Western Nebraska Community College is pleased to announce the hiring of three administrators in John Marrin as Interim Executive Vice President, Dr. Patrick Fortney as Associate Dean of Instruction, and Jaclyn Smith as Alliance Campus Director.
“Bringing three new strategic minds of this caliber is great news for our institution,” said Interim President Dr. John Harms. “The wealth of experience Marrin, Dr. Fortney, and Ms. Smith have accumulated will not only prove to be instrumental in a critical transition period for our college, but will also help us continue to take large strides forward.”
Marrin is no stranger to WNCC. He spent 22 years previously at WNCC in various roles, including Dean of Business and Individual Training, Alliance Campus Director, Interim Sidney Campus Manager, and Marketing and Management Instructor. He rejoined the WNCC team on July 2.
Before his retirement, Marrin was President of Lamar Community College for eight years in Colorado. Upon moving back to the Panhandle, Marrin taught Business, Economics, and Ag-Business classes at Eastern Wyoming College.
“I am honored to come back to the college that has been extremely important to my family and for my career,” Marrin said. “I’m excited to work with Dr. Harms again, as well as with all the great staff and faculty at WNCC.”
Dr. Fortney began his new role on July 1. As Associate Dean of Instruction, he will be tasked with providing strategic leadership and direction to WNCC faculty, and assisting in the recruitment and evaluation of adjunct and full-time faculty. Additionally, Dr. Fortney will handle program budgets and assist in many administrative duties.
Dr. Fortney brings years of experience in higher education, having served as a faculty member, department chair, director, and dean. He joins WNCC after serving as the Dean and Director of Bands at Peru State College. During his tenure, he was instrumental in increasing the number and frequency of online course offerings, helped establish a new degree option in Natural Science, and worked closely on the designs for a new $5 million fine arts building renovation on campus.
“My wife, Laura, and I have wanted to live in western Nebraska for the past 20 years,” said Fortney. “That desire combined with wanting to work in a community college, given their prospects for growth, made WNCC the perfect fit.”
Smith began her role as Alliance Campus Director in mid-June and replaces Robyn Iossi, who retired in 2018. Smith has spent nearly her entire career in higher education, including eight years in various roles at the University of Nebraska Medical Center, stints as the Assistant Registrar at Dana College and Central College in Iowa, in addition to residential life work at Northwest Missouri State University, and most recently two years as an academic and financial aid advisor at Chadron State College.
Smith, who hails from Hay Springs, is looking forward to fostering her long-time relationships and creating new partnerships, she said.
“I am thrilled to join the WNCC team as the Alliance Campus Director because I’m proud to call the Nebraska Panhandle my home,” Smith said. “The opportunity to serve and collaborate with the vibrant communities in the northern Panhandle is a role I joyfully accept.”