. Thomson has one child and four grandchildren.